By Delia / Last Updated October 30, 2020

Case: Can I Clone a Raspberry Pi SD Card?

“Can anyone help? I have my Raspberry Pi model 3 image on a 16 GB micro SD card. I tried to clone the card to another card but I find that the new card is a few MB smaller!”

Raspberry Pi is a series of credit-card sized and single-board computers that plugs into a computer monitor or TV. It enables users to do basically everything you can expect on a desktop computer. Meanwhile, it has been widely used in many areas for its low cost and high portability.

The Raspberry Pi SD card inserted to the board works as hard drive. If it gets corrupted by power outage, overclocking, or some other reasons, you have no choice but to start from scratch, which is quite frustrating.

In this case, you may want to clone the Raspberry Pi SD card to another card for better performance, or keep the copy as a backup. But how can you do that? Is there an effective SD card copier?

Raspberry Pi

Advantages of Cloning Raspberry Pi SD Card

  • Data protection:

If you’ve been using Raspberry Pi for a while, you probably know it’s a finicky little device. Especially when you use Raspberry Pi as a media center or retro gaming station, the SD card would be crashed and corrupted easily. Thus you may lost everything on it. To avoid this tragedy, you could clone the Raspberry Pi SD card to protect the data.

  • SD card upgrade:

If the Raspberry Pi SD card has insufficient space or poor performance, you can upgrade it to larger one or newer one. In this case, cloning your Raspberry Pi SD card to another is a good way to avoid data loss.

Best Free SD Clone Clone Software for Raspberry Pi

To clone or backup Raspberry Pi SD Card, the simplest and safest way is to use an effective cloning tool like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

◆ AOMEI Backupper integrates complete features including the Disk Clone. When it comes to Raspberry Pi SD card cloning, you can connect it as an external hard drive.

◆ This software runs in an intelligent clone mode by default. It only clones used sectors so that you can even clone SD card to a smaller disk (as in the case at the beginning). If you have a larger disk or SD card as the destination, you can also choose the sector-by-sector mode to make an exact copy of all the sectors, no matter used or not.

◆ The cloning process is rather simple. All the operations can be done within several steps.

◆ AOMEI Backupper Standard is completely FREE, and enough to complete the disk cloning. If you want to enjoy some advanced features like editing partition size of destination disk, cloning dynamic disk, cloning GPT to MBR or vice versa, you can also upgrade to Professional or higher editions.

How to Clone Raspberry Pi SD Card with AOMEI Backupper?

With all these information, you can get started to clone Raspberry Pi SD card.

Preparations:
● Shut down your Raspberry Pi and remove the SD card.
● Install AOMEI Backupper on a Windows computer.
● Use SD Card Reader to connect the Raspberry Pi SD card to the computer.
● If you want to clone the SD card to another, connect the destination card as well. If your computer already has a SD card slot, you just need to prepare one Reader.

Clone SD card to another with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Launch the software, go to Clone tab and click Disk Clone. It will copy everything on the SD card.

Disk Clone

2. Select the Raspberry Pi SD card as the source disk, click Next.

Choose Smaller Sd Card

3. Choose the destination disk. In this case it’s another SD card you just connected. Click Next to continue.

Choose Larger Sd Card

4. Customize the cloning as you need, then click Start Clone and wait for the process to complete.

◆ SSD Alignment: for a destination SSD, this option will accelerate the reading and writing speed therefore improve the performance.
◆ Sector by Sector Clone: to create an intact copy of all the sectors, you can tick this option. Otherwise it will only clone used sectors.
◆ Edit Partition: in advanced editions, you can use this feature to adjust the destination disk’s partition size and drive letter.

Start Clone Sd Card

When the cloning is over, you can remove the SD cards, and insert the cloned card to the Raspberry Pi.

Tips:

  • The destination disk or SD card will be overwritten so please backup important data on it at first.

  • If you fail to connect two SD cards at the same time, you can back up the SD card to computer first, and then restore the image file to the new card instead.

Verdict

To clone Raspberry Pi SD card to another, an effective cloning tool like AOMEI Backupper could be a big help. If works on all Windows OS and enables you clone internal or external disks. Not only disk, you can even it use to clone Windows operating system, therefore to migrate only OS to another SSD or HDD. And in daily use, it also works as an all-around data protection solution to backup and restore.