Use Windows PC with Win32DiskImager to Clone Raspberry Pi:
Upgrade storage capacity on your Raspberry Pi SD Card. Clone Raspberry Pi OS to Windows PC and Copy Image to Larger Micro SD Card without losing any data. Use Win32DiskImager on a Windows PC to clone Raspberry Pi SD Card. As a result, use clone backup to Upgrade Raspberry Pi by cloning image to larger capacity Micro SD Card.
Upgrading Raspberry Pi SD Card:
In fact, most Raspberry Pi Kits include 16GB to 32GB Micro SD Cards which is a good starting point. However, it will not be long before many Raspberry Pi owners will need more space. Thankfully, there are more options available, and affordable. For example, upgrading the Raspberry Pi SD Card to 64GB, 128GB or 256GB currently costs between $20.00 and $50.00.
In addition, the Windows software, Win32DiskImager is currently free. As a result, provided you have access to a Windows PC, you may only need to purchase a new Micro SD Card.
I Feel the Need for Speed!
Generally speaking, many of the newer Micro SD Cards are faster. In fact, there are some Micro SD Cards that have an application rating of 2. The application rating for SD Cards is relatively new. However, increases in speed when loading applications such web browsers and office applications are notable. In general, the application 2 type Micro SD Cards have faster read and write speeds. By and large, even a good quality class 10, application 1 Micro SD Card will be faster than most cards found in starter kits.
Why Windows PC?
In fact, using the Windows PC and Win32DiskImager, provides a great way to backup your Raspberry Pi SD Card to an alternate safe location. By and large, using a Windows PC with Win32DiskImager is more complex than using your Raspberry Pi. If you wish to use a Pi to clone Raspberry Pi and Upgrade SD Card, please see my page:
Clone Raspberry Pi Upgrade SD Card with RPi
In addition, if you would prefer to use a Windows PC to clone Raspberry Pi and Upgrade SD Card, please see my page:
Clone Raspberry Pi Upgrade SD Card with Mac PC
This example will demonstrate how to clone a Raspberry Pi OS from a 16GB SD Card to a Windows PC after installing Win32DiskImager. The clone image will be written to a new 128GB SD Card. After the Raspberry Pi boots on the new Micro SD Card, Raspi-config will be used to Expand Filesystem. Expanding the filesystem will provide the Raspberry Pi OS and you, access to the new storage.
Clone Raspberry Pi SD Card Upgrade Requirements:
- Windows PC Running Windows 7, 8.1, 10 or Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016.
- 18GB to 20GB Free unused available disk space for Raspberry Pi Image File.
- A shiny new 128GB Micro SD card of your choice.
- Win32DiskImager Downloaded and Installed on Windows PC.
Clone Raspberry Pi Step One – Insert Micro SD Card into Windows PC:
To clone Raspberry Pi, first use the Desktop on your Raspberry Pi to Shut down the system. As a result, power off the Raspberry Pi, and carefully take out the Micro SD Card. Thereupon, using an SD Card adapter or USB Micro SD Card adapter, insert the Raspberry Pi SD Card into the Windows PC port. Also, make note of the drive letter assigned to your Micro SD Card if possible.
Clone Raspberry Pi Step Two- Download Win32 Disk Imager:
On the Windows PC Desktop open Web browser of your choice and navigate to the following URL:
Win32 Disk Imager download | SourceForge.net
The following download page will be shown as in picture below:
Once the download web page is fully loaded, select the Download button to start the download process. Once the file is fully downloaded, open as shown below:
After opening the installation package, you will see a security message like shown below:
Select Yes to install Win32DiskImager software package and open the next screen as below:
Follow the red circles, select the, accept agreement radio button, and select the next button to move to the next screen as shown below:
Alter the folder or directory location as desired and select next to move to the next screen shown below:
Change menu name if desired, and select Next button to move to next screen as below:
If desired, check the, Create Desktop shortcut checkbox, and Select Next to continue to next screen as shown below:
Select the Install button and afterwards the following screen will appear:
If desired, uncheck the check box for View README.txt, and select Finish to launch application.
Clone Raspberry Pi Step Three – Create Backup of Disk Image:
The next step in the process is to create a disk image of the Raspberry Pi OS from existing 16GB Micro SD Card. Essentially, this will backup your Raspberry Pi OS to the Windows PC.
