I've been trying to install Arch Linux onto an SD card to use plugged into my macbook. Currently, I've booted into the installation media on a usb key and I'm trying to write the GPT partition table onto the SD card.

I typed gdisk /dev/mmcblk0 to open the SD card in gdisk, but there was a wall of repeat errors printed out. There are three different kinds of lines:

mmcblk0: error -84 transferring data
Buffer I/O Error on device mmcblk0, logical block 0
Warning! Read error 5; strange behavior now likely!

They all appear to be write errors of some kind, so I tried to flip the lock switch on the card to the other setting, boot again, and try to partition, but the result was a message as soon as gdisk was run saying outright that the disk could not be written to.

Is there a driver that needs to be installed into the installation media to allow it to write to SD cards?

  • Thanks, but why is that? Is that specific to sd cards? – jaxuru Nov 10 '14 at 20:33
  • Sorry, I should not have said that, I don't think it would be the cause of your problem. I guess strict UEFI systems might require it to boot (it just seems zany to me). – goldilocks Nov 10 '14 at 20:48
  • I haven't gotten to where I have to boot yet, and I've booted mac os x off the sd card which I'm pretty sure doesn't have mbr. Is there possibly a special way to partition SD cards? – jaxuru Nov 10 '14 at 21:29
  • I actually haven't made one specifically for a UEFI system so I am not sure of the restrictions here; I guess if it is GPT boot only then it is GPT boot only. There's not a special way of partitioning SD cards, no. You could do it MBR or GPT style, the card itself doesn't matter (i.e., you could change it from one to the other regardless). The issue in that sense is the host system. You could try formatting the card some other way just to test it; the I/O error might indicate a physical problem. – goldilocks Nov 10 '14 at 21:44

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