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after a powr failure when upgrading to Ubuntu 12.10 I have a completely deficient system. It is read only and despite many attempts I failed to remount it read write, fsck and mount -o rmount, rw don't work, recovery mode does not work. I am not experienced with linux and under time pressure because have to write a paper until tomorrow and have only this computer.

Thus I thought it was best to reinstall. I have downloaded the iso on my usb stick on another computer. However, I can't us my startup disk creator as my usb stick is not being recognized as the filesystem is read only. I don't have a bootable usb or disk around (I know that's stupid) and I have no one using linux nearby who could help me create the stick. They all have windows.

Thus my question: Can I create a bootable usb on a windows system but to install on a computer which has Ubuntu on it? The wuby client you can download for windows on the ubuntu site is .exe so it would be no use on a computer that has only linux on it?

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You have to make sure if you reinstall Ubuntu it will not overwrite all your files, I'm not sure if it does. –  That Brazilian Guy Jan 5 '13 at 18:36

3 Answers 3

Your best alternative would be to create a bootable USB, assuming you have access to the ISO.

Windows

The easiest way to create a bootable USB on Windows (in my opinion), is to use YUMI. It allows having multiple bootable systems on the same USB and it's easy to use as it can download the distro ISO for you.

Download YUMI and follow the instructions. Make sure you choose "Format this drive" but remember that this deletes all the data on the USB drive.

Ubuntu

You can create a bootable USB on Ubuntu aswell. You can either use the graphical interface, or the terminal. If your system is having troubles detecting the drive, you can go into the terminal and run the command sudo fdisk -l you may have to enter your password. This outputs a list of all the disks and their partitions. An USB drive usually looks like this:

> Disk /dev/sdb: 4.0 GB, 40007761920 bytes 64 heads, 32 sectors/track,
> 38154 cylinders
> 
>   Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes Disk identifier:
> 0x00b4c6f2
>      Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System 
>   /dev/sdb1               1       38154    39069680   83  Linux

If the ID of the partition (/dev/sdb1 in this case) is set to "??" or if the System is set to "Unknown" this means that your partition is formatted in an unrecognized filesystem. You can reformat to FAT32 with the following commands, but please note that this erases all data on the drive.

sudo umount /dev/sdb (change /dev/sdb according to the results from before)
sudo mkfs.vfat -n ‘NEWDRIVE’ -I /dev/sdb (format the drive)
sudo mount /dev/sdb /mnt (mount the drive again)

Once the drive is recognized by your system, you can follow directions from the community wiki: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick

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The official Ubuntu website has a guide on how to create an Ubuntu USB stick on Windows.

You will need:

  • a Windows machine connected to the internet.
  • an empty USB stick, 1 GB or larger.

On the Windows PC:

  1. Download the ubuntu ISO file.
  2. Download and run the Universal USB Installer

enter image description here

  1. See the figure: On "step 1", choose the version of the Ubuntu ISO you downloaded. On "step 2", choose the path to the ISO file. On "Step 3", chose the drive letter for the USB stick. Click "create".

  2. That's it!

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I believe this is what you're looking for Creating a bootable USB sitck on Windows

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