SD Card Setup


18 posts
by rufus » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:06 am
In preparation for the delivery of the RPi unit, I have downloaded the debian6-17-2-2012.zip file and installed its contents on an SDHC 32GB card following the
instructions from your RPi Easy SD Card Setup page.

I was then surprised/dismayed to find that my card had been reduced to 75MB
capacity.

I did not find any advance warning of this possibility in the instructions
and had expected to use the surplus card capacity as working memory.

I would appreciate comment on
(a) whether the "reformatting" to the smaller size is inherent in the use of
Win32DiskImager
(b) whether the original card capacity is recoverable
(c) can any "spare" capacity on the SD boot card be used as working memory
(d) what SD card size is recommended for bootup?
(e) should appropriate warnings be added to the RPi Easy SD Card Setup page.
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by daveg » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:06 am
I'm pretty sure that this has been discussed several times  (I've already read about it so its on this forum somewhere)

Try browsing the forums or using the search function, I have just spent 10 seconds looking and found this

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....e#forumtop
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by Chris.Rowland » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:33 am
The disk image is formatted into three partitions.

One is about 75Mbytes in size, it is formatted using the FAT32 file system and is the only part that Windows can see.

The other two are formatted using a Linux file system.  A Windows system can't see these so as far as its concerned this space does not exist.

This means that once you burn the image onto the SD card all your system can see is the 75MB FAT32 partition.

It's possible to see the other partitions using a partition editor but you can't see what's in them without using special programs to read their contents.  It's best not to mess with this, especially with a Windows system.

Hope that answers your questions, basically, don't worry, the space hasn't been lost.

The too much information section:

There is one minor thing, the Debian image will leave space unused because it's an image of a 2GB SD card. The unused space can be recovered using a partition editor such as parted or gparted. There's some discussion of how to do this in the forum.

You don't need to do this with the Fedora disk image because part of what it does at the first start up is resize the partition where Linux lives so the full available capacity is used.

Documentation:

The set-up guide is in a wiki and anyone can edit it.  The intent is that this is how much of the documentation will be generated, by the users

If anyone feels that the documentation could be improved then they can do so by editing the wiki.

It's my opinion that doing this is a good way that beginners can put something back in return for all the work that people have done.  They may be in a better position to do this than the experts because the experts may not even notice the things that puzzle a beginner.
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by nick.mccloud » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:44 am
Whilst I agree with daveg's sentiment, for clarity if anyone else stumbles across this thread.

rufus said:


In preparation for the delivery of the RPi unit, I have downloaded the debian6-17-2-2012.zip file and installed its contents on an SDHC 32GB card following the
instructions from your RPi Easy SD Card Setup page.


This is a community effort - there is no YOUR, only us/we.


I was then surprised/dismayed to find that my card had been reduced to 75MB
capacity.

I did not find any advance warning of this possibility in the instructions
and had expected to use the surplus card capacity as working memory.


The card has been allocated (partitioned is the official word) in to different segments. The first partition is Windows compatible (as it is such a basic format it makes it easy to read) that gets the RPi going. There is another Linux partition that you can't see with Windows without using special software that has all the real goodness on it.


I would appreciate comment on
(a) whether the "reformatting" to the smaller size is inherent in the use of
Win32DiskImager


It's not and it hasn't been reduced to a smaller size.



(b) whether the original card capacity is recoverable


It's all still there and yes, given the right knowledge and typing in the correct commands you can make use of the remaining capacity.



(c) can any "spare" capacity on the SD boot card be used as working memory


Debate on using it for swap varys widely. If you mean storage, then yes, given the right knowledge and typing in the correct commands you can make use of the remaining capacity.



(d) what SD card size is recommended for bootup?


Depends on what you want to do with it - if you need lots of space for say, video files, then your 32Gb card will do nicely. If you just want to run a few programs then 4Gb should be sufficient to start.



(e) should appropriate warnings be added to the RPi Easy SD Card Setup page.


It would save the some adrenaline for those that aren't familiar with partitions - why not use your new found knowledge as a new member of the RPi community to edit the wiki?

It is early days for this project - by all means join in but we still have a way to go with refining documentation and understanding users expectations. You will be faced with new learning opportunities.
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by rmcgeown » Wed May 16, 2012 1:13 pm
If you want to restore the card to its full capacity visible in windows, format the 75mb partition to NTFS, then use DISKPART to select the drive and run EXTEND.
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by SweRaspUser » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:45 pm
Have formatted a new 4 GB SD card with Win32DiskImager and raspberry Pi squeeze debian. Run this for a while, but want now to reinstall Debian or maybe Arch. But when trying Win32DiskImager says there is to little space, only 75 Mb.
Did the following:
Formatted the 75 Mb partition with NTFS in an Windows 7 computer.
Started Diskpart
List Volume (My SD card is volume 5)
Select Volume 5
Extend (Error message saying there is not enough space...)
Extend Filesystem (OK Successfully extendedthe file system ....)

