[arch-general] Another 'gotta be something idiotic': trying to create bootable USB thumb drive

Rashif Ray Rahman schiv at archlinux.org
Sat Apr 13 03:43:05 EDT 2013

On 13 April 2013 14:27, David Benfell <benfell at parts-unknown.org> wrote:
> On 04/12/2013 12:32 AM, P .NIKOLIC wrote:
>> Hi
>> Those SanDisk drive are a real pain you can use them but you are
>> going to have to fdisk it first there is stuff on there that stops
>> Linux dead in it's tracks i have several of them the 4Gb ones (came
>> at the right price) .
>> I used fdisk on them then formatted them vfat for use in the car
>> work fine now .
> When I saw this, I couldn't believe it. A little fdisk action? That's
> all this takes?
> Well, almost. Yes, it booted off the thumb drive. I didn't get the DOS
> label right. And there's obviously something I'm not understanding
> about how this comes up, because the shell was actually kinda
> familiar, which is not what I was expecting.
> I should explain that there's a change from when I originally posed
> this question. I realized--or at least the way I understood this page
> <https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_Installation_Media>--I
> needed to use the slightly more complicated method involving the
> syslinux bootloader. This is a UEFI system--and I don't think it will
> boot anything else--so I also copied the entire extracted ISO tree
> onto the thumb drive, meaning especially to include EFI.
> But the boot fell back to the interactive prompt because
> /dev/disk/by-label/ARCH_201304 didn't appear.
> dosfslabel is my friend.
> Whatever problems I may yet encounter with this install, they will be
> different problems.

It looks like your thumbdrive wasn't as stubborn as was initially
suspected. Recreating the partition table made it work. What you're
facing now is an issue with configuration.

My personal favourite UFD method is
-- with UUID. I dislike hardcoding label names as they are likely to
change, but UUIDs are static (barring reformats).

Anyway, if you choose to stick with labels, you can also use mlabel for FAT.¹

¹ https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Persistent_block_device_naming#by-label


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