Problem Installing CentOS 6.4/6.5 From USB Stick Seen As HDD By BIOS

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I’m trying to install C6.5 on a USB stick (created using Fedora LiveUSB Creator).

The problem is the machine using an Intel ITX board sets the USB stick as a HDD instead of a CDROM. During install, the DVD couldn’t find the installer automatically and I must choose the HDD option for it to proceed to network/timezone/storage setup.

After the storage partitioning, it will throw an error that it is unable to read package metadata. Although there is an option to edit the repo information, there isn’t an option to specify a hard disk.

Switching to console, attempts to mount /dev/sdb as /dev/cdrom or
/mnt/sr0 met with failure because the USB drive is in use.

Previously I used 6.4 and downloaded 6.5 thinking it might just be an issue with 6.4 but both failed at the same point. There doesn’t appear to be anybody else who encounter the same problem on a quick google.

Is this considered a bug with anaconda or is there some kind of workaround such as forcing the system to mount /dev/sdb as cdrom despite already being mounted/busy?

6 thoughts on - Problem Installing CentOS 6.4/6.5 From USB Stick Seen As HDD By BIOS

  • I’m trying to install C6.5 on a USB stick (created using Fedora LiveUSB Creator).

    The problem is the machine using an Intel ITX board sets the USB stick as a HDD instead of a CDROM. During install, the DVD couldn’t find the installer automatically and I must choose the HDD option for it to proceed to network/timezone/storage setup.

    After the storage partitioning, it will throw an error that it is unable to read package metadata. Although there is an option to edit the repo information, there isn’t an option to specify a hard disk.

    Switching to console, attempts to mount /dev/sdb as /dev/cdrom or
    /mnt/sr0 met with failure because the USB drive is in use.

    Previously I used 6.4 and downloaded 6.5 thinking it might just be an issue with 6.4 but both failed at the same point. There doesn’t appear to be anybody else who encounter the same problem on a quick google.

    Is this considered a bug with anaconda or is there some kind of workaround such as forcing the system to mount /dev/sdb as cdrom despite already being mounted/busy?

  • Anaconda should be more robust, in my opinion… when it gives the
    ‘cannot find file’ error, it should offer a ‘retry’ option instead of just crashing out and requiring the user to start the install over from the beginning.

  • I wonder if you are using the full install dvd image, it expects to look for the install files off a cd/dvd. I know the netinstall image asks where you want to load the install image (and the rest)
    from, be it a drive, network partition, or web thingie. Maybe, if for some reason the install gets confused, it should pop that menu since it is coded already.

  • Yes, basic desktop install, so DVD2 is not asked for… it crashed the same way whether burnt/run to/from DVD or dd’d/booted to/from a USB stick.

  • For some odd reason, my current attempt to do this had no problem mounting the install USB drive. Which then led me to realize that the problem is something else.

    After figuring out where anaconda keeps log, I found that the error isn’t that it couldn’t find the drive. Rather, it couldn’t find the file:

    media/repodata/0dafccfdbf892f02acca8267ade4bdcee7280a682e65dc7e29145f3341fd7a8c-primary.sqlite.bz2

    (the target machine doesn’t have network so there might be typo in the filename due to manual copy)

    listing the USB drive shows that the repodata directory has the file BUT missing the -primary.sqlite.bz2 extension. In fact, none of the human-unfriendly file names have any extension. In case it was an error transferrring the ISO to USB, I checked the ISO and found that the repodata directory appears the same.

    In comparison, browsing online mirrors such as http://ftp.linux.ncsu.edu/pub/CentOS/6.5/os/x86_64/repodata/ shows all the similar looking files have extensions.

    But the ISO’s md5/sha1 checksums are correct.

    Based on the information in TRANS.TBL, I added the extensions to the files and anaconda was able to proceed to the package selection.

    I will start a new email to check if there is a problem with the ISO on mirrors.

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