[syslinux] Gigabyte recent bios & syslinux extlinux trow USB-IDE bridges or pendrives

Gustavo Guillermo Pérez gustavo at compunauta.com
Wed Aug 16 16:39:08 PDT 2006

Hello list, I'm having problems with newest BIOS updates from Gigabyte to my 
Mother Boards, they don't want to boot syslinux, extlinux y usb-hdd mode.

Then I need to know if someone else are having same problem, and can send me 
the Mother Board versions and bios versions to report as a bios bug.

this is from the support, I'm awaiting for answer.
>From : 	Gustavo Guillermo Pérez [ madgus at gmail.com ]
Sent : 	2006/8/17 03:09
Question : 	Dear Gigabyte Stuff, I was considering your test, and borrow from 
some firends many diferent usb-ide bridges to try, and I have two of your 
list, and on my other models of Gigabytes (recent ones) [K8VM800M-R2] got the 
same problem. On this model I do not have two bios, and of course I do not 
want to update casue is obious I'll got the same, this bios is more recent 
than my older one.
The boot message is this:
This is not a bootable disk. Please insert a bootable floppy and
press any key to try again ...
Then, I was doing a new bootable disk, small one about 60MB to overwrite over 
diferent media, like a usb flash, micro sd reader, real hard drive over the 
proper adaptor, and so on, to try to fix this problem on Gigabyte mother 
boardas, thinking may be I'm doing something wrong.
The main problem is that we use to buy and recommend to our customers Gigabyte 
models over years, and this new issue, will start to corrupt our terminal 
There is my new test, that can boot on many other Mother Board vendors, but I 
don't want the other ones.

The Normal procedure to make a bootable usb:
make a partition as fat32/16(windows users) or ext2/3(linux users) and mark as 
bootable, install over there syslinux or extlinux
and use the mbr.bin bootsector provided by syslinux package, the mbr will boot 
the bootable flagged partition.

To use my example without making nothing, borrow some Linux Live distro and 
over there plug your usb device and execute dmesg 10 seconds later to see the 
device name assigned, for example if it was sda then, if my raw file provided 
into a zip file is on another CD unit, try something like:
dd if=/media/cdrom2/memtest_usbhdd.raw of=/dev/sda it will overwrite the 
device doesn't matter if is a 40GB real hard drive over USB or if is a usb 
stick about 64MB or more, it will allways should boot, and you'll see a nice 
boot with memtest on it, checking your ram, as I said if I downgrade bios 
versions I can boot it as on many other M.B. from other vendors, but new BIOS 
code from yours, doesn't.

USB-CDROM boots perfect, is not corrupted, the only problem is with usb-hdd.

Syslinux is used to boot many rescue diagnostic tools, windows 98 emulation 
disquetes to update your bios mother boards, Linux on USB media to intall 
Linux and friends, and so on, I guess syslinux is more used to boot usb-hdd 
than any other boot loader, I really hope if you can take a look.

Best regards.
Answer - 382418
Answer : 	Dear Gustavo,

Thank you for your kindly mail and inquiry. About the issue you mentioned, in 
fact, USB boot up feature is not PC standard and AWARD BIOS can not support 
all type of USB boot devices, therefore, we can't make sure all USB boot 
devices will work properly with our MBs. If your USB boot device can't work 
properly, please try to change USB boot device type by BOOT DEVICE setting of 
BIOS setup prgram or use other USB boot devices for testing again later.

BTW, we have tested the USB bootable devices in our lab and provide the info. 
for your reference:

Terasys 2.5" External HDD
I-O DATA HAD-i40G/i-80G
Transcend TS40GSJ25
Apacer USB1.1/2.0 128MB/256MB Pen Drive
Gigabyte USB1.1/2.0 128MB Pen Drive

At last, if you still have any further question or suggestion about our 
products/service, please do not hesitate to contact with us directly. We will 
try our best to help you resolve the problem ASAP.

******** Thank you for supporting Gigabyte products ***********
Question - 382418
>From : 	Gustavo Guillermo Pérez [ madgus at gmail.com ]
Sent : 	2006/8/5 02:32
Question : 	Well, I was tried the F7 version of the BIOS making a bootable ISO 
CD under linux, very well done and upgrade, (thanks for giving me 2 bios on 
the model),
In fact, F7 has a lot of new options, like sata boot order ( I wonder this 
disappear, and I can not BOOT my USB Hard drive anymore, my bootsector 
complains that is invalid and replace to continue, cause we are developers, 
we should have 32 and 64 bit platforms as well, and I can not just upgrade my 
motherboard. There is any consideration to fix at least USB-HDD boot, cause I 
do really wish to have SATA boot order priority, and PXE STACK can be 
replaced with fake system code on system loaders.
Chainloading System loaders into partitions and fake ram floppys to have 
usb-hdd boot or pxe is a hell.

I roll back the bios to F4, that is on backup bios :)
Best regards

Model Name : GA-7VT600 1394
M/B Rev : 1394
BIOS Ver : F4 or F7
Serial No. : :)
Purchase Dealer : :)
VGA Brand : Nvidia      Model : GPU 4
CPU Brand : AMD      Model : 2300+      Speed : 1800 I guess
Operation System : Linux      SP :
Memory Brand : Kingston      Type : DDR
Memory Size : 1024      Speed : 400
Power Supply : 480 Thermaltake W

CARD, 2 EXTRA USB CARD, and a lot of peripherals trow firewire & usb.
Gustavo Guillermo Pérez
Compunauta uLinux

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