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How To Fix SYSLINUX Message and Boot Linux from USB or CD

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In this article, we will explore how to fix the SYSLINUX message and boot Linux from a USB or CD. This is a common issue faced by many users attempting to boot from a USB or CD.

Quick Answer

To fix the SYSLINUX message and boot Linux from a USB or CD, you can try selecting the "nomodeset" option in kernel settings, adjusting BIOS settings to prioritize the USB or CD, verifying the integrity of the ISO file, formatting the USB as FAT32, removing the U3 partition (if applicable), using tools like mkusb, Unetbootin, or the dd command, changing boot mode in BIOS settings, or using Rufus instead of UltraISO.

Understanding the SYSLINUX Message

SYSLINUX is a suite of lightweight IBM PC MBR bootloaders for starting up computers with the Linux kernel. When you encounter a SYSLINUX message, it usually means there’s an issue with the booting process.

Common Solutions to SYSLINUX Message

Here are some of the most common solutions to resolve the SYSLINUX message:

1. Select “nomodeset” in Kernel Settings

When booting from the USB or CD, try selecting the “nomodeset” option. This disables the mode setting feature for your graphics card, which can sometimes cause issues with the boot process.

2. Adjust BIOS Settings

Ensure that your BIOS is set up to boot from the USB or CD. You can usually access the BIOS by pressing a specific key (like F2, F12, or Del) during startup. Once in the BIOS, navigate to the boot options and make sure the USB or CD is prioritized.

3. Verify the Integrity of the ISO File

Check the integrity of your ISO file by verifying the MD5SUM. You can do this with the md5sum command in Linux:

md5sum /path/to/your/file.iso

This command will output a hash that should match the one provided by the ISO distributor. If they don’t match, your ISO file may be corrupted and you should download it again.

4. Format the USB as FAT32

If you’re using a USB, try formatting it as FAT32 instead of NTFS. You can do this with the mkfs.vfat command in Linux:

sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdX

Replace “X” with the letter representing your USB drive. Be careful with this command, as it will erase all data on the specified drive.

Advanced Solutions

If the common solutions don’t work, here are some more advanced options:

1. Remove U3 Partition

If you’re using a SanDisk USB stick, you might need to remove the U3 partition. SanDisk provides a tool for this on their website.

2. Use mkusb Tool

The mkusb tool can help create a bootable USB. It has been successful in resolving similar issues. You can install it with the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mkusb

3. Use Unetbootin or dd Command

You can also use Unetbootin or the dd command to create the bootable USB. The dd command in Linux can be used as follows:

sudo dd if=/path/to/your/file.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M

Again, replace “X” with the letter representing your USB drive. This command will write the ISO file directly to the USB drive.

4. Change Boot Mode

For some laptops, like the HP EliteBook, you may need to change the boot mode from “Legacy” to “UEFI” in the BIOS settings.

5. Use Rufus Instead of UltraISO

If you’re using UltraISO to create the bootable USB, try using Rufus instead. Rufus may download missing files automatically, which can help resolve the SYSLINUX message.

Remember, these solutions are not one-size-fits-all. You may need to try different methods or consult relevant documentation or forums for further assistance.

What does the SYSLINUX message mean?

The SYSLINUX message usually indicates an issue with the booting process when trying to start up a computer with the Linux kernel.

How can I fix the SYSLINUX message?

There are several common solutions you can try to resolve the SYSLINUX message. These include selecting the "nomodeset" option in kernel settings, adjusting BIOS settings to prioritize the USB or CD, verifying the integrity of the ISO file, and formatting the USB as FAT32 instead of NTFS.

How can I select the “nomodeset” option in kernel settings?

To select the "nomodeset" option, you need to access the boot menu during startup. When booting from the USB or CD, look for an option to edit the kernel settings. Add "nomodeset" at the end of the line that starts with "linux" or "boot". Then proceed with the boot process.

How do I adjust the BIOS settings to boot from a USB or CD?

To adjust the BIOS settings, restart your computer and look for the specific key to access the BIOS. This key is often F2, F12, or Del, but it can vary depending on the manufacturer. Once in the BIOS, navigate to the boot options and ensure that the USB or CD is set as the first boot priority.

How can I verify the integrity of the ISO file?

To verify the integrity of the ISO file, you can use the md5sum command in Linux. Open a terminal and enter the command md5sum /path/to/your/file.iso. The command will generate a hash. Compare this hash with the one provided by the ISO distributor. If they match, the ISO file is intact. If they don’t match, the file may be corrupted and you should download it again.

How do I format a USB as FAT32?

To format a USB as FAT32 in Linux, you can use the mkfs.vfat command. Open a terminal and enter the command sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdX, replacing "X" with the letter representing your USB drive. Keep in mind that this command will erase all data on the specified drive, so make sure to back up any important files before formatting.

What if the common solutions don’t work?

If the common solutions don’t work, there are some more advanced options you can try. These include removing the U3 partition if you’re using a SanDisk USB stick, using the mkusb tool to create a bootable USB, using Unetbootin or the dd command to write the ISO file to the USB, changing the boot mode from "Legacy" to "UEFI" in the BIOS settings for certain laptops, or using Rufus instead of UltraISO to create the bootable USB.

Are these solutions guaranteed to work for everyone?

These solutions are not guaranteed to work for everyone as the issue could be specific to your system or hardware. It’s important to try different methods and consult relevant documentation or forums for further assistance if needed.

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