Thursday, December 4, 2014

Booting a MintBox 2 from an External, non-Blue, USB Boot Device

...Figured I should finally get around to posting an update on this:

http://computerprogrammershirt.blogspot.com/2014/02/mintbox-2-ongoing-saga.html



As a refresher, the MintBox 2 occasionally does a thing to its settings that prevent it from booting from its hard drive.  The solution to the thing may be to go into the bios settings and change the thing back to the way it's supposed to be.  I say may be because I have never seen this work.  Why?  Because the keyboard, USB, is not active until after post.

It is, quite literally, impossible to get to the bios settings.

So...  Here's my update on this.  After being sent a new MintBox 2, and using said MintBox 2 for quite some time, successfully, one night, over night, the exact same problem occurred.  Once again it was impossible to boot the Mint Box 2.  And once again, it was, and so it remains to this day, impossible to get to the bios settings.

This time, I attached an external hard drive drive and a USB thumb drive with a bootable try-it-out-first Ubuntu image.  I installed Ubuntu on the external drive and now I just run off that.  The MintBox 2 has no problem using the internal drive, it just can't boot from it.

By the way, there's an important thing to do, should one of you chimps need to do this task.  Be sure install the boot loader on your external drive and not on the internal drive, where it can't be reached.  There is a drop-down in the Ubuntu installer dialogues, advanced partition editing, that allows you to select where to install the boot loader.  It will default to the internal drive.  So change it.

Once I had this, I configured much of the software I use to shift various items to the faster internal drive, rather than the clunky old USB drive I am booting from.

Oh as an aside, the MintBox 2 has two fast USB ports on the back, with a blue color inside to indicate how much faster they are (and they are, if your USB device supports blue ports, much faster).  You can not use these to boot from.  The MintBox 2 does not activate the blue ports until after post.

Good luck.