How to burn an ISO to a USB stick

Here is how to write a ISO file to a USB stick so you can boot from it.

  1. Run the diskutil command to get a list of disk.
    Be very careful to make sure you select the correct disk. Here its easy its the only one that is 8.0GB in size.
    NOTE: I have removed the others disks from the list to make the post shorter.
malcolms-macbook-pro:~ malcolm$ diskutil list
/dev/disk3 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *8.0 GB     disk3
   1:               Windows_NTFS Untitled                8.0 GB     disk3s1

2. Next, you need to unmount the disk

malcolms-macbook-pro:~ malcolm$ sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
Volume Untitled on disk3 unmounted

3. Then, find the ISO file.

malcolms-macbook-pro:~ malcolm$ cd Downloads/
malcolms-macbook-pro:Downloads malcolm$ ls -l
total 5408568
-rw-r--r--@  1 malcolm  staff  601817088 21 Jun 17:51 FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-i386-disc1.iso
-rwx------@  1 malcolm  staff  643112960 17 Jun 18:37 FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-i386-memstick.img
-rw-r--r--@  1 malcolm  staff  575899648 21 Jun 17:07 FreeNAS-11.0-RELEASE.iso
-rwx------@  1 malcolm  staff  539889664  4 May 18:27 FreeNAS-9.10.2-U3.iso

4. Then write the ISO file to the USB “disk” using the DD command.
Again, make double sure you are using the correct disk. I have used disk 3 here, your’s may be different.
Also, note the addition r in the disk name, its not required, but does make it faster.

malcolms-macbook-pro:Downloads malcolm$ sudo dd if=FreeNAS-11.0-RELEASE.iso of=/dev/rdisk3 bs=1m
549+1 records in
549+1 records out
575899648 bytes transferred in 69.073390 secs (8337504 bytes/sec)

5. Next eject the disk.

malcolms-macbook-pro:Downloads malcolm$ diskutil eject /dev/disk3
Disk /dev/disk3 ejected
malcolms-macbook-pro:Downloads malcolm$

6. All Done.

Using diskpart on Windows to partition a USB stick

Open an elevated command prompt.
Run diskpart

<C:> diskpart
DISKPART> list disk

Note the disk number that corresponds to your USB drive, it should be obvious going by size.
select disk X where X is the number from above

 select disk X
 list partition
 select partition 0
 delete partition
 select partition 1
 delete partition
 create partition primary

Exit Command Prompt (type exit or just close the window)
In Windows, go to Computer and try to open the disk. It will ask you to format it.
Format it with the default settings and give it a name if you want.
It should now a single, unified partitioned drive.

Vista Media Center, USB Drives and Thumbnails

While trying to setup a new system with Windows Vista to use as my media center I ran into a strange problem. It would create thumbnails and show the video length for all videos, unless they were on the my USB drive.

But I found a way around it here Vista Media Center and Videos on Network Drives and its seems to work OK. I’d be happier with a fix rather than a work around, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.

If you’re having trouble removing folders from the “watched folders” list have a look at this post.