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/dev/sdb1 on /media/3433-3231 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=1001,gid=1002,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush)

...that's what mount says about the drive

root@gemeni:/home/a1# zcat -v boot.img.gz > /dev/sdb1
boot.img.gz:    
gzip: stdout: No space left on device

...there's the response I get when trying zcat on the boot image to the unmounted drive at /dev/sdb1

root@gemeni:/home/a1# zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sdb
bash: /dev/sdb: No medium found

...is what happens when I try plain old sdb

I'm working from this tutorial

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think this one is the crucial error message:

bash: /dev/sdb: No medium found

So it seems that /dev/sdb is no longer connected to the system when you try using it; if you unmounted it using Nautilus' menu, it's likely that the whole USB device has been de-activated. (Look in the last lines of /var/log/syslog for confirmation.)

Try:

  1. Plug the USB stick in

  2. Look up what ID the auto-mounter assigns to it: run mount | fgrep /dev/sdb, this will show a line like /dev/sdb on /media/3433-3231 ... (the actual numbers may change)

  3. unmount it from the command line:

    sudo umount /media/3433-3231
    
  4. Now you should be able to proceed with your tutorial (as root):

    zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sdb
    
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hurray! thank you, @Riccardo Murri –  ixtmixilix Oct 15 '10 at 21:41

Are you sure /dev/sdb1 is large enough for the uncompressed disk image? (The error message complains there is not enough space...)

Also, /dev/sdb1 is not a drive but a partition (the tutorial you follow uses a drive). Using a partition is certainly possible, but will require extra work (configuring a bootloader in the MBR).

Also, you might want to use a GUI tool like USB Creator (installed by default on Ubuntu under System -> Administration -> ...) or unetbootin (Ubuntu package) instead of doing this manually.

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Big enough: Yes. It's an 8 gb USB drive... Is there a way to mount it as a drive? GUI: I'd rather not use the GUI tool in this case. –  ixtmixilix Oct 14 '10 at 17:34
    
Using the drive instead of a partition => use /dev/sdb instead of /dev/sdb1 –  JanC Oct 14 '10 at 23:43
    
yeah, also yields an error. amended question to reflect –  ixtmixilix Oct 15 '10 at 21:20

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