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Old 10-24-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2009
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problems creating a usb stick to install debian

Hi All,

I'm trying to create a usb stick from which I could install debian.
I have an 8GB usb stick. after formatting it to fat32, I follow the instructions on

but after the
zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sdX

thing, df shows the drive has a total capacity of only 239MB.

So, what's wrong & how do I create such a usb installer?

Old 10-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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Yeah, I'd wondered if you'd "blatted" the drive from your other thread.
Looks like you've overwritten the drive geometry by doing that. Bad idea. I've tried to help recover these things, but don't know a good way. Go get a new USB key and use something more current - see for a good option.
Old 10-24-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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thanks for replying.

when I format the drive with fdisk, I get the full 8GB.
only after doing the zcat, when the drive is umounted, it shows 239MB. so I don't think I've damaged the drive.
Old 10-24-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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the problems seems to be that only 239mb can be accssed, but the current debian testing netinstall is 256mb + the boot.img.gz is 30mb, so it's too big.

this, as far as I can tell, is a "bug" on debian side, since this setup won't fit into a usb memory stick. the older setups (netinstall + boot.img.gz) were less than 240mb so there was no issue.
Old 10-24-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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If you do this:
dd if=/dev/sd of=/tmp/mbr bs=512 count=1

then do

file /tmp/mbr

It should say something about /tmp/mbr being a boot sector if not you need to go back and read the "install to USB" again. Also do a cksum on the boot.img.gz, etc.


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