Create FreeBSD bootable USB from Windows without data loss

Unlike dd or Win32 Disk Imager, this article will guide you how to create FreeBSD bootable USB from Windows without data loss.

What is FreeBSD?

FreeBSD is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from Research Unix via the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot use the Unix trademark, it is a direct descendant of BSD, which was historically also called “BSD Unix” or “Berkeley Unix”. The first version of FreeBSD was released in 1993, and today FreeBSD is the most widely used open-source BSD distribution, accounting for more than three-quarters of all installed systems running open-source BSD derivatives.

See more at Wikipedia.

FreeBSD

Create FreeBSD bootable USB

AIO Boot supports booting all in one USB, including FreeBSD. And with the help of the Partition Image Mapper tool, you can boot many other operating systems. This tool allows you to temporarily use the partition image file as a real partition. The great thing is that FreeBSD also provides a partition image. You can then restore the partition as before without losing data.

This method supports booting FreeBSD in both Legacy and UEFI modes.

For FreeBSD, TrueOS, PC-BSD and FreeBSD-based operating systems, you can easily create a USB installer using the following steps:

  1. Download and install AIO Boot for USB.
  2. Download FreeBSD as an image of USB (XYZ-memstick.img).
  3. Open the file you downloaded above with 7-Zip.
    FreeBSD memstick
  4. Extract the 2.ufs file to the AIO Boot drive. Depending on the version in which the file name may be different, you need to extract the largest file.
  5. Now you need to copy PartIMGMapper.exe to another drive. Because this application does not allow to run on the destination drive.
  6. Run PartIMGMapper.exe:
    Create FreeBSD bootable USB from Windows

    1. Select Grub2.img in row 1. Because we will use Grub2 to boot into FreeBSD.
    2. Select the 2.ufs that you extracted above in row 2.
  7. Click MAP button.
  8. The tool will back up the partition table information for later restoration. The file has .MBR extension in the same directory as PartIMGMapper.exe.
  9. Once used, run PartIMGMapper.exe, click UNMAP and select the previously backed up MBR file. All data and partitions will be restored as before.

Good luck!

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