So here's my problem: I really want to have a large swap space (and native persistent storage as well), so I decided I want to be able to boot Pi from USB. So far, I'm at the part where I need to copy the boot files into your host SD card, but my linux machine isn't mounting the boot partition. Here is some output from fdisk:

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdc: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders, total 312581808 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000c4661

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1            8192      122879       57344    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdc2          122880     5785599     2831360   83  Linux

dmesg output when I issue mount -t vfat /dev/sdc1 /media/boot:

[100668.671557] FAT-fs (sdc1): bogus number of reserved sectors
[100668.671579] FAT-fs (sdc1): Can't find a valid FAT filesystem

The hard drive was imaged using dd. Here is the command:

# dd bs=4M if=/home/athan/Downloads/2013-12-20-wheezy-raspian.img of=/dev/sdc

Is it because the hard drive is simply too big for FAT32? Would there be any alternatives for the boot partition type? Thanks in advance!

  • As far as I know, the Windows 95 CD can't be flashed to boot from USB. Dec 25 '13 at 14:43
  • I'm not clear on where Win95 comes into play. Or, rather, where it's supposed to, because it sounds like it's not working. Aug 23 '18 at 0:22

It may be that the image became corrupted while extracting or writing. Try verifying the file with sha1sum 2013-12-20-wheezy-raspian.img and comparing the result to the checksum of ade48c874f8e4b694175de4c87d7357960961fbf. You might be able to recovery by simply doing a file system check, otherwise try re-writing with a freshly downloaded and extracted image. To do a check, run sudo dosfsck -a /dev/sdc1. The boot partition on the SD card has to be FAT. The external hard drive doesn't need its own boot partition, because it's on the SD card instead. The only reason you need it now is because you're copying the contents from it to the SD card as you've just written out the image.


If there's nothing of value on the SD Card, just blow away everything and create one vfat partition on the SD Card, then copy the boot files there.

You can do this with mkfs.vfat -I /dev/sdc which will just create one big partition taking up the whole device.
Afterwards, get the boot files from the image, and copy them over to the SD card.

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