USB device full but not readable

Asked by Tom Schlodder on 2014-01-05

Writing a FREENAS disk image (FreeNAS-9.2.0-RELEASE-x64.img.xz) to a usb thumb drive (Lexar 8GB) ends with w32diskimager telling me the write was complete but the file structure is not recognizable to Windows. Using the drive to boot a computer does not work as the computer seems to ignore the drive altogether.

The usb drive shows as full under Windows OS.
This will be the third different usb drive I've tried with all of them having the same issue
I have verified the boot order in the BIOS


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Tobin Davis (gruemaster) said : #1

Can you post a link to the image so that I can download and examine it? It is likely that the image's filesystem is not Windows compatible (Windows only recognizes FAT and NTFS w/o third party support).

As to it not booting, that could be entirely BIOS related. I have seen a lot of bios's that don't easily support USB boot, even more recent ones.


Tom Schlodder (tom-schlodder) said : #2

Can't figure out how to post a specific link but if can be found here:
Under "disk images" it is the first available download, "FreeNAS-9.2.0-RELEASE-x64.img.xz"

I've used the same computer to boot from usb previously so I know the BIOS supports it (and the options provided in the BIOS confirm that.)

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #3

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Tobin Davis (gruemaster) said : #4

Sorry, I haven't had a chance to look into this yet. Soon.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #5

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Tom Schlodder (tom-schlodder) said : #6

Bump (since Tobin has previously indicated that he'll look into this but that it's just taking longer than he'd like)

Tobin Davis (gruemaster) said : #7

Looking at this now. The image file I downloaded is which is compressed from 1.9G down to 120M. My linux system indicates that the uncompressed image has 4 primary partitions, all freebsd-ufs filesystem types. This is why Windows can't read it (only supports FAT/NTFS). And since the partition table is full (4 primary partitions max), Windows will show the drive as full, no matter how much free space is actually on there (since it can't read the partitions).

As to the boot issue, I have a 2G Lexar Firefly USB drive and an 8G USB 3.0 Corsair Voyager. I have written the image to both and booted them on my Core2 test system. At this point, I highly suspect your bios. You didn't indicate if this system is a newer one with uEFI or an older system with legacy bios. I can try to boot it on a uEFI system at work (I don't have any newer systems at home), but from what I have seen lately, I am leaning towards this as the issue.

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