Startup Disk Creator fails most of the times, in a number of ways; completely unreliable

Bug #1244971 reported by Teo on 2013-10-26
This bug affects 24 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
usb-creator (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Creating a bootable disk with Startup Disk Creator is a hell.
It will only succees approximately 20-30% of the times, and when it fails, it usually does after making you waste tens of minutes.

Any of the following will randomly happen (you can burn the same image on the same device several times, and you'll probably experience a a different one of these outcomes each time):

A - it works just fine
B - it gets "stuck" somewhere (usually after 50%) at "copying files": the estimated time disappears, the progress bar stops progressing, and you are left waiting forever. Even hitting "Cancel" it will hang and never close
C - After copying all files it prompts for password and then it fails to install the bootloader (the error message says something like "failed to install bootloader", withot any more specific information)
D - everything seems to complete succesfully, but when you try to boot the disk, it won't boot (see #1243387)

The worst thing of all this is that it is completely random and you usally have to waste 20 minutes waiting for it to miserably fail, and then try again.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.04
Package: usb-creator-gtk
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.8.0-31.46-generic
Uname: Linux 3.8.0-31-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.9.2-0ubuntu8.5
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sat Oct 26 15:50:39 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-10-11 (14 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Release amd64 (20130424)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: usb-creator
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Teo (teo1978) wrote :
Teo (teo1978) wrote :

I strongly suspect what actually happens in case (B) is that it fails to prompt for the administrator password, so it waits forever as if it was waiting for you to insert the password to gain root privileges.
This is just a guess, though (based on the fact that when everything works fine, you usally get the password prompt when "copying files" is apparently still midway in its progress)

Teo (teo1978) wrote :

Definitely the case as described in comment 2.
I was getting (B) systematically now, and after reboot it did prompt me for the password as expected.

I forgot one more possible outcome, however:

E - CRASHES when installing the boot loader (after taking almost as long as copying 3GB worth of files!)

Teo (teo1978) wrote :

F - when erasing disk, you get an error, something like there was no reply from somebody

Teo (teo1978) wrote :

G - when everything does work, the "installing bootloader" phase takes so damn long (without any indication whatsoever of the percentage of completion) that you may think it's stuck.
And so does the "creating etx2 filesystem in persistence file" phase.

This tool should be replaced with something else by default in Ubuntu.

For C:

the workaround is to wait before entering the password that there is no more activity in the USB drive, in may case wait until the light in the USB drive is not blinking any more.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in usb-creator (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
tr33m4n (tr33m4n) wrote :

Almost a year on and these issues still persist

MikeR (mike-rechtman) wrote :

...another year passed; no fix.

gregreen (gregreen) wrote :

This is the single greatest barrier to installing Ubuntu.

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