Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-06 09:27

Hi,
Have been fighting with this for 2 days now. In order to get more free slots for more hdds inside the whitebox workstation I have, I bought and external disk caddie + SSD that I thought I'd boot from.

Booting from the Debian USB stick and installing it on the external USB drive caddie+SSD works, but it just wont boot on my HP Z400.
Moving that SSD into the SATA connector boots just fine.

Tested booting from the USB drive caddie+SSD in another computer works so there is nothing wrong with the caddie itself.

Booting from the Debian USB bootstick obviously works, so I am thinking of imaging the USB bootstick to the USB drive caddie+SSD as a bootloader and then copy the real OS partition to the SSD ?
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby bw123 » 2018-11-08 02:37

Moving drives around is tricky, and/or deleting partitions. The last thing I always (try to remember to) do is grub-install before a reboot when I'm doing stuff like this. On the other hand if you use UEFI then I'd reckon that would make no sense? I'm not down with the latest...

Two days is a long time, but yeah I've been there. I didn't really understand the problem description. Maybe if you posted partition layout, or blkid, or some info about what is a HP Z400? What's a whitebox workstation?
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby debiman » 2018-11-08 09:59

AlexL wrote:I bought and external disk caddie + SSD that I thought I'd boot from.

isn't even the slowest SSD much faster than even the fastest USB connection?
in other words, isn't this a waste of a perfectly good (and brand new) SSD?
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-08 14:40

bw123 wrote:Moving drives around is tricky, and/or deleting partitions. The last thing I always (try to remember to) do is grub-install before a reboot when I'm doing stuff like this. On the other hand if you use UEFI then I'd reckon that would make no sense? I'm not down with the latest...

Two days is a long time, but yeah I've been there. I didn't really understand the problem description. Maybe if you posted partition layout, or blkid, or some info about what is a HP Z400? What's a whitebox workstation?


Hi,
Thank you for answering! I tried grub-install in all shapes, with removable tag and not and didn't get anywhere. As for the blkid its a simple debian install, no custom parameters AT ALL.
But you are saying it should work to move the boot partition of the USB stick to the SSD and point it at the main debian one , albeit with a lot of ninja ?

A HP Z400 is a regular workstation, nothing special about it other that it being old...

isn't even the slowest SSD much faster than even the fastest USB connection?
in other words, isn't this a waste of a perfectly good (and brand new) SSD?


Yes it is indeed slower especially since the workstation itself only has USB2 connectors... but I gain one more SATA slot... I would happily run debian on a USB stick honestly but am afraid the OS will die once it trashwrites the USB stick..
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby bw123 » 2018-11-08 14:48

AlexL wrote:...
But you are saying it should work to move the boot partition of the USB stick to the SSD and point it at the main debian one , albeit with a lot of ninja ?
...


No I never said any ninja skills, just trying to figure out how many drives/partitions and what hardware you have. I don't understand why you need to install and then move anything. Maybe I'm just dense, don't understand the problem, what are you trying to do?

There is a thing called bootinfoscript that a lot of people used to use. I don't have a link or even know if it is still around, but it was pretty good at collecting information...
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-09 08:57

bw123 wrote:
AlexL wrote:...
But you are saying it should work to move the boot partition of the USB stick to the SSD and point it at the main debian one , albeit with a lot of ninja ?
...


No I never said any ninja skills, just trying to figure out how many drives/partitions and what hardware you have. I don't understand why you need to install and then move anything. Maybe I'm just dense, don't understand the problem, what are you trying to do?

There is a thing called bootinfoscript that a lot of people used to use. I don't have a link or even know if it is still around, but it was pretty good at collecting information...


I have:
HP Z400 workstation (that has USB2 only, and is full of storage disks sitting on the SATA ports)
HP Z400 BIOS is updated to the latest version. BIOS settings are ok, since I tested ALL of them.
1x USB Debian stick 8gb
1x Kingston SSD 120gb (OS Boot drive)
1x SATA to USB caddie.

I can boot the HP Z400 from the USB Debian stick and install Debian on the OS Boot drive that is in the USB caddie.
I cannot(!) boot from the OS Boot drive (that is in the SATA to USB caddie) on the HP Z400.
If I take the out the installed OS Drive fro the USB caddie and boot the HP Z400 from SATA it works.

I can boot from the OS Boot drive that is in the SATA to USB caddie on another computer however, which means the caddie is ok.

So now I am trying to boot on the USB Debian stick, and point it to the OS Boot drive (that is in the SATA to USB caddie). Was hoping for a guide really :)
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-22 19:46

So I installed Proxmox which is Debian Stretch with packages tacked on and had the same issue. The way I "resolved" it was to boot the Proxmox boot ISO/USB and to run "Rescue mode".

