Pai at pi
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First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am

I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
Is there anyway I can install OS onto Pi 4 without SD Card and HDMI cable using only Mac/Windows? I have a Pendriv.

And in a discussion I saw someone saying "First boot MUST be from a microSD. You don't need a valid OS, just the firmware/bootcode and a config.txt with the magic incantation to activate USB booting so ANY size microSD will do." How can I do it? Is it possible? Please help.....

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FTrevorGowen
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:21 pm

Pai at pi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am
I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
Is there anyway I can install OS onto Pi 4 without SD Card and HDMI cable using only Mac/Windows? I have a Pendriv.

And in a discussion I saw someone saying "First boot MUST be from a microSD. You don't need a valid OS, just the firmware/bootcode and a config.txt with the magic incantation to activate USB booting so ANY size microSD will do." How can I do it? Is it possible? Please help.....
Unless things have changed very recently AIUI a P4 cannot yet directly boot from a USB stick/drive (supporting network booting has priority). So you will need a micro-SDHC card. An O.S. (try Raspbian first!) can be installed using a Mac and, possibly, an external USB-based SDHC/XC compatible card reader/writer (built-in "slots" on older m/c's may not be fully compatible). The RPF instructions etc. can be found here:
1) O.S. Downloads: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/
2) Using a Mac to install an O.S. image: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... ges/mac.md
Trev.
Still running Raspbian Jessie or Stretch on some older Pi's (an A, B1, 2xB2, B+, P2B, 3xP0, P0W, 2xP3A+, P3B+, P3B, B+, and a A+) but Buster on the P4B's & P400. See: https://www.cpmspectrepi.uk/raspberry_pi/raspiidx.htm

fruitoftheloom
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:46 pm

Pai at pi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am
I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
Is there anyway I can install OS onto Pi 4 without SD Card and HDMI cable using only Mac/Windows? I have a Pendriv.

And in a discussion I saw someone saying "First boot MUST be from a microSD. You don't need a valid OS, just the firmware/bootcode and a config.txt with the magic incantation to activate USB booting so ANY size microSD will do." How can I do it? Is it possible? Please help.....

The best help is the Official Help:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... ow_2711.md
The information is out there....you just have to let it in.

My other Linux machines: ChromeBox
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32966393971.html
& Stone Desktop Intel CoreDuo circa 2010

W. H. Heydt
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:06 pm

Pai at pi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am
I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
Is there anyway I can install OS onto Pi 4 without SD Card and HDMI cable using only Mac/Windows? I have a Pendriv.

And in a discussion I saw someone saying "First boot MUST be from a microSD. You don't need a valid OS, just the firmware/bootcode and a config.txt with the magic incantation to activate USB booting so ANY size microSD will do." How can I do it? Is it possible? Please help.....
Bear in mind, that the default method for all Pis is that the SD card is a PCs/Macs equivalent of the primary SSD/HDD. Can you imagine trying to run a PC or Mac without either an SSD or HDD in it? Actually run it, that is, not just using a live CD or USB stick to poke at the hardware.

Short answer...get a microSD card of at least 16GB capacity. They aren't expensive.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm

Pai at pi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am
I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
You can't install an OS on the Pi4 at all. There is no on-board storage for an OS on the Pi4 (or any consumer model Raspberry Pi). They are designed to run the OS from an SD card.

There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

Maze_fr
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:20 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm
Pai at pi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:05 am
I got a new pi 4 and don't have a SD card. I am trying install OS but it's saying that it can boot only from SD Card.
You can't install an OS on the Pi4 at all. There is no on-board storage for an OS on the Pi4 (or any consumer model Raspberry Pi). They are designed to run the OS from an SD card.

There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
And anyway, to activate the boot from USB, you will need the OS on the SD card first...
"Don't believe in forum signature quotations, they may be fakes" - Victor Hugo

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PeterO
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:35 am

Maze_fr wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:20 am
And anyway, to activate the boot from USB, you will need the OS on the SD card first...
That will depend on the default behaviour. See this page for details of existing situation
https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... des/msd.md
On a 3B+ you can write the OS image directly to a USB disk and it will boot from that.
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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dickon
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:29 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm
There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
For completeness' sake, once the EEPROM firmware has been flashed with the appropriate version and settings, the network boot functionality does not require an SD card to boot. But yes, you do require an OS to get that far.
As it is apparently board policy to disallow any criticism of anything, as it appears to criticise something is to criticise all the users of that something, I will no longer be commenting in threads which are not directly relevant to my uses of the Pi.

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PeterO
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:19 pm

dickon wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:29 pm
HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm
There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
For completeness' sake, once the EEPROM firmware has been flashed with the appropriate version and settings, the network boot functionality does not require an SD card to boot. But yes, you do require an OS to get that far.
Do you have some inside contacts then ? Because "the EEPROM firmware" for USB boot (which is what we are talking about) has not as far as I know been released yet.

PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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dickon
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:37 pm

No, I said network. It is entirely possible to boot from the network (to load the firmware and kernel) and run the OS from a USB mass-storage device without anything sitting in the SD card slot.

Niche use-case, I'll freely admit. I was just pointing it out, for completeness' sake. *Someone* might find it useful.
As it is apparently board policy to disallow any criticism of anything, as it appears to criticise something is to criticise all the users of that something, I will no longer be commenting in threads which are not directly relevant to my uses of the Pi.

gendernihilist
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:01 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm
There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
Do you have any links or information on those plans? I'm very interested in this.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:59 am

gendernihilist wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:01 am
HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:06 pm
There are plans to include the ability to run the OS from a USB drive, but that has not been implemented yet. So for now, you must use an SD card to at least start the boot process.
Do you have any links or information on those plans? I'm very interested in this.

Since September 2020 boot from USB MSD has been supported:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... des/msd.md
The information is out there....you just have to let it in.

My other Linux machines: ChromeBox
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32966393971.html
& Stone Desktop Intel CoreDuo circa 2010

gendernihilist
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Re: First time OS installation on Pi 4 without SD card

Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:08 am

ooooh thank you for that! ordering a USB stick (in a metal enclosure not a plastic one for better thermal dispersal if I'm going to be putting it through its paces lmao) and giving this a whirl! hopefully will be less prone to bug out than the SD card

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