Ubuntu, Acer laptop and pendrive combination problems.

  WhiteTruckMan 20:39 PM 20 Oct 12

My daughter finds that she needs occasional access to ubuntu, so after much thought the best option seems to be to have a bootable usb memory stick for the laptop. The memory stick is a verbatim 32G pinstripe we actually got 2, and have the same problem with both so we can rule out a faulty sticks.

The laptop is an acer aspire 5732z

ubuntu is v 12.04.

when the acer is running windows it has no problems with the 32g memory. but when we try booting from it, things go to pieces. it started with the screen not lighting up after selecting try without installing. We got round this by adding acpi=off to the appropriate kernel, but then the wireless refused to turn on (even though we could see it turning on before). we managed to get round this by adding nomodeset to the kernel. All this on a different model acer laptop. but on my daughters machine the boot is erratic, and very slow if it happens at all. The exact same ubuntu installation on a 1 gig usb stick us fine. Fast and stable, but it doesnt leave much room to work with.

It's almost as if the 3 arent compatable in the same mix.

Suggestions, anyone?


  rdave13 21:49 PM 20 Oct 12

I run Mint occasionally via DVD and not installing. Works ok. Just thinking that your 1 gig flash drive might be NTFS while the other sticks are Fat32. Check what they are formatted to.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:59 PM 20 Oct 12

Thanks rdave, but they are all fat32


  rdave13 22:12 PM 20 Oct 12

Try formatting one of the 32 gig flash drives to NTFS. No point in having a drive that size in the Fat system. Worth a try.

  WhiteTruckMan 22:33 PM 20 Oct 12

Will ubuntu workin a NTFS enviroment? I didnt think it would.


  rdave13 22:48 PM 20 Oct 12

As you are only booting to linux (LIVE) and not installing then it should be better as NTFS. Couple of links,


another link.

  LastChip 01:25 AM 21 Oct 12

Why are you using Microsoft file systems for Linux?

For a start, FAT32 has a file limitation of 4GB, so that would no doubt potentially cause problems. NTFS is supported to a degree, but is far from ideal. You should be using ext3, ext4 or one of the other major Linux file systems.

If you want to still, use the USB stick for Windows, format (say) 16GB for Linux and the remainder for Windows.

The way to check this out is to burn a Ubuntu iso to a DVD and try booting the system from this. If all is well, one can conclude it is an issue with the USB stick, the way it has been formatted, or the machine itself.

UNetbootin is the de-facto application to produce workable USB sticks and I've never had a problem when using it. If you're not familiar with it, I suggest you check it out.

  bluesbrother 04:38 AM 21 Oct 12

I used to love Ubuntu, until 12.04. I spent ages trying to get it to run on a USB with no success. The same problem as you, a blank screen. The only way I could get it to run on my laptop was by using Wubi

Windows installer for Ubuntu Desktop

  WhiteTruckMan 12:17 PM 21 Oct 12

I think I've made some kind of progress. First off I reformatted the 32g drive as ntfs. Then I remade it as a bootable drive using an XP machine and unetbootin. When I tried to use it on the acer machine intended it simply hung on first power on, at the acer splash screen.

So next i re created the bootable part using create a bootable drive in a machine with an existing ubuntu permanant installation. Then Manually edited the config file to add nomodeset, to cure the lack of screen lighting. (not a problem if an external monitor is used, but we are talking about a laptop screen).

Result was booted fine, screen lit up ok, and had wifi too. So far so good. Shut down ok too.

However, simply would not restatrt again, hanging up on the acer screen again.

On a hunch I remade the bootable drive from the ubuntu machine, and again it started ok. Then instead of shutting down, I simply closed all programs and hit the power button.

On restart, all is fine. The implication is that the shutdown process is modifying or re-writing something that it preventing a subsequent boot.


  T0SH 12:36 PM 21 Oct 12

Use this utility to make a bootable usb stick with Ubunto


You will need it formatted in fat though

the easiest method I find is to use Easeus partition master, the free edition, but there are lots more options

Cheers HC

  T0SH 12:40 PM 21 Oct 12

Opps sorry just read your latest post

Cheers HC


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