Talk:USB flash installation media
Does not work anymore...
I was unable to run the new "live" arch-core-install-2008.04-rc-i686.iso off the USB stick. I've copied the kernel, initrd, and .squashfs files to the stick, and added a minimal entry in syslinux.cfg. Kernel + initrd boot fine, I even saw that the USB disk is detected, partitions parsed, and /dev/ entries created, but then init halts with something like 'unable to find /dev/cd/*'. I've spent few minutes reading the initialisation code, but didn't find a kernel commandline option to override it. I'm sure there is some easy way to make it work, but the process of mounting the CD-ROM should probably be implemented in a more robust way, so the initrd code finds and mounts the compressed filesystem even when booting from USB HDD.
Verifying the USB
Before and after having performed the dd onto the USB disk, check that the md5sums are correct. For example:
- $ md5sum archlinux-2008.06-core-x86_64.img && echo && cat md5sums.x86_64
The next command will give similar results, but will also let you confirm that the data was written correctly and can be read correctly:
- dd if=/dev/sdb count=661159 status=noxfer | md5sum && echo && cat md5sums.x86_64
--Zatricky 06:45, 22 January 2009 (EST)
dd for Windows
There is also dd for Windows. I tried it and it works perfectly: 
dd if=file.img of=\\.\e:
where e: is your USB drive letter.
--Liquen 14:55, 4 April 2009 (EDT)
But I don't want to overwrite the entire USB stick...
I'll add this into the article soonish; recording here for reference.
So you don't have to. The easier way is to download the ISO image, mount, then copy and install GRUB manually (a la "old method").
However, I already downloaded the IMG file and don't want to waste time. Then:
sfdisk -l -uS /path/to/img
Note the starting sector of the first partition (63, in this example). Then:
dd if=/path/to/img of=arch.img skip=63
Now, I can mount the .img file without issue:
mount -o loop arch.img /mnt/usb/
Universal USB Installer
This method works fine for me though I got a little stuck when Arch tried to get at the boot device and couldn't find it. Turns out UUSBI's default trick is to label your device "PENDRIVE" if it formats it during the process (user-selectable). I'd like to add a note about this to the section on this page which covers the tool, but as it'd be my first change here I want to be sure I'm not going to be shouted at...
Xyon 09:57, 9 November 2011 (EST)
- Hi and welcome! I've moved your discussion at the bottom of the page according to Help:Style#Discussion pages.
- Yes you can add such a note, just always remember to explain your edits in the Summary field. For more style guidelines see Help:Style.
- -- Kynikos 06:41, 10 November 2011 (EST)
Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO
and replace (if you on arch)
dd if=/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdc
dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sdc
also you need to change the usb label
- Link add as see also. Path info already exist in page. Close. -- Fengchao (talk) 04:34, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
About making the installation media without overwriting
I'm not totally sure if I misunderstood something, but I had to change the path of the entries of the *.cfg files. For instance:
It was the only way it worked with the unofficial ISO x86_64 image of march 13th, 2012. Looks like the syslinux command described in the page doesn't get the path as it should.
I edited all of the .cfg files, but probably only editing this ones should have been enough:
archiso.cfg archiso_head.cfg archiso_sys_inc.cfg
I hope it could be useful to somebody, because I spend some time with this (I even thought that was a problem with the hardware). I think it could be possible to make a simple script (or give some command lines) to patch the files once they are copied into the USB and run syslinux.
Recovering the USB drive afterwards
This didn't work for me:
- dd count=1 bs=512 if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx
I tried this multiple times. No matter how I formatted the disk, 'devmon' always mounted '/dev/sdd' as /media/ARCH_whatever.
I finally just zeroed as much of the disk as I thought the ISO might have been written to.
- dd count=100 bs=4M if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx; sync
That worked. I believe we need to zero MORE than just the initial 512 bytes, but I have no idea how much. Maybe 2048?
At any rate, put '; sync' in there somewhere.