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

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Sun May 12 18:40:46 EDT 2013

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.

James Cameron

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