How to Make Bootable SD/SDHC Cards for Every Operating System

Many a time you want to create a bootable device for your new notebook, Netbook, or laptop. Nowadays, most of the electronic devices come with compactness. This gives rise to a number of notebooks that are manufactured without a CD/DVD drive. In such devices, you have to make use of either a flash drive or a memory card with high capacity. Further here, you can learn to make bootable SD/SDHC cards for your computer.

Some of the most fundamental SD cards or SDHC cards are compatible with almost all the relevant devices. Many of the devices that are compatible with just SD card have to use only SD card for booting. But most of the devices have their higher end compatibility with SDXC and SDHC cards. These cards have more memory space and have a higher speed.

In further proceedings of this text, I will explain the procedure to create a bootable SD card for Mac and Windows OS.

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Make Bootable SD/SDHC for Mac

There are a number of simple steps to be followed while creating bootable SDHC cards for your Mac OS. This can be done with the help of external application for your Mac. You can also create a bootable SD card with the help of terminal. The terminal method doesn’t need any external sources. It just requires an SD card for the bootup and Mac operating system.

Connect the SD/SDHC memory card to the computer.

Go to Utility – you can call utility with the help of finder option of the Launchpad on your computer.

Select on the SD card and click Erase.

In Format, select MSDOS FAT from the dropdown. Enter a name in the ‘Name’ field. This is optional for the user.

Click Erase.

Open the Terminal and go to the location of your system image – enter the appropriate location in command.

In order to find all the disk drives in the Mac, type – SUDO DISKUTIL LIST – this will display all the connected disks with the Mac system.

Make sure about the partitions and the identifiers like disk2, disk3, etc. Try to keep the number of partitions to be just one.

To unmount the drive type; SUDO UMOUNT DISK2

To unmount the subpartitions type; SUDO DISKUTIL UMOUNT DISK2p1.

To make the SD card bootable type in; SUDO DD Bs=4m if= of dev/disk2

Once you enter, the command starts executing and the next thing is a bootable SD/SDHC card. This makes the SD card bootable for Mac operating systems.

If you have lost your important data while making the SDHC card bootable. Do not overwrite any information and try to regain all your data from the SD card. Data restoration from SDHC on Mac is easy with some external tools.

Make SD/SDHC card Bootable for Windows

The steps to make a bootable SD/SDHC card on Windows comprise of some similar steps. This involves the complete formatting of the SD card and then uploading the OS files and making the bootable SDHC card.

To make a bootable SDHC/SD memory card for windows, follow the steps;

  • Connect the SD/SDHC card to your computer – make sure the card is empty and you do not have any valuable data in the card.
  • Go to Command prompt – In order to do that, go to start menu and type cmd and enter.
  • Go to diskpart – type diskpart and enter.
  • In the new window, type; list disk – the window should be system32/diskpart.

From the list of the disks that your computer has, look for your SD/SDHC card. you can refer to the memory space of the disks to identify your SD card.

Type; select diskX – the name of the disk you want to use i.e. the SD card.

Type; Clean

Type; Create Partition Primary

Type; Active

Type; Format Fs= NTFS Quick

Type; Assign

Type; Exit

Now, mount your ISO file of windows – Right-click on the image and select mount.

Run the following commands:

G: CD BOOT – G is the iso file drive letter.

BOOTSECT.EXE/NT 60 F – F is the SD card or the drive letter for SD/SDHC card.

Copy all the files from the ISO image to the memory card.

Your SD/SDHC card is now in bootable mode, you can restart your computer and test the bootable SDHC card.

NOTE: While performing any of these steps double-check what you are selecting and what command you are executing. This is because any small mistake can corrupt your SD / SDHC card file system. Sometimes, you could fix corrupt SD card in easy ways, but not always. There are chances that your card would become useless permanently. Hence, handle your card carefully.

Finally, I hope that this information is going to help you a lot as there are very few devices that have conventional DVD drives. Also, the SDHC cards are evolving faster and faster every day which makes them a primary source of storage for these purposes.

How to Make Bootable SD/SDHC Cards for Every Operating System was last modified: June 15th, 2020 by John Harris

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