This is the grub.cfg: https://pastebin.com/d1enKSq8

Relevant lines are:
menuentry 'Rescue Boot!' --class debian --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
insmod lvm
insmod ext2
set tmproot=$root
if test -e (lvm/pve-root)/boot/pve/vmlinuz; then
echo 'LVM Rescue Boot ...'
linux (lvm/pve-root)/boot/pve/vmlinuz ro ramdisk_size=16777216 root=/dev/mapper/pve-root
initrd (lvm/pve-root)/boot/pve/initrd.img
boot

else
insmod zfs
search --no-floppy --label rpool --set root
if test -e /ROOT/pve-1/@//boot/pve/vmlinuz; then
echo 'ZFS Rescue Boot ...'
linux /ROOT/pve-1/@//boot/pve/vmlinuz ro ramdisk_size=16777216 root=ZFS=rpool/ROOT/pve-1 boot=zfs
initrd /ROOT/pve-1/@//boot/pve/initrd.img
boot
else
echo 'ERROR: unable to find boot disk automatically.'
fi
fi
set root=$tmproot
}


So I am now guessing a dd the boot partition on the USB and use gparted to copy that to the external USB caddie in order to get grub to boot on my computer?
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby milomak » 2018-11-22 22:06

have you checked the drive boot order in your bios?
Desktop: iMac Late-2015 27" 5K Retina (17,1 - 3.3GHz) - MacOS and Windows 10 (Bootcamp)/ Debian Sid (External SSD)
Laptop: Lenovo ideapad Y700 [nVidia Optimus] (64-bit) - Debian Sid, Win10,
Kodi Box: AMD Athlon 5150 APU w/Radeon HD 8400 - Debian Sid
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-23 06:21

milomak wrote:have you checked the drive boot order in your bios?

Did that, updated the BIOS, tried all BIOS settings, even the ones that dont have anything to do with disks/boot order..
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby p.H » 2018-11-24 07:27

AlexL wrote:Booting from the Debian USB stick and installing it on the external USB drive caddie+SSD works, but it just wont boot on my HP Z400.
Moving that SSD into the SATA connector boots just fine.

What do you mean exactly by "it just won't boot" ?

AlexL wrote:So I installed Proxmox which is Debian Stretch with packages tacked on and had the same issue. The way I "resolved" it was to boot the Proxmox boot ISO/USB and to run "Rescue mode".

What you mean by "resolved" ? What actions did you take after booting the installer in rescue mode ?

More information is needed : EFI or legacy boot, partition layout...
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-24 11:02

p.H wrote:
AlexL wrote:Booting from the Debian USB stick and installing it on the external USB drive caddie+SSD works, but it just wont boot on my HP Z400.
Moving that SSD into the SATA connector boots just fine.

What do you mean exactly by "it just won't boot" ?

Booting from the Debian USB stick and installing it on the external USB drive caddie+SSD works, but [Debian will not boot from the USB external enclosure] on my HP Z400.

AlexL wrote:So I installed Proxmox which is Debian Stretch with packages tacked on and had the same issue. The way I "resolved" it was to boot the Proxmox boot ISO/USB and to run "Rescue mode".

What you mean by "resolved" ? What actions did you take after booting the installer in rescue mode ?

I managed to boot on the USB external enclosure by using the rescue mode in Proxmox. I also quoted the relevant lines which makes it boot, essentially it is locating the LVM partition on the SSD.

More information is needed : EFI or legacy boot, partition layout...

This is legacy BIOS boot, partition layout is the default one, nothing is customised.
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby p.H » 2018-11-24 11:29

You are repeating the same things without providing any extra information.

AlexL wrote:Debian will not boot from the USB external enclosure

Not detailed enough.
What did you do to try to make it boot ?
What happened exactly ?

AlexL wrote:I managed to boot on the USB external enclosure by using the rescue mode in Proxmox.

I don't know what the "rescue mode in Proxmox" is. Proxmox is not Debian. Is it the same as the Debian installer in rescue mode ? It does nothing by itself, so what did you do exactly ?

AlexL wrote:I also quoted the relevant lines which makes it boot

These lines are GRUB commands. Where did you put these lines ? It means that GRUB could boot. What GRUB ? The one on the external SSD or on the Proxmox installation media ?

AlexL wrote:partition layout is the default one

I don't know what "the default one" is. Please show.
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby AlexL » 2018-11-25 12:07

p.H wrote:You are repeating the same things without providing any extra information.

AlexL wrote:Debian will not boot from the USB external enclosure

Not detailed enough.
What did you do to try to make it boot ?
What happened exactly ?
Installed Debian from the installer USB, on to an SSD in an USB enclosure. This went fine but taking out the installer USB meant that GRUB wont ever get loaded on the SSD in the USB enclosure.

AlexL wrote:I managed to boot on the USB external enclosure by using the rescue mode in Proxmox.

I don't know what the "rescue mode in Proxmox" is. Proxmox is not Debian. Is it the same as the Debian installer in rescue mode ? It does nothing by itself, so what did you do exactly ?
Proxmox is Debian, with some packages and other customizations added.. I will try the Debian installer rescue mode as well to check.

AlexL wrote:I also quoted the relevant lines which makes it boot

These lines are GRUB commands. Where did you put these lines ? It means that GRUB could boot. What GRUB ? The one on the external SSD or on the Proxmox installation media ?
I was able to boot the GRUB located on the Proxmox installer media, and from there run the Rescue mode which apparently enumerates LVMs and tries to boot from them one by one.

AlexL wrote:partition layout is the default one

I don't know what "the default one" is. Please show.
Will get back with this information.
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Re: Booting from external USB caddie +SSD

Postby p.H » 2018-11-25 18:01

AlexL wrote:Installed Debian from the installer USB, on to an SSD in an USB enclosure. This went fine but taking out the installer USB meant that GRUB wont ever get loaded on the SSD in the USB enclosure.

This is not the kind of information I am expecting. Please describe what you did after the installation to boot on the USB enclosure and what happened (what was displayed and so on). Did you tprompt the firmware boot menu and select the USB enclosure ?

AlexL wrote:I was able to boot the GRUB located on the Proxmox installer media, and from there run the Rescue mode which apparently enumerates LVMs and tries to boot from them one by one.

AFAIK, the Debian installer rescue mode does not do this. It does not boot anything but the installer itself.
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