[sf-lug] About USB partitioning and formatting

jim jim at well.com
Wed Sep 16 18:58:56 PDT 2009

   some weeks ago i posted a question about making 
a USB stick bootable. i was hoping for something 
along the lines of using the  dd  command along 
with info as to what corresponds to "partitions" 
and "cylinders" and such in USB stick land. 
   the following link is real good: tells a lot 
about essential storage technology of USB sticks 
(and SD and other NAND flash storage devices). 


   essentially, what i got out of it after one 
reading (two or more readings to go) is 

* don't use fdisk to partition a USB stick 
* don't use mkfs to put a filesystem on a USB stick 

the following seems good, if not best, practice: 
   just put up with whatever FAT-style filesystem 
is on the stick, don't count on symlinks or inode 
tables; tarballs might be a good way to preserve 
   no partitions on a single stick: buy a separate 
stick for each partition you want to copy. 
   to make a USB stick bootable, stick with syslinux 
or some other software specialized for working with 
USB sticks. 

   i am, of course, interested in how my surmises 
are wrong-headed and what might be misinformation 
or omissions from the linked page. 

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