Subject: Re: Install from usb memory stick?
To: Todd Vierling <>
From: Peter Eisch <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/16/2005 13:21:55
Yes, "pen drive" or "thumb disk" or anything that isn't, in fact, a Memory

Thanks, this was very useful.


On 6/16/05 1:10 PM, "Todd Vierling" <> wrote:

> 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.