Raspberry Pi – Imaging Your SD Card

So you bought your Pi. What now? First thing you need to do is to go get the Raspbian image. Raspbian is the operating system you will use for your Pi. There are others you can get, but for now let’s stick to Raspbian. We will be using Windows to set everything up for our Pi. I will get around to writing a Linux tutorial soon.

Go Raspberrypi.org and get their raspbian image. You can select either the lite image or the regular. Pick the lite if you are limited to space on your SD card that you purchased.

Download Full Raspbian Image – https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest

Download Raspbian Lite Image – https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_lite_latest

That download could take a while depending on your internet connection, so while you are waiting you can download the other tool you are going to need. Win32diskimager. This is the program that will allow us to burn the image to the SD card. You can download it here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

Once your Raspbian image is done downloading, find the download and extract it. You’ll have an image file at that point. Assuming you installed Win32diskimager, open that next. You’ll notice there’s a long blank text field with a file icon to the right of it. That is your “browse” button. Click that and locate the raspbian image you just extracted. Now you want to point the drop down list to the right of the browse button to the drive path of your SD card. BE VERY CAREFUL HERE. You can overwrite other drives or SD cards if you don’t make sure you have the right one selected. If you want to be safe, go to my computer and look for the drive that matches the amount of space your SD card should have. Go back to Win32diskimager and select that drive. Your window should look similar to this:

Again, make sure that you have selected the right drive. Once you have, click the “Write” button. The process can take a little while depending on the computer you are doing this on.

Once that is done, eject the SD card, place it in your Pi (If you are looking down at the BOTTOM of the Pi, then the label of the SD card faces you when you insert it).

Plug in your HDMI connector, keyboard and mouse and then power.

NOTE! Don’t unplug your raspberry pi until it completes the first bootup process. It expands the file system on the first boot and if you interrupt that process you have to start over. However, starting over with a card you already imaged is not the same process. I will be writing a tutorial on that.

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