[syslinux] Syslinux & usb booting

Tomas M tomas at slax.org
Sun Nov 25 04:28:45 PST 2007

I had similar problem in the past.
When set up in Windoz, the Flash Key was bootable.
When in Linux, nothing.

My problem was solved by 'cat mbr.bin > /dev/sda'
Simply said, if you write the bootloader (syslinux) to /dev/sda1 
in Linux, it doesn't do anything unless you put a generic MBR code
to the MBR area of your device. Because MBR is read and executed
first, and then the MBR code looks for partitions and bootloader in sda1.

Syslinux in windows will write the MBR, but syslinux in Linux won't.
Hope this helps.

Tomas M

Lauri Kasanen wrote:
> Hi
> It looks to me there's some issues in the Linux implementation of syslinux (root ver, I don't have mtools).
> When I used "syslinux -sf /dev/sda1", the stick was not bootable, it showed a black screen when booted, with a ";" appearing when I pressed a button.
> The partition was marked active & bootable. And it was the only partition, and primary.
> Then I did the same thing on XP, aka "syslinux -sf f:". And whatdoyouknow, it booted fine.
> After using syslinux on linux "file -s /dev/sda" showed the same than right after formatting. But after using syslinux on Windoze it showed only "x86 boot sector", without all the mkdosfs id's.
> So, why doesn't the linux version work properly?
> Lauri

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