But still only 75 Mb !?
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by SweRaspUser » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:26 pm
Tried SDFormatter 3.1 and still only 75 MB... But put the SD card in my Canon camera and did a low level format, and then I got my 4 GB back :)
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by joan » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:28 pm
SweRaspUser wrote:Tried SDFormatter 3.1 and still only 75 MB... But put the SD card in my Canon camera and did a low level format, and then I got my 4 GB back :)

Good idea!
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by zekonja » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:02 pm
This might help:

- type diskpart in the runwindow (winkey + r)
- in diskpart type "list disk" without quotes
- type "select disk x", x represents the disknumber in the left collum, be carefull to select the right one, you don't want to erase your external hd or anything like that.
- type "clean", ALL partitions will now be removed from the card, as well as an mbr or bootsector wich might be there if you ever made it bootable. Your card is now not more than an expensive brick
- type "create partition primary", a new primary partition will be created as big as possible (16GB in your case)
- type active if you want to set the partition active

now exit diskpart and format the sd card and you're ready to go

taken from http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thread ... ad-SD-card and tested!
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by askaraboz » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:57 pm
Had the same issue with an 8Gb card and low formatting it on my Canon restored it to it's capacity (without any other steps)! Thanks man!
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by grynnan » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:58 am
A easy way, and a superb tool for any partition handling is Gparted.
Download the live cd here, and boot it on your PC.
(Don't worry it's a "live cd" as in, it will not install anything on your pc. It'll run directly from the cd.
Make sure you know how to set up your pc to boot from CD, before you try.)

When you use gparted, make sure it's the SD you are working with, as it can easily format your PC-hdd's If you're not careful.
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by alexchamberlain » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:02 pm
Hey,

You guys aren't listening. Your SD cards have a fixed amount of storage. In the case of a 4GB card, it can store approximately 4000000000 bytes. When you flash the images, the software writes directly to the SD card ignoring the filesystem. The image segregates this into a ~75MB FAT partition (which Windows can see) and ~2GB ext4 partition (which Windows ignores). The remaining ~2GB is left unused - it has no filesystem and is pretty darn useless at this point.

Now, your main concerns seem to be can you flash a new image into this 75MB. Well, yes because as I said the flashing software is working at a hardware level and ignores the partitions. It works with the entire card.
Developer of piimg, a utility for working with RPi images.
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by Jim JKla » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:08 pm
In short.

Be patient

Wait for your RaspberryPi and you will be able to re-size the partition once it is doing its intended job in its intended place ;)
Noob is not derogatory the noob is just the lower end of the noob--geek spectrum being a noob is just your first step towards being an uber-geek ;)

If you find a solution please post it in the wiki the forum dies too quick
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by james968 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:56 pm
On first boot with Raspbian an program called "raspi-config' will run, it will have an option to "expand_rootfs", this will let you grow the main file system (and use all 32 GB of the microSD card), this will take care of all of the stuff with adjusting the partition table, fresizing the FS, etc.

Here's the cleaned up summary of my disk usage (I've downloaded quite a few packages):
Code: Select all
Filesystem                                 Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs                                      29G  2.8G   25G  11% /
/dev/mmcblk0p1                              56M   34M   23M  61% /boot
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by dobieg » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:27 am
Having variously tried all suggestions regarding the Windows/7 installation processes to no avail, I ejected the SD card and re-inserted - rather frustratingly all the tools then revealed that there was an unformatted disk of the full SD card capacity - then ran the win32diskmanager utility without incident - :?
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by scodavis » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:41 pm
For windows;

To recover all the space on your SD card.

Download SD Formatter 4.0 from here:

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

Run it and change these two options,

Format Type: Full(erase)
Format Size adjustment: ON

Neither of these are default, so make sure you change them.

Good luck!
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by rparslow » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:49 am
Using a SanDisk Ultra SDHC I class 10 16GB tried noob 1.1, OpenElec no boot :( , tried Pidora no boot :( .

Plugged the card in the built reader of my Sony Vaio laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64Bit and

SD formatter (ran as an Administrator )version 4.0.0.0 can only see 1.10GB, tried to use the options you mentioned and it did not work
SD_Formatter_fail.png
SD_Formatter_fail.png (27.02 KiB) Viewed 4868 times
Quick Erase "False Erase" operation has been cancelled because this device didn't support it.

buerk trying to low level format in a camera.
What did you break today? On second thoughts don't tell me, let me guess.

Raspberry PI Model B V1: 128MB
SanDisk Ultra SDHC class (10).
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by rparslow » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:24 pm
rparslow wrote:Using a SanDisk Ultra SDHC I class 10 16GB tried noob 1.1, OpenElec no boot :( , tried Pidora no boot :( .

Plugged the card in the built reader of my Sony Vaio laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64Bit and

SD formatter (ran as an Administrator )version 4.0.0.0 can only see 1.10GB, tried to use the options you mentioned and it did not work
SD_Formatter_fail.png
Quick Erase "False Erase" operation has been cancelled because this device didn't support it.

buerk trying to low level format in a camera.


Camera was out of batteries so used an external SanDisk MobileMate SD+ reader and card was restored in size.

Where is the specific forum for the Noob package ?

regards Richard
What did you break today? On second thoughts don't tell me, let me guess.

Raspberry PI Model B V1: 128MB
SanDisk Ultra SDHC class (10).
Logitech k400r Azerty Belgian with touch pad.
MPG2 & WVC1 paid Codecs.
PiBow Ninja Case
Maplin N95NQ GPIO Breakout Board
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:37 am