Backup Your MicroSD Card - Learn how to make a backup of your microSD card
Following the steps below will get you back on track in just a short while.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
In order to backup your microSD card you're going to need the following items:
- Your microSD card
- A USB card reader
- Your computer
- Some free software (links provided in next section)
- A little bit of patience
Here is a useful Video:
Or follow WINDOWS INSTRUCTION:
DO NOT FORMAT YOUR CARD
Most likely, when you insert your microSD card in to your PC, Windows will tell you that it needs to be formatted. DO NOT FORMAT YOUR CARD! Windows cannot recognize the file system of your card so it thinks it's "blank" and needs to be formatted. Just close the pop-up and continue with the guide.
1. Install Win32Disk Imager
There are other microSD card image flashing tools around, but we’ve found Win32Disk Imager to be extremely reliable, and it’s the one we use daily, so it’s the one we recommend. You can download it here.
Install it after you finish downloading. You might need Administration privileges on Windows 10 to install it. You can safely allow it to install and work.
2. Backing Up the Card
Insert the microSD card in your computer’s microSD slot. If the card inserted has Retropie installed, you’ll get a number of messages in Windows 10, like the card needs formatting and maybe a couple of other error messages. This is normal! Don’t worry!
Please make note which “drive” is the drive where the microSD is. Because the microSD card with Retropie has 2 partitions, one of them will have some files (the main, boot partition), and the other will be unreadable. We don’t recommend you to mess up with any of these partitions, you need to back it up first!
Open Win32DiskImager now!
It will look like this:
With the microSD card inserted, and Win32DiskImager ready to go, click on the “Device” menu to select the device where the microSD card to be backup is inserted.
After you find it, you need to give a location and a name to your backup image that is going to be created. To do so, click on the blue folder, and select a location and a name for your backup image, let’s say D:/Retropie/backup.img
Make sure the filename ends with .img
ATTENTION: This should be a non-existent file! You are creating a new one with Win32DiskImager! Don’t select another image on your drive, because it will damage or overwrite it! Also, make sure your computer’s hard drive has enough space for the image file that is going to be created.
Make sure everything is fine, and then click on the READ button to start creating the image in your hard drive.
PLEASE NOTE: The backup process may take a while. It depends on the size of the card, and if you are using the computer while trying to backup a microSD card for gaming, navigating online, downloading stuff or watching a movie! We recommend you to leave your computer alone while it creates the backup file!
32GB cards might take 30 to 45 minutes, 128GB cards 1 to 2 hours and so forth. 256GB cards take about 3 hours to backup, so be aware before you start. Interrupting the process in the middle might corrupt both the card and the card image that is being created on your computer, so be careful and be patient.
Program will let you know when the process is complete. Once it's finished, safely eject your microSD card from your PC and put it back in your Raspberry Pi and get busy playing some retro games! Just remember where you saved your image file so that IF you ever need it, you'll know right where to find it!