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(itstool) path: important/para
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The <filename>*.img</filename> file is an <emphasis>image</emphasis> of the complete contents of a memory stick. It <emphasis>cannot</emphasis> be copied to the target device as a file. Several applications are available for writing the <filename>*.img</filename> to a <acronym>USB</acronym> stick. This section describes two of these utilities.
Before proceeding, back up any important data on the <acronym>USB</acronym> stick. This procedure will erase the existing data on the stick.
Using <command>dd</command> to Write the Image
This example uses <filename>/dev/da0</filename> as the target device where the image will be written. Be <emphasis>very careful</emphasis> that the correct device is used as this command will destroy the existing data on the specified target device.
The <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dd</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry> command-line utility is available on BSD, <trademark class="registered">Linux</trademark>, and <trademark class="registered">Mac OS</trademark> systems. To burn the image using <command>dd</command>, insert the <acronym>USB</acronym> stick and determine its device name. Then, specify the name of the downloaded installation file and the device name for the <acronym>USB</acronym> stick. This example burns the amd64 installation image to the first <acronym>USB</acronym> device on an existing FreeBSD system.
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>dd if=<replaceable>FreeBSD-12.1-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img</replaceable> of=/dev/<replaceable>da0</replaceable> bs=1M conv=sync</userinput>
If this command fails, verify that the <acronym>USB</acronym> stick is not mounted and that the device name is for the disk, not a partition. Some operating systems might require this command to be run with <citerefentry><refentrytitle>sudo</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>. The <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dd</refentrytitle><manvolnum>1</manvolnum></citerefentry> syntax varies slightly across different platforms; for example, <trademark class="registered">Mac OS</trademark> requires a lower-case <option>bs=1m</option>. Systems like <trademark class="registered">Linux</trademark> might buffer writes. To force all writes to complete, use <citerefentry><refentrytitle>sync</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>.
Using <trademark class="registered">Windows</trademark> to Write the Image
Be sure to give the correct drive letter as the existing data on the specified drive will be overwritten and destroyed.
Obtaining <application>Image Writer for <trademark class="registered">Windows</trademark></application>
<application>Image Writer for <trademark class="registered">Windows</trademark></application> is a free application that can correctly write an image file to a memory stick. Download it from <uri xlink:href=""></uri> and extract it into a folder.
Writing the Image with Image Writer
Double-click the <application>Win32DiskImager</application> icon to start the program. Verify that the drive letter shown under <computeroutput>Device</computeroutput> is the drive with the memory stick. Click the folder icon and select the image to be written to the memory stick. Click <guibutton>[ Save ]</guibutton> to accept the image file name. Verify that everything is correct, and that no folders on the memory stick are open in other windows. When everything is ready, click <guibutton>[ Write ]</guibutton> to write the image file to the memory stick.
You are now ready to start installing FreeBSD.
Starting the Installation
By default, the installation will not make any changes to the disk(s) before the following message:
Your changes will now be written to disk. If you
have chosen to overwrite existing data, it will
be PERMANENTLY ERASED. Are you sure you want to
commit your changes?
The install can be exited at any time prior to this warning. If there is a concern that something is incorrectly configured, just turn the computer off before this point and no changes will be made to the system's disks.
This section describes how to boot the system from the installation media which was prepared using the instructions in <xref linkend="bsdinstall-installation-media"/>. When using a bootable USB stick, plug in the <acronym>USB</acronym> stick before turning on the computer. When booting from <acronym>CD</acronym> or <acronym>DVD</acronym>, turn on the computer and insert the media at the first opportunity. How to configure the system to boot from the inserted media depends upon the architecture.
Booting on <trademark>i386</trademark> and amd64
These architectures provide a <acronym>BIOS</acronym> menu for selecting the boot device. Depending upon the installation media being used, select the <acronym>CD</acronym>/<acronym>DVD</acronym> or <acronym>USB</acronym> device as the first boot device. Most systems also provide a key for selecting the boot device during startup without having to enter the <acronym>BIOS</acronym>. Typically, the key is either <keycap>F10</keycap>, <keycap>F11</keycap>, <keycap>F12</keycap>, or <keycap>Escape</keycap>.
If the computer loads the existing operating system instead of the FreeBSD installer, then either:
The installation media was not inserted early enough in the boot process. Leave the media inserted and try restarting the computer.
The <acronym>BIOS</acronym> changes were incorrect or not saved. Double-check that the right boot device is selected as the first boot device.
This system is too old to support booting from the chosen media. In this case, the <application>Plop Boot Manager</application> (<link xlink:href=""/>) can be used to boot the system from the selected media.
Booting on <trademark class="registered">PowerPC</trademark>
On most machines, holding <keycap>C</keycap> on the keyboard during boot will boot from the <acronym>CD</acronym>. Otherwise, hold <keycombo action="simul"> <keycap>Command</keycap> <keycap>Option</keycap> <keycap>O</keycap> <keycap>F</keycap> </keycombo>, or <keycombo action="simul"> <keycap>Windows</keycap> <keycap>Alt</keycap> <keycap>O</keycap> <keycap>F</keycap> </keycombo> on non-<trademark class="registered">Apple</trademark> keyboards. At the <prompt>0 &gt;</prompt> prompt, enter
<userinput>boot cd:,\ppc\loader cd:0</userinput>
FreeBSD Boot Menu
Once the system boots from the installation media, a menu similar to the following will be displayed:
FreeBSD Boot Loader Menu


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Source string comment
(itstool) path: important/para
Source string location
String age
a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
books/handbook.pot, string 437