Mepis OnTheGo disk selection dialog is blank

Q I am trying to create an 'OnTheGo' disk from the Live distro version of SimplyMepis 6.0, but the disk selection box remains blank with no options offered. I have tried:

  • Booting with the USB Flash drive in place, then mounting it.
  • Inserting it after the computer has booted, then mounting it.
  • Logging on as both 'demo' and 'root' .
  • Both an Advent 2GB and a Huke 512MB USB2 drive.

I know that the drive has been successfully mounted because I am able to save files to it - I have dragged and dropped the selection of background pictures supplied, and they are still there after a hard reboot. My computer is about six years old; it's a Pentium 3 with Windows 98SE installed and a USB2 PCI card as an upgrade. My only experience with Linux is with the Live distros on magazine coverdiscs over the past few months. As a Linux newbie I am at a loss as to what else to try.

A You have to be logged in as root to set up OnTheGo, and the USB device must not be mounted. After logging in as root, plug in the device. If the KDE dialog pops up asking you what you want to do, select Do Nothing. If the disc automounts, use KwikDisk from the Kicker panel to unmount it or type unmount /dev/sda1 in a terminal. Do not use the Safely Remove option from the disc's icon as this also removes the device's node in /dev, rendering it unavailable to the installer. Now run Mepis Utilities - select the option to create an OnTheGo disc and your drive should be available, most likely as sda.

Once the process is complete, remove the USB disc (there's no need to unmount it) and select Log Out from the K menu, followed by End Current Session. When the login screen appears, plug in the USB disc, wait ten seconds for it to be detected and log in with a username and password of 'onthego' If you created OnTheGo with encryption, you will be asked for the encryption password later. The OnTheGo disc only contains your personal data, which can be encrypted; you still need to boot from the Mepis CD. On the other hand, you won't run into any of the problems booting from a USB device mentioned in Linux On A Stick, and you can copy the .onthego.iso file to a different USB disc if you wish.

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