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How to Clone and Backup Raspberry Pi SD Card in Windows 10?

Anne

Updated on May. 27, 2021


Position: Resource - Backup & Restore - How to Clone and Backup Raspberry Pi SD Card in Windows 10?

Summary
Two guides are offered in this page, explaining how to clone Raspberry Pi SD card as well as how to backup SD card partition to an image file using DiskGenius Free Edition in Windows 10/8/7. By way of cloning SD card, you can boot Raspberry Pi either from the old or new SD card. Therefore, you won't be troubled by issues like data loss, SD card stops working, etc. as long as you've duplicated the SD card properly. Now read on and learn detailed steps of cloning and backing an SD card for Raspberry Pi.
DiskGenius

DiskGenius - Free SD card cloning software that can clone EXT4/EXT3/EXT2/exFAT/FAT32/NTFS SD card quickly in Windows 10/8/7 to help you either backup or transfer data.


PAGE CONTENT



"Is it possible to make a full backup of the SD card for my Raspberry Pi 4? I've done a lot of work after setting up the OS, and I cannot afford so much time to repeat what I've done. So I'm wondering if I can duplicate the SD card so that I can replace the old SD card with the new one anytime the old one stops working? It'll be helpful if the SD card cloning method is available for Windows 10 computers. Thank you!"

As you know, the operating system on Raspberry Pi runs on a Secure Digital (SD card), and there are a lot of reasons that drive you to create backups for your SD card used in Raspberry Pi, for example, SD cards can fail, data may get lost, or you just want to upgrade to a faster SD card. When it comes to backing up SD card, you can either clone it sector-for-sector, back up partition to an image files or create a disk image for the SD card. This article will explain how to clone and backup Raspberry Pi SD card in Windows 10.


Free SD card clone software

DiskGenius Free Edition is free partition manager and SD card cloning software which can help you clone and backup SD card in Windows 10/8/7 quickly and easily. With this tool, you can:

  • Clone Raspberry Pi SD card to bigger or smaller SD card via simple steps.
  • Clone partition from one SD card to another storage devices.
  • Backup SD card partition to an image file and support incremental backup. Thus, you can restore files from previous backups when data loss issue occurs.
  • Format SD card to FAT32/NTFS/EXT4/EXT3/EXT2 file system in Windows.
  • Clone Windows 10 OS to SSD/HDD/USB disk.
  • Resize/extend/split/shrink SD card without data loss to make full use of SD card space.
  • Write Raspberry Pi OS to SD card quickly.

Free Download DiskGenius


Guide #1: How do I clone Raspberry Pi SD card?


This guide will show you how to make an exact copy for an SD card so that the target SD card can also be placed in Raspberry Pi and bootable. Hence, the benefit of having an exact SD card copy enables you upgrade existing SD card without reinstalling OS again.

What do you need:

  • The SD card of your Raspberry Pi you want to clone.
  • A new SD card which does not contain important files.
  • A computer that runs Windows and installs DiskGenius Free Edition.

The step-by-step SD card cloning procedure:

Step 1: Connect these two SD cards to your computer and then launch DiskGenius Free Edition. After that, click Tools > Clone Disk.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 2: Select the SD card you want to clone and click OK button.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 3: Select the new SD card as destination disk and click OK button.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 4: Select Copy all sectors option and click Start button.

Copy all sectors will create a sector-by-sector copy from source disk to target disk, which guarantees everything like disk signature on the target SD card is totally identical to the old one. Thus, OS on the new SD card will be bootable when it is placed in your Raspberry Pi.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Click OK to give confirmation and DiskGenius will initiate the cloning process.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 5: Wait for the cloning process to complete. The time taken by the cloning process mainly depends on the amount of data to be copied, the size and speed of SD card, and the performance of your computer.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Note: Since DiskGenius just executed sector-by-sector cloning for the SD card, the disk signature of both SD card will be the same. Therefore, the target SD card will be set as offline due to disk signature collision. Now, you can safely eject the target SD card directly without making any changes. If you try changing its status to online, its disk signature will be changed. In that case, the new SD card might become unable to boot Raspberry Pi properly.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Moreover, if the target SD card is larger than source SD card, you will get unallocated disk space, shown as the picture above. To make use of unallocated disk space, you can:


Guide #2: How do I backup my Raspberry Pi SD card to an image file?

