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Debian Live USB fails; bricks the USB stick




I wanted to create a Live Debian USB stick (using an existing Debian system). I remember doing such a few years ago with "unetbootin", but when I looked for "unetbootin" via aptitude search, I couldn't find it, so I did a quick "unetbootin debian" search, and found a Debian bug report from 2015 (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=775689) that led me to believe I should not use unetbootin, but to use the newer method of simply dd'ing the .ISO to the USB drive.

So I went to https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/ and downloaded the AMD64 Cinnamon version of 9.2.0, and then inserted my USB stick, found it on /dev/sdc, and ran the command:

sudo if=debian-live-9.2.0-amd64-cinnamon.iso of=/dev/sdc

I walked away then and came back in a few minutes to find it had finished, but didn't pay attention to any other messages, and then tried booting it on another year-old Dell PC. It gave me the grub menu, but then when I tried to boot Debian Live, I got an error about an invalid magic number and a need to load a kernel first.

Not finding any documentation that might help, I checked the md5sum on the downloaded file (it was correct), and tried the dd again. Same result.

I tinkered a bit, and then the next time I tried a dd, I noticed that it was giving me an input/output error for /dev/sdc. Still, it seemed to finish properly, but the boot attempt gave the same failed result.

So I decided to try a different download; I tried the Mate flavor. Same result.

So I decided to try a different USB stick. Same result.

And now, both my sticks are complaining about being mounted read-only, and I can't seem to fix that.

I tried "hdparm -r0 /dev/sdc", and that reports that it's set the read-only flag to off, but the stick still is read-only.

So it appears that dd'ing a Debian .iso to a USB stick, at least using my hardware, bricks the USB stick.

I'm assuming my attempt has cost me two USB sticks, and has just left a bad experience with Debian under my belt, and there's nothing I can do about it. (I don't even know where a bug report might go.) But I thought I'd put this info on the User's list, just for the record, and perhaps at the chance that someone might have a solution.

Thanks!

--
Kent West                    <")))><
Westing Peacefully - http://kentwest.blogspot.com