I currently have an SD card with a non-running installation of Debian Squeeze. SSH on this card is enabled. However the system keeps rebooting. I would now like to delete the boot.rc file on the boot partition of the SD card from a Windows computer, but I fail.

Here is the problem: I have a Windows pc with an internal card reader (the only card reader available at the moment). I enter the card and can access it and rename boot.rc or delete it. But when I remove the card and put it back again, the boot.rc is back again or has its old name back. Deleting other files on that image results in the same - no effect. I tried pulling it out of the reader without unmounting and unmounting via the taskbar in the lower right Windows corner.

Could you please explain to me, how I can delete/rename boot.rc on the SD card with a Debian installation? Do I have to follow a special unmounting procedure? Right-clicking the SD card in Windows Explorer has a menu item "SG eject", but that shows no effect.

  • You checked the permissions under windows for accessing the SD card and the path & file that you try to delete?
    – ikku
    Sep 29, 2012 at 0:42
  • What version of Debian?
    – Jivings
    Sep 29, 2012 at 7:17
  • Debian squeeze, edited into the question. @ikku I do not get an error, when I try to delete the file. It disappears and is magically back, when I take the card out and put it back again.
    – Till B
    Sep 29, 2012 at 8:17
  • Is it an thoroughly used SD card? The nature of SD cards is that they usually fail while writing data or deleting data. This can happen without a notice from the OS, like an error message.
    – ikku
    Sep 29, 2012 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


This kind of "repairs" must be carried out under Linux, just because Windows is not reliable and generally too "invasive" for such things.

As suggested in the other answer, a Linux LiveCD could be the fastest solution. My favorite LiveCD/USB distribution is Knoppix but DSL could be sufficient for you specific case.

A similar solution (if you don't want to burn CDs or write USB pens) is to run a live distro inside a VM, giving to it the exclusive access to your card reader.

For what concerns your specific problem, my guess is that Windows is mounting the SD card filesystem read-only. BTW, Windows can't access ext2/ext3 partitions directly, so if you used an ext2/ext3 driver such as IFS probably you forgot to set its RW permissions.


Boot from Linux LiveUSB/LiveCD and try again...

  • Not possible, it is my work computer and it doesn't allow booting from cd or USB...
    – Till B
    Sep 29, 2012 at 8:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.