Friday, October 2, 2009

How to use Gparted to create a bootable partition on USB

For a very long time I have been blogging only about lisp and a variant of it, emacs lisp. My last post on linux was about six months ago. The reason for the long hiatus was not because I did not have anything to say about tools on linux. In fact, I had plenty of interesting tools and things to share about ,but, other work kept me tied down. As for those really exciting tools I wanted to talk about, the first set of these tools will deal with disk management. Hard disks and data storage has always been a very fascinating topic for me ever since I learnt about them and my first post on these tools is going to be about gparted.

In order to make a partition of the USB bootable, you may use a host of tools on linux. In this post I am going to illustrate how to use gparted to get the job done. The advantages of using gparted are it is excellent, easy to use and less error prone. The disadvantage is that it does not work on terminal since it requires a graphical interface. In order to install gparted open a terminal and type in ...
   $sudo apt-get install gparted

Once installed, you will have to open it by using sudo. You need to be a super user to run gparted.
    $sudo gparted


    System=>Administration=>Partition Editor.

Gparted is also called "Partition Editor" and indeed it is an editor to edit properties of your partitions but do be careful with what you do with it as even a slight misuse will result in disastrous consequences to your system. You Have Been Warned !!!

Now, for the steps that will enable to make your USB disk or a part of your USB disk bootable.
  1. In the upper right of the window, select the USB stick. (/dev/sdX)
    (for instance, it was /dev/sdb for me)
  2. Make absolutely sure you have selected the correct device.
    Mistakes with gparted can be fatal, we don't want to destroy anything.
  3. Delete the partition on the USB stick.
  4. Create a primary partition on your USB stick.
    1. Select the size of the partition.
    2. Select the filesystem as Fat16 or Fat32. (I selected Fat32). It does not seem to boot with other filesystems such as ext3.
  5. Double check to make sure everything is right, click Apply. A prompt will appear, click apply again.
  6. Right click on the new partition, select Manage Flags, check boot, click Close.
  7. Remember the device name of the partition on your USB stick. (/dev/sdXn) (For me, it was /dev/sdb3).
  8. Close gparted.
Click the play button below to see the screenshots of the above steps.

If you like it or if you have something interesting to say. Please do share your thoughts by commenting.

Thank You ...


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