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Copy / Image a Raspberry PI SD card with Raspbian OS

Posted on 2014-03-21
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Last Modified: 2016-08-13
Hello Experts,

How do I copy / Image a Raspbian SD card.  When I put the SD card into my Win/XP laptop it does not see it.  I'm guessing that when I set up the SD card on my Raspberry that it formatted it in to a different format that Win/XP doesn't recognize so it doesn't see it.  I have a SD card with Noobs on it and Win/XP sees that card.  I have used Win32 Disk Imager and it doesn't see the Raspbian SD card.

Thanks!
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Question by:CompTech810
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
ID: 39945674
Windisk Imager should see it, as it can be used to create images of SD Cards as well. Do you have an external card reader (USB connected) that you can use? Does the RPI still boot from that card? If it does, the you should be able to read it.
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Author Comment

by:CompTech810
ID: 39950060
The SD card reader I'm using is built into my laptop.  The SD card reader can see the SD card when it is preloaded with Noobs but after I setup Raspbian and take the SD card out of the Raspberry PI and put it into the SD reader it doesn't see it and the Raspberry PI boots with no problem.  It's almost like Raspbian formats or some how locks the SD card.  I don't have an external SD card reader.  I'll buy one to see if it can see the SD card.
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Expert Comment

by:simon3270
ID: 39950188
NOOBs uses a Linux disk format which Windows doesn't understand, but the RPi does.

Win32 Disk Imager will be able to see the card (in that you will be able to write an image to that SD card), but Windows itself will not be able to see the *contents* of the card.

You don't need an external card reader - the built-in one should be fine (it's what i use when I'm writing RPi cards).
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Author Comment

by:CompTech810
ID: 39950589
I'll have to try it again.  Currently the card is in use....  I will let you know. Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE earned 2000 total points
ID: 39951280
I've had mixed results with internal card readers, that's why I suggested an external reader :)

But still: WindiskImager should be able to copy the RPI SD card.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CompTech810
ID: 39953183
I purchased an external SD card reader and Windisk sees the SD card.  There must be something wrong with my laptop SD card reader.  Thank You!!
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