Cannot boot from USB Stick

  • I assembled my apu2e4 and prepared a 8GB USB-Stick (bootable, FAT) with

    1. root@alef:/mnt# ls -lF
    2. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 8388608 Aug 13 17:55 apu2_v4.14.0.3.rom*
    3. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 85 Aug 13 17:55 apu2_v4.14.0.3.SHA256*
    4. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 566 Aug 13 17:55 apu2_v4.14.0.3.SHA256.sig*
    5. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 156 Mai 15 2017*
    6. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 19839127 Aug 2 2017 core.gz*
    7. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1500 Sep 2 2016 syslinux.cfg*
    8. -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 4103744 Jul 20 2016 vmlinuz*

    So far, everything fine.

    I put the USB-Stick in one of the 2 USB slots of the APU2E4, connected the serial cable with my machine and started a screen session. Then I plug in the power and the APU2E4 starts booting:

    I press '1' to start booting from the USB-Stick, the stick's LED blinks for some seconds but it always ends up with 'Booting from Hard Disk...' :-(

    I tried 2 different USB-sticks (both 8GB).

    Should I try another one? Or am I missing some fundamental stuff?

    Thanks for any hint!



  • Hi aba,

    The USB boot issue you are observing may have various reasons. Few questions to determine the culprit:
    1. What is burned on the stick? Any BSD or Linux installer?
    2. Did you configure the serial console for the bootloader on the USB stick?

    Most of installers give an output to the VGA only, that is why you may be experiencing "nothing happens when I boot the USB stick".


  • Hi Michał

    Thanks for taking care of my issue! Here my replies:

    0. On Ubuntu I erased a 8GB USB-Stick, formatted it with F32 and made it bootable:

    1. contents of the stick (check also my 1st code block in the original message):

    Based on this FreeBSD Instructions I did:

    1. # Put the ROM files on the USB and verify
    2. mount ­t msdosfs /dev/sdb1 /mnt
    3. cd /mnt
    4. unzip .../downloads/
    5. # Extract tinyCore (ignore errors about set user) on USB /
    6. tar -xvjf .../downloads/TinyCore6.4_2017.tar.bz2

    2. Serial Console

    Using TinyCore I don't expect any VGA, so I didn't configure any special besides the Baud-rate.
    What do I have to do for VGA? Do you have any hints/links for this kind of setup?



  • Hi Andi,

    For starters, apu2 does not have integrated graphics so one cannot get VGA output on apu2.

    I recall having similar issues with extracting the TinyCore in Linux. Please note that the TinyCore instructions also require to make it bootable with syslinux (the boot flag on the partitions is not enough, syslinux will put a bootloader and MBR to the disk):
    I suspect you have missed these steps thus the stick does not boot. Some reference from syslinux wiki:…a_Bootable_USB:_For_Linux (the Linux kernel image is already inside TinyCore6.4_2017.tar.bz2 so this step may be omitted)

    if you try e.g. a pfSense image (amd64 USB memstick serial) or OPNsense image (amd64 serial), and "dd" it on the stick it will boot out-of-the-box. TinyCore is a very small and lightweight system that is typically used for BIOS updates, but it can be done with any other system actually by installing flashrom on the selected operating system.

    Best regards,