Here I will be maintaining a quick-start / FAQ on using isostick.
Please reply to this topic if there's anything you'd like to see here, and I'll keep this post updated.
First-time use / new card setup:
Card orientation is shown here. The card must be pushed in quite far, I recommend using the rear end of another microSD card, a folded piece of paper, a coin, or similar to push it in. One push locks it in, another ejects it.
The isostick needs a couple essential files in order to do its job.
- First, update to the latest firmware using these instructions.
- Make sure your isostick is in read/write mode (red should be visible on the switch).
- The card needs a FAT32 partition, since isostick can't understand other filesystems.
The SD Formatter is recommended for cards up to 32GB, but any FAT32 format utility should work.
Note: 64GB and larger cards come formatted exFAT, see this thread for how to set those up.
- Next you need to create a folder named "config" on the card.
- Within config, place isosel.bin, which you can download here.
- Lastly, create a text file named iso_filename.txt in the config directory. For now, you can just leave it empty.
[Known issue: isostick doesn't like Unicode or UTF-8 encoding in iso_filename.txt, please use plain old ASCII / ANSI encoding until this is resolved.]
[Note: I'm working on an app for win/nix/osx to manage your ISO images and perform the above steps for you. Until that's released, you'll have to do it manually. Sorry! :suda: ]
Where do I put my ISO images?
Anywhere! You can arrange them with folders, store them however you like.
You can store regular files anywhere as well. It works just like a normal flash drive.
After your isostick is all setup, you may want to flip the switch to read-only mode (red side hidden) to keep your data safe.
[Note: Presently, the total length of the filename plus the path cannot exceed 512 characters for isostick to put it in the optical drive.]
How do I put an ISO image in the optical drive?
Open iso_filename.txt in your favorite text editor. Just put the path and filename of the image in this file, then save it. If you're on Windows, after about a minute the optical drive will eject and then reload with the new image, no further effort required.
There are a few things to be aware of, however:
- Use forward slash '/' as a folder separator, like in *nix. For example: /os/win/win7.iso
- The leading slash may be omitted, so this is the same as the above: os/win/win7.iso
- The maximum length of the filename plus the path cannot exceed 512 characters.
- Make sure your text editor saves the file as plain old ASCII, not Unicode or anything else.
Known issue: On MacOS X and some Linux distros, you may have to eject the flash drive, then unplug and plug the isostick back in to see the new image. A fix for this is in the works and will be in a future firmware update.
What's isosel? How do I use it?
Isosel is a boot menu, similar to grub or lilo. It looks like this. To use it, simply boot from your isostick's optical drive -- not the flash drive!
Clarification: There is no need to put multiple iso filenames in iso_filename.txt, the firmware will traverse the card looking for iso files on its own.
When isosel shows up: Isosel will show up every other boot. For example: isosel shows up, you pick an image, the machine reboots - this time booting the chosen image. On the next boot, you'll see isosel again.
There is one catch: You must have a bootable image loaded in the drive. If no image is loaded, or the loaded image is not bootable, isosel will not show up. I am investigating ways around this.
A few other things to be aware of with isosel:
- isosel can't see images where the length of the filename plus the path exceeds 246 characters.
- Only the first 80 characters of the image filename are shown (filenames >80 chars work, but you will only see the first 80 in isosel).
- isosel only looks 10 folders deep, beyond that it gives up. So, if your iso is at /0/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11.iso, isosel can't see it!
- At present, isosel stores your choice in isostick's internal flash, not the microSD card.
This means iso_filename.txt may not show the currently-loaded image. Any changes to iso_filename.txt, however, will change the image as you would expect. A future update will allow isosel to store its choice to iso_filename.txt if the microSD card is writable.
I'm still stuck! / Where do I send bug reports and feature requests?
First of all, try unplugging the isostick, reseating the card, then plugging it back in. If that doesn't work, keep reading:
You can use the forums here, or contact us directly at email@example.com
In general, if you're reporting a bug or compatibility issue (e.g.: isostick made my ThinkPad T61p burst into flames), I would prefer it be sent to the support email -- it will open a ticket which I can associate with bugs/feature requests in our bug tracker.
Feature requests go here: http://reboot.pro/forum/135/ so the community can weigh in on them.
Please reply below if there's anything you'd like clarified, added, or if you've got any suggestions -- I'm new at this!