In GNU/Linux


In a GNU/Linux system, the "dd" command has to be used. This is a UNIX command that allows copying raw data, particularly adapted for copying on peripheral devices (in command line):

$ dd if=my_file of=my_USB_key bs=1M

The main options are as follows:

  • if=input file: reads this input file. This may be a file or a peripheral device. Here, it is the "Self-Test" tool or the restoration disk image.
  • of=output file: writes this output file. Likewise, this may be a file or a peripheral device. Here, it is the USB drive.

For any further information:

$ dd –help

$ man dd

First of all, the destination USB drive for the copy must be identified. USB drives are generally mounted in Linux using the name "sdX" where X corresponds to a letter. The first USB drive connected and detected is named "/dev/sda". The second drive is named "/dev/sdb", and so on.

Be careful, though, as other peripherals may also be mounted under this name – SCSI or SATA disks, for example. As "dd" is making a raw copy, it should always be used with caution.

Select the destination peripheral carefully and double-check that it corresponds to the target USB drive. In the rest of this document, the ID of the USB drive is referred to as "dev/sda"

Replace this USB key ID with your own.

Step 1: Clear data on the USB drive

To begin with, you are advised to erase all data from the USB drive. Run this command to do so: $ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M

This command will fill the USB drive with zeros.

Step 2: Start copying

Once you have finished erasing data, launch the copy of the disk image downloaded on the USB drive. Locate the path of the disk image. This is the input file to be written on the drive.

In the example below, the path is:


or home/user/Desktop/usb-recovery-sn3kxa94f0035a8.img

Replace these path and file name with your own.

To start copying, launch the command:

$ dd if=/home/user/Desktop/USBKEY2.img of=/dev/sda bs=2M

or $ dd if=/home/user/Desktop/usb-recovery-sn3kxa94f0035a8.img of=/dev/sda bs=2M

When copying is complete, the USB drive is ready to be used; unplug it.


The next part of the procedure is described in the next section Connections and startup configuration.