A Tale Of Two USB Pen Drives

nacho Lariguet lariguet at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 13:18:15 PDT 2020

On Fri, 18 Sep 2020 21:02:51 +0200
Alexander Shendi <Alexander.Shendi at web.de> wrote:

> Dear list,
> so yesterday I decided to try out Dragonfly BSD. So I booted OpenBSD 6.8-beta on my trusty Lenovo Thinkpad X220 and promptly downloaded the 5.8.1 release memstick image. I then used dd(1) to copy it to /dev/rsd1c and rebooted. I rejoiced that the image booted but was dismayed that it asked me to specify the root fs. Choices of da0 da0s4 and da8 were displayed. By subsequent use of "lsdev -v" at the boot prompt I determined that "da8" probably was the correct choice, with da0s4 being the OpenBSD partition, which I wanted to leave alone.
> Use of "ufs:da8", "hammer2:da8", "ffs:da8" all gave an error reading sector 0 of the device.
> I thought that the pen drive might be defective and went to town to buy another one. That didn't help. Neither did using the current snapshot help.
> I'm now at loss what to do. I like challenges and simply using the working OpenBSD installation won't do.
> I would be grateful for any help, or pointers to any dics that I can RTFM. TIA.
> Best Regards,
> /Alexander 

I hit the same issue last month: all of my Kingston DataTraveller G3s (and I got a lot of them) left me at the boot prompt with the same message asking me to specify the location of the file-system. (see my attached image)

At first I suspected bad firmware on the Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny M715q I was attempting to boot into (from my experience IBM and Lenovo being the worst uEFI implementations I ever seen, full of bugs), but, after a while, it seemed evident it was not the firmware since every other liveCD I throwed at the machine booted flawlessly, that including even pfSense and, of course, many linux distros.

Try the following: when it asks for the fs and you don't see your drive listed, wait a couple of minutes (2+ minutes of my Lenovo) and probably you'll see kernel messages showing the drive detected after a while, at this point enter ? again and you'll see your boot drive (the USB key) listed, from then on, it is straightforward to boot the liveCD.

It is like the USB keys are not properly detected sometimes, or, detected but the kernel waits for something to complete, or whatever.

FYI: even after successfully installing dragonFlyBSD I came across the same issue every time I insert a Kingston USB key. I encounter this issue in uEFI mode, I don't now right now if it also pops up booting in BIOS mode.
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