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Re: F8 installation in external usb disk (not USB key)

It took me a long time to get F8 booting properly from a
250GB WD MyBook USB drive. The references in this e-mail thread
are excellent, but I was plagued by a problem with the WD
drive falling asleep on me. I am using an HP dv9000z, which
has an AMD Athlon64 X2 at 2GHz, with 2 GB memory and
NVIDIA Go 6150. Ironically, it has two 80GB drives, one with
Windows XP Media Edition, and the other has openSUSE 10.2

I am planning to use the USB drive installation as a "proof of
concept" to ensure that F8 can be configured to work for me on
a day-to-day basis, and once that happens, I plan to scrap openSUSE
and install F8 on the second hard drive, and then use the USB drive
for Rawhide/F9 experimentation.

The keys to getting my USB boot working were 1.) using 'noapic',
2.) Poking a '1' into /sys/block/sda/device/scsi_disk:*/allow_restart
and 3.) adding the following entry into /etc/crontab:
* * * * * root touch /mnt/media/.stayalive; cp /mnt/media/.stayalive /mnt/media/.stayinalive

The first ('noapic') allowed me to boot my F8 installation long enough
to figure out that it alone wasn't enough to keep the WD drive from
falling asleep after 10 minutes instead of halfway through the boot process.

The second seems to help, but I applied it at the same time as I applied
the third, so I now have to experiment to see what the conclusive fix is.
The second fix didn't seem to work by itself, but I want to see if I needed
to do a reboot (or restart something) for it to be effective.

However, all of this did permit me to fully boot the installation, finish the
initial configuration procedure leftover from the installation, and then have
pup go out and get the latest updates. Note that I installed the Fedora
Unity Respin 20071218-8-x86_64, and booted it into rescue mode to
do an appropriate mkinitrd to include the necessary 'preload=' statements. I have since been able to get the latest kernel installed as
well as create an updated initrd file, and am looking forward to
completing the system configuration (e.g., ndiswrapper stuff).
At the moment, I'm still having to manually enter the various grub
commands, but I'm confident I can come up with a working menu.lst
or grub.conf file shortly.

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