[Server-devel] 1TB drive of quality open content on XO/XS--won't boot

Braddock braddock at braddock.com
Mon May 13 08:02:53 EDT 2013

Hi James
I'm using OpenFirmware Q7B26  EC Firmware 0.4.03

I have tried turning the "boot" flag off on the NTFS partition, but it 
still dumps me to the OpenFirmware ok prompt.

I can reproduce the problem by formatting a USB stick to NTFS and trying 
to boot with it plugged in.

So it is reacting badly to the mere presence of NTFS on USB media.


On 05/12/2013 03:40 PM, James Cameron wrote:
> On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 03:44:18PM -0400, Holt wrote:
>> Is there a way to boot a large USB hard drive attached to an XO?
>> At our XS Community Sprint this week outside Toronto, we've been
>> unable to boot XOs with the 700+ GB drive(s) containing very
>> polished open content provided by http://internet-in-a-box.org
>> The XOs (eg. XO-4 etc) refuse to auto-boot, leaving the screen at
>> the OK prompt.
>> FYI our 1TB disk is a nearly complete snapshot of:
>> * Wikipedia-in-41-languages, thumbnails for most all images
>> * OpenStreetMap for the whole world cached at all zoom levels for
>> fast display
>> * Gutenberg Prjct's full collection of 40,000+ books, images
>> * Khan Academy's ~4000 video classes, etc
>> Does firmware currently block the mounting of all large USB drives
>> -- NTFS in this case if not other filesystems?
> Open Firmware tries the first partition that is marked bootable.
> Exactly what it does next depends on the firmware version, but clearly
> in your case it stops booting.
>> Might there be a workaround so isolated XO servers in Haiti (etc!)
>> can hopefully auto-boot with this quality free content?
> Turn off the bootable flag using a partitioning program, ensure you
> are using latest firmware Q7B30, and attach a serial console for
> further debugging.
> If you can tell me how to reproduce the symptom, then I'm quite sure I
> can get it fixed.  I certainly can't afford to download 700 GB or 1 TB
> to do that though.
> I'm happy to work with whoever has the drive and an XO-4.
> The nature and value of the content has no relationship to the
> diagnosis process, but is interesting regardless.

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