#11 Problem with USB stick version

Mike Lynch

I used cdisk to partition a USB pen drive into two partitions. The first is a DOS partition and on the second I've tried both W95 and linux. Then I used the "install-usb..." menu item to install INSERT on to the device. It booted and worked as expect. However, I then created a file system on the second partition of the device (I tried both dos and ext2), mounted the partition, copied files to it, and finally dismounted the second partition. When I went to reboot, the pen drive would no longer boot. I installed the pen drive into a linux box and was able to mount both partitions on the device and everything looked OK. I ran fsck on both partitions and it did not report any problems. Just for completeness, I used fdisk to check to make sure the partition table was still valid and that the first partition was still marked bootable. Everything was as expected. Should the second partition of the USB device be usable?


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    I cannot see, why the existence of a second, formatted partition should be a problem.
    Or maybe, isn't it that Windows systems don't like to see more than one primary partition?
    Maybe you have to create an extended partition and then a logical one inside.

    Best regards

  • Mike Lynch
    Mike Lynch

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    I can try using a single primary partition and an extended partition but I really don't think that's a problem. I think just about every Windows machine I have has more than one primary partition on it. The weird thing is that it's not a problem until a filesystem of some type is put on the second partition. Even a filesystem windows doesn't recognize at all causes this strange behavior. Anyway, I'll give it a try. Maybe the problem is specific to USB sticks. I'll see if I can generate more data points that may steer us to a solution.