DiskGenius supports to back up a NTFS/FAT32/FAT16/FAT12/exFAT/Ext4/Ext3/Ext2 partition to an image file, and the function also supports incremental backup which helps to create multiple restore points. Additionally, the program allows users to extract files from image files without restoring partition from it.

Step 1: Select the partition you want to backup and click Backup Partition button.

Tip: Generally, there are two partitions on the Raspberry Pi SD card, the boot partition with FAT32 file system and the rootfs partition with EXT4 file system. You can backup them individually. If you want to create an image for the entire SD card, then use the function Copy Sectors.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 2: Set a location to save the backup image.

Click Select Image File button and you can browse your computer to specify a location for the image file. Remember to set a name for the file.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 3: Click Start button and you will see following message box. Click OK to start the backup process.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10

Step 4: Wait for the backup to finish.

clone Raspberry Pi SD card windows 10


Why do you need to clone or backup a Raspberry Pi SD card?

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-bord computers, and it can be used in many scenarios such as explore computing, learn how to program in languages like Python, browse the Internet, play high-definition video, make spreadsheets, process words, play games, interact with the outside work, etc. For the moment, it has released a couple of products such as Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, etc. Raspberry Pi 5 is not available for the moment.

No matter what generation of the Raspberry Pi you are using, an SD card should be used in the device to install the OS and programs and store files. However, the lifespan of an SD card is limited, which mainly counts on the model, usage and how your handle it daily. Once the SD card gets corrupted, files stored on it will be lost. Briefly, never expect a storage device will work forever, so a full backup is highly recommended.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you clone a Micro SD card?

Here is want you are going to do to clone a Micro SD card:

Step 1: Connect the Micro SD card you want to clone and a new SD card or USB drive that is large enough to hold all data of the Micro SD card to a Windows computer.

Step 2: Install and launch DiskGenius Free Edition > click "Tools" > "Clone Disk".

Step 3: Set source disk and target disk and click "Start" button.

2. How do I duplicate an SD card?

Duplicating an SD card to another SD card helps to create backups for important files, installed programs and OS. This is a useful move for the purpose of backing up data or replacing an old SD card. To duplicate an SD card, you can try DiskGenius Free Edition which supports to clone disk and clone partition via three models, making a sector-by-sector SD card copying possible.

3. How do I copy my Raspberry Pi SD card to the bigger card?

DiskGenius Free Edition can make the process of cloning or migrating all content of Raspberry Pi SD card to a bigger SD card, and make sure system on the new SD card is bootable. "Clone Disk" is the recommended function for the task, and this function is available for DiskGenius Free Edition as well. Now refer to this guide to copy SD card: How to Backup/Clone Raspberry Pi SD Card in Windows?

4. How do I backup everything on my SD card?

It's easy to backup SD card data via following methods:

  • Copy all data from SD card to computer hard drive.
  • Clone SD card to a larger or smaller one using DiskGenius Free Edition.
  • Upload important files to cloud drives such as Google Drive.

5. How to clone hard drive to SSD for FREE?

First, you need to ensure the capacity of SSD is large enough to store all content of the HDD. Second, the disk cloning process will erase all data store on the SSD, so you need to make sure files on the SSD have been backed up to somewhere else. The you can follow steps in this guide to achieve disk cloning via two methods: How to Clone Hard Drive to Smaller SSD?


Conclusion

Content above discussed two ways of backing up Raspberry Pi SD card, i.e. clone SD card to a bigger or smaller SD card as well as backup partition on SD card to an image file. Hope these guides are useful for you. Data backup should be attached more importance in order to protect data security. In addition to cloning SD card, DiskGenius also supports to create an image for the entire SD card on Windows. Should you need any help regarding formatting, cloning, or backing up SD cards, feel free to contact our support team.


Related Links

DiskGenius

DiskGenius - Free disk partition software to format SD card to FAT32/EXT4, convert NTFS to EXT4, clone SD card, migrate Windows 10 to smaller SSD/HDD, etc.



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