Live USB

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.

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