Using a Live USB Stick, I failed to install Ubuntu (or Xubuntu, tried both) to the microSD card of the GIZMO 2. The installation would finish successfully, but afterwards it was impossible to boot from it. So I bought a 32GB mSATA SSD for testing …
Live USB Stick
Creating the Live USB stick was the easy part.
First, I downloaded the Ubuntu Desktop version *.iso from their website: Download Ubuntu Desktop
Then, I “burned” the *.iso file on a USB stick, as if it were a CD. These are the steps I performed:
1) list the available disks to ensure the correct one is used
Fredericks-Air:Downloads fvan1$ sudo diskUtil list /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *251.0 GB disk0 1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_CoreStorage 250.1 GB disk0s2 3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3 /dev/disk1 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD *249.8 GB disk1 Logical Volume on disk0s2 5642627E-CEC4-458D-AB8D-376EF3FB568C Unencrypted /dev/disk2 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: FDisk_partition_scheme *8.0 GB disk2 1: DOS_FAT_32 UNTITLED 8.0 GB disk2s1
2) unmount the disk to be used
Fredericks-Air:Downloads fvan1$ sudo diskUtil unmountDisk /dev/disk2 Unmount of all volumes on disk2 was successful
3) write the *.iso file to the disk
Fredericks-Air:Downloads fvan1$ sudo dd if=ubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/disk2 bs=1 1028653056+0 records in 1028653056+0 records out 1028653056 bytes transferred in 2770.850314 secs (371241 bytes/sec)
Everything went well, and I now had a bootable Ubuntu USB stick.
As mentioned in the introduction, I bought a 32GB for testing. No mounting screws were provided with the SSD or the Gizmo2, so I improvised a little.
The SSD needs to be inserted at an angle and then pulled down to be mounted in parallel to the Gizmo2.
By default, the Gizmo2 should boot from the SSD. Using “F12” at startup, you can then select another boot option.
But for some reason, mine booted directly off the USB stick. I didn’t realise it at that moment, so I proceeded with the Ubuntu installation wizard. Only briefly though, as it was stating there was not enough space to install. For some reason, the SSD was not detected. Why?
I started going through the user guide again, thinking I might have to do something to switch between miniPCIe or mSATA mode and found the following:
Should I conclude my SSD is non-compliant ?
In an attempt to get my SSD detected, I decided to go ahead and remove resistor “R1”. The resistor is clearly indicated on the board with a white arrow pointing to it.
The resistor is tiny! I’ve never worked with something so tiny before, so it was a bit scary to do. I heated up the soldering iron, put a little bit of extra solder to get everything hot, and the resistor came loose very easily. Pfiew!
Took some pictures to give you an idea of just how small the resistor is (the USB microscope I got for Christmas finally came in handy!):
With the resistor removed, I booted the Gizmo2 keeping my fingers crossed while pressing “F12”. And there it was … the SSD was detected!
Using the installation wizard, Ubuntu was installed successfully on the SSD and I was able to boot from it (unlike the microSD card). Hooray!
A little bit trickier than expected, but I finally got my SSD detected and managed to install a different operating system on it.
I would suggest following improvements though:
- to have a little jumper to enable/disable resistor “R1” instead of having to solder/desolder it
- include some mounting screws for miniPCIe/mSATA devices
On to the next adventure with the Gizmo2!