USB Image issues


Hello all. Been playing with the idea of windows alternatives. I was going to test out this one when I hit this snag yesterday.

So I generally use USB sticks, so I downloaded the .img file. I used Rufus to write it, where it gave no errors. Wouldn’t boot. But I noticed something else. Windows could no longer read the USB key. It recognized that the key was inserted, and complained about using a USB 3 slot… But I couldn’t see the key any more unless I went into disk management…

Theres no Label, or drive letter no assigned to the key. Which has 4 partitions ( according to the Volume list ( see image 1 ). Strange thing is the manager can’t change the drive letter, partition size, or format any of the partitions. All it can do is delete them. Then I end up with a 100% free partition on the USB key which can’t be seen by windows explorer, or used again ( so far ).

So I looked on your Handbook. And tried the Win32 Disk Imager software. Which did the exact same thing.

So I ended up with two usb sticks that are kinda dead, and no TrueOS… I have to dig out my old spool of DVD-R disks to try that. But I’m kind of frustrated by the USB keys. Any ideas?

Screenie 1 –
Screenie 2 –


Once the TruOS image is on the drive it will likely be in GPT format and contain UFS and/or ZFS file systems which windows does not recognise. You have to erase the first few sectors of the drive to get a really empty USB drive. I do not know if windows still has the command line fdisk utility, but that used to be able to delete any non-FAT partitions and create a new FAT partition that windows can format and then use.

I have experienced problems with USB drives, one stopped being USB3 and only would work in 2.0 socket. Most of my failure are with Micro SD Cards usually the reader fails - I burn a lot of images especially for RaspberryPi. I suspect these drives and readers are not designed for large data writes and overheating damages them.

One other thought, maybe try putting a FreeDOS image on your USB drive, windows should be able to access that; it might let you know if the drive is still OK.