Originally Posted by Oldlaptop321
VFAT (aka FAT32) is readable (quite well) by both Windows and Linux out of the box, go ahead and reformat it.
Hmmm so VFAT is the same as FAT32 - wish the page I found from google had told me this because my usb stick just happens to be formatted as FAT32 so that I can read and write on both linux and windows systems, oh well..
Anyway I downloaded the cd1 .iso image of debian and burnt it to disk at slow speed as recommended above, and I am pleased to say that it worked. I am assuming that the only difference between the cd and the dvd .iso is the additional software which I can install at any time from the package manager.
Thanks for everyone's help.