It is a good idea to periodically backup your SD card or clone it to a secondary SD card as a backup. Prolonged usage of the SD card by the OS or a surge in power supply or ageing could easily corrupt the contents of the SD card or fail completely.
 It is also a great idea to back up the state of the SD card before beginning a new Pi Project. For example, create a back image after installing Raspbian and enabling SSH access.  The next time you want to start a project from a fresh install,  the Pi could be booted headless and worked on remotely right from the beginning.

Overview :

  • Shut down the Pi.
  • Download the cloning software.
  • Create an image file of the SD card in your PC with Win32 disk imager and a card reader.
  • Transfer your image to a back up SD card.

Time and Difficulty :

  • Time : About 5 mins
  • Newbie Difficulty level : Ridiculously Easy
To create the back up image of your SD card :
  1. Download and install Win32 Disk Imager on your Windows PC.win32 disk imager
  2. Shut down your Pi by entering “sudo halt -h
  3. Remove and insert the SD card into your PC.
  4. Open Win32 Disk Imagerwin32diskimager2
  5. Click in the Image file box and enter a file name that you want for your SD card back.
  6. Under Device , select the drive that points to your SD card.
  7. Click on Read ( Be very careful not to click on Write.  Write will overwrite your SD card ). Clicking on Read will read the SD card contents and create an image of the SD card with a .img extension.win32diskimager3
  8. A file will the extension .img will saved on your PC.

The image file you created is a snapshot of your Pi’s SD card.  It can be stored a file on your PC.

When you want to create a new SD card, Open Win32 Disk Imager, Select the File you had created and choose your SD card drive under device.

Click on Write to replace the contents of the SD card with the image file .


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