Monday, December 15, 2008

Still trying to get Syllable onto the EeePC

Today was adventurous. This always means I learned a lot. Of course, learning a lot does not imply that it was completely pleasant learning.
First, having discovered that I needed to set up the Grub inside of Syllable as well as Ubuntu's Grub (on MBR) to get it to look in the right place (/dev/sdb7 or (hd1,6)), I tried again to install Syllable 0.6.6 to an image of my /dev/sdb7 partition using the following steps:

1. On EeePC:

Desktop $ sudo dd if=/dev/sdb7 of=eeepc.img

2. From EeePC :
Desktop $ scp eeepc.img

3. On Dell (with Syllable 0.6.6 ISO in CD drive and eeepc.img on the Desktop
sudo qemu -hda /home/paul/Desktop/eeepc.img -m 128 -cdrom /dev/scd0 -boot d

4. Towards the end of the install (takes about 30 mins through QEmu -- unaccelerated)
4.1 Change /boot/grub/menu.lst to mirror which partition Syllable is installed to

4.2 Install Grub either to the partition (p) or to the image MBR (m)

5. From Dell :
Desktop $ scp eeepc.img

6. On EeePC:
Desktop $ sudo dd if=eeepc.img of=/dev/sdb7

Now, it was time to try to boot to Syllable from Ubuntu's Grub menu.
Unfortunately, in neither case did it work. Here's what happened:
1. With Grub installed to the eeepc.img "partition (p)", boot failed with a message saying this disk was not bootable.
2. With Grub installed to the eeepc.img BR (m), boot message was "Error 15" and no more.

In addition, some observations I made seem to suggest that this install did not go as planned:
a) On the EeePC, after the install I could mount /dev/sdb7 once I set its FS as VFAT in /etc/fstab (even though the first step in the install is to format the partition as AFS
b) When mounted, running "df -h" shows this partition to have 159 MB installed. But Syllable takes up about 240 MB
c) When I "ls" in a terminal on the mountpoint of /dev/sdb7, absolutely nothing shows up. Were this truly Syllable, a large number of folders should be visible.
d) In a Grub terminal, running "find /boot/grub/stage1" does not bring up (hd1,6)
e) In a Grub terminal, typing
rootnoverify (hd1,6)
chainloader +1

does not error out but equally doesn't boot. Just goes back to Grub prompt.

Not only that but, in each case, Parted Magic (usb-key) could not open fully -- just kept interminably "scanning all devices"
So, looks like this exercise truly messed up this one partition but, luckily, everything else stayed intact.

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