Getting your micro SD card ready to load Raspbian: easier than you thought

Configuring your own micro SD card in order to install Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi is not so hard. Some of the instructions out there are a bit dated and make it out to be harder than it really is.

The details
For instance this site has some extra steps you don’t need:

I’d stick with the simplest possible approach, which turns out to be this set of instructions:

But all these instructions seem to refer to an IMG file which I don’t even see. The main thing is to download NOOBS (new out-of-box software) from .

Then, get the SD card formatter. But the latest version is 5, not 4, and it looks different from before – there are essentially no options!

SD Card Formatter

So go with Quick Format and it works out OK. Unless your SD card is used. Then choose Overwrite format. That also works but takes a lot longer.

Then when it comes to copying the image file, which makes no sense with NOOBS because the image file is hidden, I think. Just extract all the files form the NOOBs zip file and copy them over to your E: drive, of whatever drive your SD card appears as.

Then follow the instructions on your Ras Pi display.

That’s it! I know because I just did it.

(non-)Reliability of SD Card
For the record, I’m in this situation because my old micro SD card just died. This is after running it continuously for a little over two years. Not very impressive in my book. Also for the record the card came as part of a Cana kit.

Symptoms of SD card failure in my case:

– boot paused, then after 120 seconds spits out some warnings about MMC something or other.
– LED status light solid green

A word about NOOBS and Balena Etcher
Note that the Etcher people were a bit lazy, and refuse to support burning NOOBS to an SD card with Etcher! to repeat, Etcher and NOOBS are incompatible. The stated reason is that NOOBS is not a true image.

References and related
This is probably the best guide, but I did not find a guide with 100% correct info;

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2 Responses to Getting your micro SD card ready to load Raspbian: easier than you thought

  1. Andres Torres says:

    another nice portable application is etcher –

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