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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:03 pm

Setting up from USB install

Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi everyone I got my Raspberry Pi the other day and would like to start by saying a big thank you to everyone who made it possible, I can't wait to start playing with it...

So I have the Pi, have a blank SD card... But unfortunately I have nothing with a SD card reader on it :(

I read somewhere that the Pi can boot from USB and set up the SD card from there. I have a 500Mb USB stick, a USB hard drive and a USB CD/DVD drive. The hard drive and CD drive are powered over USB and I'm not sure if it will get enough power from the Pi.

So has anyone actually installed an OS from a bootable USB drive/sitck? Is it possible? How would you go about doing it? I'm on OS X if that makes a difference, though I have many OS's on Virtualbox.

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Posts: 158
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 5:22 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN (USA)

Re: Setting up from USB install

Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:25 pm

Sorry but the post you read may have been a little misleading. The way the Pi's boot sequence works, the system looks for an SD card installed where the first partition is a Fat32 format containing files like loader.bin start.elf, etc. There is a text file that has kernel boot parameters which can be modified to tell the kernel to boot from a USB drive. Up to this point you are still running (bootloader, kernel) from the SD Card slot.

That being said if you found a computer with an SD Card reader and were able to drop the minimum required files onto the Card you could boot from a USB but that is kind of an advanced topic and might require some troubleshooting that needs a card reader.

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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Setting up from USB install

Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:13 pm

Check around your house, you may be surprised what you can use to write an SD card. All you need is something with a USB port and an SD card slot. Check your camera, camcorder, satnav, etc.

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