Select the File Folder button as shown below:
Create and select a file folder and enter a filename for image. In this example, a folder named Backups exists on the C: drive with a target filename of “RaspberryPiOSBackupImage“. Once a folder and filename are entered, select the Open button as shown in picture below:
Consequentially, with the target file setup for image, open File Explorer on the Windows PC. Further, select “This PC” and scan list of drive letters until you see one with the name of “boot”. In fact, if you recorded the drive letter in step one, this should match. See picture below for an example:
Now that the drive letter has been verified, return to the Win32DiskImager application on Windows PC. Select from the drop down select and set drive letter to match drive letter found above. The picture below shows an example:
In effect, you have now set the source drive and the target destination for the backup and cloning process. When ready, select the Read button as shown below:
As can be seen, once the read process starts, the progress will be displayed as shown below:
After a few minutes, the process of cloning or backing up your Raspberry Pi OS will complete displaying the following notice:
As a result, using the File Manager in Windows, navigate to the folder where the clone Raspberry Pi backup disk image is located. Verify existence of disk image file, and that it in correct folder with name specified earlier. In addition, scan the file size making sure it is large. The size in this example should show something as seen below:
Clone Raspberry Pi Step Four – Clone Image to Larger SD Card:
As can be seen, you now have a backup of your Raspberry Pi OS with everything on it. This is a great method to use on a regular basis to backup your system. Consequently, the time has now come to upgrade The Raspberry Pi to the new 128GB Micro SD Card.
First, use File Explorer to navigate to the list of drives displayed for “This PC”. Locate the drive letter used for the Micro SD Card containing the Raspberry Pi OS. Right Click and Select Eject, removing Micro SD Card with Adapter from Windows PC as shown below:
For the most part, we are now going to reverse the process used above. Using an adapter either USB or SD Card, insert the shiny, new 128GB into the Windows PC. Using File Explorer on the Windows PC, verify the drive letter matches up with drive contents after inserting. Right Click and Select Properties for Micro SD Card as in the following picture:
Clone the Clone and Upgrade Raspberry Pi to new SD Card:
Generally speaking, most likely the same drive letter will be used as in above steps if the same Micro SD Card Adapter is used for new device. Enter the clone disk image filename, Select drive letter for new SD Card in Win32DiskImager. Select the Write button when ready to start writing backup clone as shown below:
As a result, a confirmation popup window will appear. Make sure the original Micro SD Card is safe and that the setting you configured for Win32DiskImager are correct. Basically, this is a great time to make sure you have followed the step correctly to avoid losing data. When ready, Select Yes to begin writing Clone Raspberry Pi disk image to the new 128GB Micro SD Card as seen below:
Accordingly, once the writing process begins, the progress will be display as shown in picture below:
Accordingly, once the write operation has completed the following message will be displayed:
Generally speaking, if the write operation is a success, the clone Raspberry Pi should now be on the new Micro SD Card and ready for use. At this juncture, it is good practice to double check. Use File Explorer to navigate to list of drives under “This PC”. Verify the Micro SD Card drive letter and name should say boot. The following picture shows an example:
Looking good, time to Eject and Exit Win32DiskImager:
As a result, right click on new 128GB Micro SD Card and select Eject as shown below to remove disk:
As shown in picture below, Select the Exit button to close Win32DiskImager:
Clone Raspberry Pi Step Five – Expand File System:
In fact, the new 128GB Micro SD Card containing the Raspberry Pi OS with all of your work, is now ready. Before you power on the Raspberry Pi, carefully place the new Micro SD Card into your Raspberry Pi. Power on and you will see the system boot and start as normal. Once the system is fully up, you will need to Expand Filesystem.
For step-by-step instructions with pictures follow link below:
Expand Filesystem – Raspberry Pi Micro SD Card – Pi With Vic
For a quick list of instructions see list below:
- Open Terminal on Raspberry Pi Desktop or ssh.
- Enter the shell command, Raspi-config, at the Raspberry Pi Terminal command Prompt.
- Select Advanced Options from the Main Menu of choices in Raspi-config.
- Choose Expand Filesystem from the Advanced Options Menu choices.
- Select Ok after Message saying Filesystem will be expanded on next reboot.
- Choose Finish on Main Menu of Choice.
- Select Yes to Reboot Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations, your Raspberry Pi is now upgraded to a larger Micro SD Card. In addition, you have a backup clone on the Windows PC and your original Micro SD Card.
There are many ways to upgrade your Raspberry Pi. In fact, one of the most useful is increasing the size the Micro SD Card used by the Raspberry Pi Operating System, applications, and your data. Using a Windows PC and Win32DiskImager makes the process simple and cost effective.
Depending on what Micro SD card you could now have the most powerful Raspberry Pi in the Galaxy. Just remember to not be too proud of this technological terror you have created. Its powers are insignificant to that of the Force…
May the Raspberry Pi be With You,