eee PC problems and recovery using memory stick

When my ASUS eee PC was stuck in the endless boot loop (failure to boot) I managed to use the memory stick formatting method to recover the system, though this scrubbed all my files and restored the computer to original state.  

NOTE:  You may be able to access the system restore by hitting F9.   Jab at it constantly after rebooting or you are likely to miss the window of opportunity.  

If this fails the general USB method of eee PC recovery for Linux systems went like this for me:

FORMATTING memory stick:
Put the eeePC recovery CD in a separate computer.
Plug in a USB stick
Bring up the eee PC disk and click “Utilities”
Select ASUS Unix Flash Utility
Select “Format”    You’ll be prompted to pull and reinsert the memory stick.
Select “retry” after reinserting the memory stick.

Put the USB stick in the eee PC
Now you’ll need to start the eeePC and hit F2 a lot.   It may take a few attempts but eventually you’ll bring up the bios settings.  
Change the “boot” setting to use the USB stick.    I also wound up selecting and then disabling the hard disk before this worked, which took several attempts.



eee PC Problems

My initial favorable reaction to my eeePC, which I used as a lightweight travel computer on the China trip, has turned sour after a serious crash left me in the “booting loop” described by others.   Although the problem was fixed after a couple attempts using a memory stick formatted with the eeePC on another computer, I lost about 200 pictures from Hong Kong.    The initial plan was to backup those using Flickr but I could not get the linux uploader to work on the eeePC, so in some ways this has been a sort of “two strikes”  lesson on the perils of using the eeePC as a travel machine.     I’ll do a separate post in a minute to describe the recovery process, which may be a big problem in the future given some recent indications that flash memory drives are not nearly as reliable as normal disk drives.