Installer won't load on Asus ZenBook Flip

Hi all,

I’m a long time Linux user (mostly Debian and Fedora with a sprinkling of CentOS, Debian-derived stuff and some other weird distros) but I’m just getting started with Manjaro. I spent a looooong time last night trying to install Manjaro on my machine, but the installer just won’t boot whatever I do.

So, the specifics:
I have a 2023 ZenBook Flip with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i7 which I’m trying to install Manjaro onto (Gnome). I downloaded the Full version and wrote it to a flash drive but the machine wouldn’t boot from it at all - it didn’t even recognize it as bootable media. After much head-bashing I discovered that this laptop simply won’t boot from that USB key, no matter what distro I put on there. Strange, but fine.

So I grab another key and write the ISO to that one… now it finds the EFI partition and booting begins and now I have an isolinux menu. Woohoo! But that’s relatively short-lived as now I have a new problem, the installer won’t fully load and I get dumped into a root terminal with the following error:

mount: /run/miso/sfs/desktopfs: wrong fs type, bad option, bad super block on /dev/loop2, missing codepage or helper program or other error.
       dmesg(1) might have more information after failed mount system call.
ERROR: Failed to mount '/dev/loop2'
   Falling back to interactive prompt
   You can try to fix the problem manually, log out when you are finished

dmesg isn’t much help:

[rootfs ~]# dmesg|tail
[...] loop1: detected capacity change from 0 to 2208016
[...] loop2: detected capacity change from 0 to 3584592
[...] ISOFS: Unable to identify CD-ROM format

At this point I assumed the download was faulty, so I run sha256sum but all good. I tried another USB key… but I got the same error. So it’s not the USB key and it’s not the image. Even so, I downloaded the minimal image and gave that a shot, but it doesn’t work either - same error.

So, I tried manually mounting the loopback device:

mount /dev/loop2 /run/miso/sfs/desktopfs

I get the same error (wrong fs type) as the initial error. Looking at the output of mount it looks like it should be squashfs, so I tried mounting with -t squashfs but it doesn’t make any difference.

Thinking it might be dd not flushing properly (even though I’m using sudo sync I installed Ventoy and dropped the ISO on, but that does exactly the same thing.

Never having considered it might be the machine, I decided to try booting my Surface Book 3 with the USB key and that works perfectly. So, it seems there’s something about the ZenBook. I’ve been through the firmware on the ZenBook - it’s set to UEFI mode, fastboot is disabled and Secure Boot is disabled. Everything else is at defaults. Other distros (including Arch) boot and install just fine!

In a final attempt, I downloaded a release from a year back (hoping that whatever the issue is now doesn’t affect an older release of the installer) but I get exactly the same error.

I’m totally out of ideas at this point, so I’m hoping someone has some suggestions so I can begin my Manjaro journey!

Hi @gilphilbert and welcome to the Manjaro community.

bad super block, wrong fs type, bad option... typically indicates an issue with the filesystem - at face value, it seems that you’re consistently writing bad USB Installers.

You could try writing the ISO to a DVD instead.

Or, consider creating a Ventoy USB;
I would normally give more information here by way of explanation, however, I’m running a little short on time:

1. Install Ventoy:

sudo pacman -S ventoy

2. Obtain a new empty USB drive - minimum 8GB (32GB might be preferable for reasons that will become obvious).

3. Insert the USB drive, and find it’s location in the device tree (/dev/sdXY).

4. This is the command I would use for creating the Ventoy USB:

sudo sh ventoy -i -r 100 -S -g -L VOLUME /dev/sdX
  • Enable -s or disable -S Secure Boot.
  • Substitute VOLUME for a volume label name to use.
  • Substitute /dev/sdX for the location of your USB device.
  • Preserve some space on the target device (example allows 100mb).

5. Download your (full) ISO; verify that the checksum matches; Using the torrent option (if available for your ISO) by it’s very nature might be a better choice if your usual download method is failing.

6. Here’s the part that’s makes this process unique; Copy/Drag the ISO to the Ventoy USB; Now, boot your machine using the Ventoy USB, and select the ISO from the menu that is presented.

That’s it. Good luck.

A little housekeeping…

As a new user, please take some time to familiarise yourself with Forum requirements; in particular, the many ways to use the forum to your benefit. To that end, some or all these links will be invaluable:

And last, but not least, the Stable Update Announcements, which you should check frequently for important update related information. Occasionally an issue might be directly related to a particular update; it’s always best to check those announcements.

I hope this helps. Cheers.

Thanks, I appreciate the input!

I’ve tried three different USB drives (one of which is only a few days old!) and I’ve tried the Ventoy approach as well (see above). The odd thing is that the same USB drive with the Manjaro installer written to it works perfectly on another machine - it only seems to be this one that doesn’t work.

I’ll try buying a new smaller USB key and re-download and give it one more shot.

Usually incomplete ISO or faulty write to disk

You can try the following tool to get the ISO - and mind this - we are very close to a new ISO - so use the --review option with the script.

OK, some more hair pulling and… success!

I tried a fresh download, new writer and still the same thing. Then, I had a brainwave… check out the checksum of the .sfs files in the manjaro directory of the flash drive. When I put the flash drive into my Surfacebook, the checksums match, but when I boot from the drive, they don’t. That doesn’t make sense. I looked at the mount points… it’s mounting /dev/nvm0n1p1 as the install media… but that’s my internal NVMe drive. Huh? I have Arch installed on there at the moment, so a quick wipe (dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=100M count=100) a reboot and… success!

So I don’t know why, but it was mounting the internal NVMe drive instead of the USB drive during boot and the files obviously weren’t right. Wipe the internal drive and now it’s detecting the correct install medium and boots into the installer.

Strange but true. Thanks for the support :slight_smile:

That can happen is one unpack the ISO to a FAT32 formatted stick - and use EFI boot - that won’t work.

The Rufus developer had to specifically code Rufus to use dd mode when a Manjaro ISO is detected.

Besides Ventoy - using dd to write the ISO to target stick is the only supported way of making a bootable stick - and with ventoy you need to use grub mode for booting the ISO.

This must be the internal firmware boot order - after all - the Surface is a Microsoft device - don’t expect too much :grin:

Yes, it pays to do two important things:

1. Remove all other drives from the machine apart from the installer, and the drive you’re installing to.
2. Set the Installer as the first bootable device (in BIOS). Sometimes this can seem to happen automatically (with some machines), but never rely on that.

Glad you’re back in the game. Cheers.