amani, I use these same USB key drives all the time on this system and have no power problem. I don't think there would be a power difference during installation of a new operating system versus normal operation of a previous *nix or MS operating system.
dmesg shows no errors related to the USB key drives. All messages appear normal, device is /dev/sdc1, 62719 512-byte hardware sectors (32MB), write protect off, write through drive cache, etc. Where else can I look?
If I chroot to /mnt then mount the /dev/sdc1 device and list it with ls -al, it shows what was on it before. Nothing was written to it during install.
I do not consider myself to be experienced, so that may be why I need the USB sticks to boot from. I'm having difficulty getting LILO or GRUB to boot this 12.1 system that I installed to a pair of LVM and LUKS formatted SATA /dev/sda drives. I can partially boot a 12.1 initrd from my old GRUB partition on IDE drive /dev/hda1, but I get LUKS errors. That is why I would like to try booting from the USB key drive instead. If I can successfully boot 12.1, I may be able to fix LILO or install a new GRUB on the new SATA drive.
I have another thread on my LUKS and LVM woes, so I prefer to leave all of that out of this one. I just want to know how to create my USB boot stick for now.