I received an old Windows Server and I'd like to remove everything and put Debian on it. The server is USB-boot protected (if I put a USB key w/ Debian live install, the server doesn't boot) so I took the hard drive and placed it in my computer.

Now I have two hard drives (three, including my SSD) in my computer, and I would like to install the Debian installer on the server's drive so I can install Debian when I put it back in the server (I don't want to install directly with my computer).

Thing is, I downloaded unetbootin and a Debian netinst image, but when selecting "hard drive" in unetbootin, it only shows the main C:/ drive, whereas the disk I want to install Debian in is G:/, and it is not listed...

I don't really know what to do at that point, so I'm asking for some help. Thank you very much for your attention! :)


In case my previous answer does not work out for the OP, here is another solution which requires the installation of VirtualBox.

  1. Open up the Disk Management utility by running diskmgmt.msc from a Command Prompt.
  2. Find the disk number of the disk you wish to install Debian on. In this case the number is 1.
    enter image description here
  3. Run the following commands from an Administrative Command Prompt (Be sure to replace # with the number of the drive you found earlier):

    cd %programfiles%\Oracle\VirtualBox
    VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\debian.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive#

    This changes the directory to the directory where VirutalBox is installed and creates a VMDK file for VirtualBox (at C:\debian.vmdk), which is a direct link to the physical drive.

  4. Run VirtualBox as Administrator (required for RAW hard disk access). Then create a New Virtual Machine.
    Select Debian as the OS type, and the other options (except for choosing a disk file!) can be left alone if you wish.

    When you get to the choose a hard disk page, make sure to select choose an existing hard disk, and locate the file we created earlier. (If you ran the commands line for line, the file should be located at C:\debian.vmdk)

  5. Skip this step if you are not installing Debian for a UEFI machine!
    Select the virtual machine we just created, and click settings.
    From there, click on System, then select Enable EFI.
    Then click OK.

  6. Select the virtual machine, then click Start.
    When it prompts you to select an image file to start your virtual machine, select the Debian Installation ISO that you've downloaded earlier.

  7. Follow the Debian installation process, then, once your done, you can power off your computer and remove the hard drive and put it back into the server.
    Now you should be able to boot from the internal hard drive and start Debian.

(Tutorial adapted from https://www.howtogeek.com/187721/how-to-boot-from-a-usb-drive-in-virtualbox/)

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you very much for your answer, I was in the Debian installation process, I selected "Guided - Use the entire disk" and when I accepted the change I got this VirtualBox error: "The I/O cache encountered an error while updating data in medium "ahci-0-0" (rc=VERR_ACCESS_DENIED). Make sure there is enough free space on the disk and that the disk is working properly. Operation can be resumed afterwards." – Xobtah May 12 '18 at 17:43
  • 1
    I checked "Use Host I/O Cache" in the configuration and it worked :) (Source: stackoverflow.com/questions/24564644/…) – Xobtah May 12 '18 at 18:08
  • Now I have "The ext4 file system creation in partition #1 of SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) failed" – Xobtah May 12 '18 at 18:17
  • Nvm I just removed the entire disk in the partition manager and started the whole process again, it seems to work now – Xobtah May 12 '18 at 18:25

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