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

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Thu May 16 01:24:57 EDT 2013

Thanks for your help on this problem.

This is fixed in firmware now, and should be in the next release.

The Open Firmware disk partition handler was reporting success despite
the NTFS filesystem not being supported.  This led the boot process to
try to load from the partition without any filesystem driver.  This in
turn led to boot failure.

Now, when there is no support for a filesystem the disk will be
skipped and the normal boot process will continue.

Whoever has the XO-4 and an NTFS USB drive can test with the
development firmware build mentioned in

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 10:58:40AM -0700, Braddock wrote:
> Hi James,
> I flew home from the XS-CE hackathon yesterday so unfortunately no
> longer have an XO-4 to test with.  So I can't create you a
> known-broken USB image of reasonable size.
> I formatted the 8GB USB stick to NTFS under Linux using gparted (so
> mkfs.ntfs I presume).  The fdisk -l is below.  I did not touch or
> add any files to the partition after formatting.
> The Seagate Wireless Plus USB harddrive which also had the boot
> problem had an NTFS partition formatted at the factory, but was
> later resized by me using gparted.
> sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdd
> Disk /dev/sdd: 8004 MB, 8004829184 bytes
> 1 heads, 16 sectors/track, 977152 cylinders, total 15634432 sectors
> Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
> Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
> Disk identifier: 0x000d606e
>    Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
> /dev/sdd1            2048    15634431     7816192    7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
> On 05/13/2013 03:13 PM, James Cameron wrote:
> >Thanks!
> >
> >I acknowledge the boot flag removal did nothing.  This points me away
> >from the part of Open Firmware that recognises that flag.
> >
> >I'm sure I can fix it as soon as I can duplicate the problem.  But
> >I've been unable to duplicate, possibly because I don't have the same
> >NTFS software as you.
> >
> >I'd like to check the partitioning as well as the filesystem, because
> >Open Firmware tries both in sequence.  It might be reacting to the
> >partition table rather than the filesystem.  For that I will need a
> >disk image, but as small as possible because I'm quite remote.
> >
> >Could you please pick the smallest USB available drive you have, (1)
> >erase it thoroughly, (2) format it to NTFS in the way you usually do,
> >without adding any files, then (3) prepare an image, (4) compress it
> >with gzip or zip, (5) check that the USB drive does cause the problem
> >still, and (6) provide me with a link to download?
> >
> >If anybody else has the time to do this, feel free to contribute.
> >
> >I've raised a ticket to track the problem:
> >http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/12678
> >
> >Some suggestions for capturing the image:
> >
> >1.  to erase a USB drive thoroughly, using Open Firmware,
> >see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Forth_Lesson_23#erase_a_device
> >or in Linux use "sudo cat /dev/zero > /dev/YOUR_DEVICE" where YOUR_DEVICE
> >is the name that Linux has chosen for it,
> >
> >2.  (no suggestion),
> >
> >3.  to prepare an image on Linux, use "sudo cat /dev/YOUR_DEVICE > image",
> >
> >4.  to compress, use "gzip image",
> >
> >5.  checking it after making the image ensures that any changes made
> >accidentally by Open Firmware are not included in the image,
> >
> >6.  attaching the image to the ticket may be helpful if you don't have
> >any public place to leave it.
> >
> >(and a comment, the support for NTFS in OLPC OS kernel is not
> >pertinent to the problem I wish to solve.)
> >

James Cameron

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