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According to the official docs and a README in the top-level directory of the iso images you can boot from a usb key chain if your BIOS allows it.
dd if=/path/to/diskboot.img of=/dev/sda bs=1M
For example should do the trick. Does one need to fix the partition table of the usb key? Looks kinda messed up! Is there an additional step to clean this table? mkdosfs, for example. Refer to output from fdisk -l
acid:~# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/hda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 12 96358+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda2 13 5752 46106550 5 Extended
/dev/hda5 13 256 1959898+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda6 257 3320 24611548+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda7 3321 5752 19535008+ 83 Linux
Disk /dev/sda: 1040 MB, 1040187392 bytes
32 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1024 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1984 * 512 = 1015808 bytes
This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 ? 1522439 1522695 253319 e4 SpeedStor
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(190, 120, 0) logical=(1522438, 25, 51)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(544, 125, 44) logical=(1522694, 5, 24)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 ? 507340 1509340 993984023 98 Unknown
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(1010, 16, 43) logical=(507339, 24, 10)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(205, 205, 22) logical=(1509339, 24, 55)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 ? 855155 1822849 959953209 7d Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(252, 139, 46) logical=(855154, 3, 54)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(367, 195, 2) logical=(1822848, 28, 25)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda4 ? 1487 5682 4161536 0 Empty
Partition 4 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
phys=(0, 10, 0) logical=(1486, 14, 29)
Partition 4 has different physical/logical endings:
phys=(0, 0, 0) logical=(5681, 17, 34)
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.
Partition table entries are not in disk order
This method writes the entire image to the flash drive as-is. With Fedora Core4, the image was only 8 megs. When I put it on my 1gig flash drive, the rest of the drive was in accessible. BUT, the image was successfully written and could boot up for the install with no problems.
I tried several things, including partitioning the drive before and afterward so I can get the rest of the drive back, but no go. That's the only problem I've had with it.
Hrm. I'm also using a 1GB USB keychain. Not really bothered about accessing the other partitions so long as I can boot from it. No Joy so far. I've used this method once with FC3, (ah, those where the days). That time it was so simple that I didn't need to record how I did it. I've experimented a bit:-
- ran mkdosfs on the whole device (/dev/sda)
- copied the repo data and source RPMs to the keychain
The best that I get is "missing operating system" :/