Subject: Re: Install from usb memory stick?
To: Peter Eisch <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/16/2005 14:10:57
On Thu, 16 Jun 2005, Peter Eisch wrote:

> I'm coming across more and more systems which can boot from a USB floppy.
> This got me to thinking -- can I slap the ISO install image onto it and
> install/boot from it?

It depends on whether the BIOS will boot from "USB hard drives" -- these
show up slightly differently from floppies, and some BIOS will not recognize
them.  USB pen drives (note that "memory stick" usually refers to the Sony
proprietary flash memory devices) and USB flash memory readers all show up
as essentially "removable hard disks" to most BIOS and OS.

As to an ISO install image, that may not work because of the sector size
difference (though I have to admit that I'm not sure whether this matters
anymore).  However, on a NetBSD machine or booted from the NetBSD install
kernel, you can use fdisk and installboot to put a NetBSD ffs partition and
bootblock onto the pen drive, followed by a copy of the install kernel (and
optionally, binary sets).  You'd then have essentially a bootable hard disk
with all the install goodies in the form of a USB pen drive.

My JVC XP-841US laptop boots both NetBSD and DOS just fine off of a PQI
Micro-Stick, which is a USB flash memory widget.

-- Todd Vierling <> <> <>