FreeNAS can be run from a 128MB - 2GB USB Flash Drive (or potentially larger with manual edits). The benefit of this is that all HD space can be reserved for server duties.
To create a USB image without having to burn a CD on Windows:
- Download Physdiskwrite
- Read the warnings about selecting the USB stick correctly
- Download the current 0.69 FreeNAS IMG file (not ISO) from Sourceforge
- Plug the USB stick (128MB - 2GB size) in your Windows PC and format the disk as FAT (right-click -> Format; select FAT not FAT32).
- To eliminate any errors make sure that only the target disk is connected.
- "Safely Remove" the USB stick, and then reinsert it.
- Drag the FreeNAS IMG file to the Phydiskwrite icon in Windows File Manager
- You must be logged in as Administrator in Windows (default user).
- A text window will open, detailing the drives connected; look at the list and select the USB drive
- The USB stick will likely be the last entry in the list. It should also have low C/H/S details.
- Physdiskwrite will not write to any disk larger than 2GB (to prevent accidentally wiping your internal HD)
- When the writing completes, the text screen will close
- "Safely Remove" the USB stick.
- You now have a FreeNAS LiveUSB!
Time to boot your FreeNAS server now.