Preparing a bootable SD card (Windows 7)

If your SD card does not already contain a bootable (active) FAT32 partition, you can use the Windows 7 Disk Management utility to create one.

Creating a bootable FAT32 partition in a Windows 7 environment

The default Windows formatting option that appears when you insert a blank (or unrecognized) SD card into a Windows PC is not sufficient to format the SD card with a bootable partition. While it can create a DOS/FAT32 partition, it does not provide an option for making this partition "Active", or bootable. If your SD card does not already contain a bootable (active) FAT32 partition, you can create one with the Windows 7 Disk Management utility, as follows:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel, and run Administrative Tools.
  2. Run the Computer Management application.
  3. On the left pane, under the Storage category, select Disk Management.
  4. Insert the SD card that you will use to put the QNX images on, and identify the correct volume as it appears in the "Disk Management" window.
  5. Select the correct drive by right-clicking on it, and choose the Format option. Once the format operation is complete, under the "Status" column, it should show something like: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition).

Marking the FAT32 bootable partition active

If the SD card doesn't show the partition as "Active", you will need to set it to active. With many SD cards, all you need to do is:

  1. Right-click on the partition icon.
  2. Select Mark Partition as Active.

With some SD cards, however, after you have performed the steps to format the card, the option to Mark Partition as Active will not be available. (It will be greyed out). If this is the case for your SD card, you will need to complete some additional steps to make the bootable FAT32 partition active:

  1. Open a DOS command prompt (Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt).
  2. Run the diskpart utility and run the list disk command to get a list of available drives, then identify your SD card on this list (in this example, Disk 3):
    DISKPART> list disk
    Disk ###     Status       Size       Free      Gyn      Gpt
    --------     ------       ----       ----      ---      ---
    Disk 0       Online       40 GB      20 GB   
    Disk 1       No Media      0  B       0  B
    Disk 2       No Media      0  B       0  B
    Disk 3       Online       14 GB       0  B
  3. Select the disk to target for additional activities, by running the following command:
    DISKPART > select disk 3
    Disk 3 is now the selected disk.
  4. Run the list partition command, to see a list of the available partitions (we'll use Partition 1):
    DISKPART > list partition
    Partition ###     Type        Size         Offset
    -------------     -------     ------       -------
    Partition 1       Primary     14 GB        4096 KB
  5. Select this partition:
    DISKPART> select partition 1
    Partition 1 is now the selected partition.
  6. Make the partition active:
    DISKPART> active
    DiskPart marked the current partition as active.
  7. Verify that the partition is active:
    DISKPART> list partition
    Partition ###     Type        Size         Offset
    -------------     -------     ------       -------
    *Partition 1      Primary     14 GB        4096 KB

The "*" beside the partition name indicates that the partition is active. Your SD card should now be ready. You can proceed with copying files to the DOS/FAT32 partition on the disk.