How to create an HP Mini Mi Edition restore disk in Linux


As I mentioned last night, HP plans to make a utility available on its web site within the next few days that will let users either restore an HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition netbook to its factory default settings or replace Windows or another operating system with HP’s custom Linux environment. But the tool that you’ll be able to download from the website is designed to work from Windows. If you want to create a system restore USB flash disk using Linux, you can do it today.

The steps are a little quirky, and they might not work for everyone. In a nutshell, if you already have Mi Edition installed, here’s what to do:

  1. Open a terminal window by hitting Alt+F2 and typing “gnome-terminal” (without the quotes)
  2. Type “sudo synaptic” to launch the Synaptic package manager (If you want, you can skip the terminal step and just launch Synaptic by hitting Alt+F2 and entering “gksudo synaptic”)
  3. Search for a file called lilveusb-creator and install it
  4. Now close the Synaptic package manager and go back to the terminal window
  5. Make sure you have a 2GB or larger USB flash drive plugged into your system
  6. Type “liveusb-creator” to launch the utility
  7. Make sure that the utility recognizes your flash drive (it should say something like /dev/sdb) and that there’s something listed in the Download recovery image box
  8. Click start

The utility will now download the recovery image and copy it to your flash drive, while making the drive bootable. You can use this as a system restore disc, but keep in mind when you use it you will erase any data currently on your computer. You can also use this utility to turn a Windows XP netbook into a Mi Edition machine.

If you don’t already have Mi Edition installed, you can try to download the liveusb-creator by running Ubuntu Netbook Remix and adding HP’s repositories so you can download the correct version of the installer. Timm McCoy posted instructions for doing this in the MyHPMini forums.

I would not recommend using the USB installer to try loading Mi Edition on an unsupported netbook. HP’s recovery image is designed to run on the HP Mini 1000 netbook and it supports the keyboard, Ethernet, WiFI, display, and other hardware. It may not work with other netbooks. However you can try adding the HP repositories and downloading the custom Mi Edition theme for Ubuntu if you want. The package is called glassy-bleu-theme. You’ll also want to download the glassy-bleu-browser-skin. (Note that this will install the glassy black and blue theme, but not the HP program launcher). Update: I’d recommend downloading the .deb files directly instead of going through the HP repositories.

Update: After a few hours of downloading, I just tried to create a restore disc using the liveusb-creator tool in Linux and the creation failed on two separate USB sticks. So your results may vary. If you have any successes or failures to report, let us know about them in the comments.

via Portable Monkey

  • jhinric1

    I am on the HP MINI MI and was able to download the image and create the bootable USB a few days back. I booted to it, just to see what it looked like and it's quite eerie. You get a flashing red line of text warning you against iminent destruction of you data. You are told to press enter to load the image and wipe the drive. However, since I didn't want to do it, because nothing is wrong with my current install, I looked for how to exit the program. I hit ESC, the Super key and a few other random key combos but I was too afraid to type exit and hit enter. So I just did a hard shut down using the slider.

    So the short of it was, mine worked. The GUI needs work though.

  • Brad Linder

    Right, that's exactly what I got using the Windows-based installer.
    There's no LiveUSB and no turning back once you start the install. It
    would be nice if there was a way to dual boot, but I don't think HP's
    target audience here is geeks. :)

  • Vern

    I have an HP mini 1001tu – without the hard drive. Is it possible to create a flash USB that uses itself as the system drive? Then, I'd plug in an external hdd to another usb for apps and other stuff? Anyone know where to download the latest ubuntu package for the mini?

  • Brad Linder

    Nope. The installer is designed to overwrite whatever's on your hard
    drive. If you want to try installing the OS to a separate disk, you
    might want to try installing Ubuntu to your flash drive using another
    method and then installing the glassy-bleu theme.

  • Nic

    I'd really love to see someone trying this on the HP 2133. It took me a long time to get Ubuntu running on it, and i can't get myself to kill it again, so for now i'm not willing to to it. But would be interesting for sure!

  • Tessa


    Somebody from the HP2133guide forum posted a guide for dummy's.


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  • Rich

    Will this work on a PS3

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  • Matt F

    Will the downloadable installer work in conjunction with windows? Will I be able to dual boot, is what I'm saying, the MI edition seems like it would be nice to boot into for class and quick access in school.

  • Brad Linder

    The installer is designed to reformat your hard drive, which means you
    cannot use this tool to make your system dual boot. There may be a way
    to build a Mi Edition-like version of Ubuntu yourself that will allow
    a dual boot setup, but right now it's not officially supported.

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  • timm_mccoy

    Hey, any chance you guys could toss a little credit in here for me? or do you mind if I link back to this in that forum post? I'm really glad that I'm helping HP mini users around the globe do what they want, but I'd like my name to be in there somewheres, especially since I'm going to be launching a blog soon. just shoot me an e-mail and let me know what you guys decide to do.

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  • Robert MacEwan

    Tested on Macbook Air with VMWare.

  • dougar

    Installed this on an Intel Atom mini itx test desktop and the only thing that is not working is the onboard Realtek GBLan nic. It does not even detect it. This machine has been used to test all new netbook OS's which all seem to work. The one thing I cannot live with is the proprietary install which toasts everything on the drive and does not allow for dual booting. Nice, interesting GUI …. maybe too simple and dumbed down though.


  • mahir sayar

    i created the usb,
    and im trying to install this on a hp2133
    the usb boots
    but i get this error message
    “Did not find an installation target device
    checking device: /dev/sda for installation target
    .. /dev/hda ..
    .. /dev/hdb ..
    .. /dev/sda ..
    .. /dev/sdb ..

    any ideas??

  • puc

    i think this is happening because on ubuntu, my harddrive is identified as /dev/sda
    but here, the usb seems to have taken /dev/sda
    what do i do?

    it says rootfs loaded from /dev/sda
    well how is the install part of the supposed to mount the harddrive as /dev/sda

    any ideas?

  • blu3r4dic4l

    will this interface work on aspire one??

  • blu3r4dic4l

    will this interface work on aspire one??

  • CJ

    Hey if I put MIE on my HP Mini 110 as a dual boot can I set win XP as the default OS so that when I reboot it will autimatically go into XP rather than a screen where I would choose between XP and MIE.

    If I wanted to go to MIE I could select somewhere else before reboot or during reboot  for example maybe a Function key during reboot.

  • wedding dresses

    Nope. The installer is designed to overwrite whatever’s on your hard