Installation does not include USB drive in list of Partition Disks

  • Hi,

    I am struggling to install OMV 3.x from openmediavault_3.0.86-amd64.iso onto a USB drive, which will become the boot device for my DIY NAS. But when the install process gets to the point of selecting a drive onto which OMV will be installed, at the Partition Disks step of the installation, the USB drive does not appear in the list. What should I do?

    Here's some background information:


    • Motherboard: Supermicro X11SSH-F-O
    • Future boot USB drive: 16GB MX-ES brand SLC USB3.0 drive, currently formatted as FAT 32. VERY IMPORTANT: This drive will occupy USB Port 10 on the motherboard, which is a completely internal USB port designed for housing a boot USB.
    • RAM: 16 GB (2 x Crucial 8 GB DDR 4 2400 ECC #CT2K8G4WFS824A)
    • Other mass storage: 3 x 4TB WD Red SATA drives (12 TB total)

    Experience So Far

    • Initially I created an installation boot USB by copying the install iso to a USB 2.0 drive. I did this on one of my Macs using the dd command in CLI.
    • I then tried to install OMV from this drive. First I inserted the drive into one of the system's external USB 2.0 ports. Then I modified the BIOS to make USB the first choice for booting. Then I booted up the system. But after initial boot up, it just showed a blank screen and never moved from it.
    • Then I created another installation boot USB on another device. Only this time, instead of using the CLI dd command, I used the unetbootin app. Previously I had tried unsuccessfully to use this app on an iMac running OS X Yosemite; the program never initialized its main window properly. This is why I used the dd command instead. But this time I installed unetbootin on a MacBook running MacOS Sierra, and the program worked.
    • Nonetheless, when I used this installation USB drive instead of the original one, I got the same results as before: nothing but a blank screen.
    • Up until this point I had been assuming the MB would look at available USB drives and choose the one that was bootable. Now I began to think that maybe the system was just confused by two USB drives being present. So I removed the future boot USB drive from USB Port 10 and rebooted. This time the installation actually began successfully.

      • Because of this, I believe the earlier problem was not due to using dd instead of unetbootin; instead, the problem was due to having a second USB drive present at boot up.
    • But now, when I get to the Partition Disks step, the system only lists the SATA drives. Of course: initially they are the only target locations available. So I go a few steps back in the installation procedure, insert the future boot USB in Port 10, and continue the process. The drive still does not appear among the Partition Disk choices. This is where I am stuck.

    What should I do next? :(

  • Put both usb drives in usb 2.0 ports and do the install. You will probably have to select which usb drive it tries to boot from first in the bios in addition to telling it to boot from usb devices first.

    You shouldn't have any sata drives connected when installing.

    Once installed, you should be able to move the OS usb stick to the internal usb 3.0 port.

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  • Thanks. I had just came back here to say I'd solved the problem on my own. For the benefit of others, here's what I did:

    • Initially I had booted up with just the installation drive in a usb 2.0 port. Then, once the installation got to the point of listing Partition Disks, I backed up several steps to the Detect Disks step, inserted the OS usb into a 3.0 port, and retraced the steps up to partitioning the system disk. This did not work: when the installation script got to the select Partition Disks step, it only gave an error message saying there was no root partition.
    • So I rebooted the entire system with only the installation drive in a usb 2.0 port. But this time when the installation script paused for the first user input (Select Language, I think), I inserted the OS usb into an external usb 3.0 port and continued with the installation. This worked up to the point where the system tries to reboot from the newly created OS drive. I plan to finish the installation tonight.

    Disconnecting the SATA drives would have been my next step, but I was very glad I didn't have to do this. Disconnecting them would have been a real pain. I'll see what happens tonight. Thanks for the help! :D

  • for what it's worth you can pick what you're booting from with virtually any BIOS I've come across... that most likely would have solved your problem.

    I also don't think it's necessary to use a usb 3.0 port for the OS usb drive, I have just switched from 3.0 to 2.0 and notice virtually no difference when doing things like apt-get update.

    Don't forget to install the omv-extras and get the flash memory plugin running.

  • Thanks, drinks.

    The problem I had is that my BIOS only allows choosing boot order, with USB being one of several choices for the first item in the boot sequence. But I had two USB devices connected to the system, and the BIOS isn't smart enough to figure out which one to use as the boot device. (This is on a Supermicro X11SSH-F MB). I had assumed it would be smart enough to use the bootable USB, but it wasn't. IIRC, the motherboard has 10 USB ports, and AFAIK there's no way to specify individual USB ports in the boot order.

    Also, what you say about 3.0 vs 2.0 makes sense. Very likely the OS kernel plus a few frequently used services are loaded into RAM at boot time. So once the system boots, there's not much i/o on the boot drive that would affect performance.

    But I'm using a MX-Technology 16GB MX-ES 3.0 USB drive because its memory is SLC NAND and therefore more reliable than the cheaper MLC technology. For the slight cost premium, this seems a worthwhile tradeoff for a system drive. Besides, the MB has one internal USB port, intended for hosting a boot device, and it happens to be 3.0. Since the device is 3.0 anyway, there's really no other choice but 3.0. But any speed improvement from using 3.0 is just coincidental: SLC NAND is the reason for using the device, which just happens to be 3.0.

    Nonetheless, I've got the flash memory plugin running too. Over-engineering is the way to go.

    Edited once, last by Swampy: Clarifed reason for using a USB 3.0 SLC device. ().

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