Here’s a tip we learned this week while working on a project for Rondee. We’ve been using a great USB-Key based Linux distribution called pendrivelinux — search it on Google to find it.
Anyway, there’s a common problem that comes up with Dell laptops, namely that if you try to boot to the first partition (/dev/sda1), all you get is a blinking cursor in the top left of the screen when you try to boot.
The solution is to put your entire boot filesystem on the /dev/sda drive, without any partitions. But, with pendrivelinux, this presents another problem. Unfortunately, it won’t boot fully when you do this. The solution is as follows:
Download the pendrivelinux filesystem. Retrieve the initrd.gz file from it, unzip it using gunzip and mount that file using “mount -o loop”. Next, edit the linuxrc file in the root of that filesystem. Search for the following line of code:
“for usb_device in /dev/sd[a-h][0-2]; do”
After this block of code, which ends at “done”, insert the following:
for usb_device in /dev/sd[a-h]; do
if [ -e "$usb_device" ]; then
Now it should boot just fine.