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Trying to create backup image but windows asks to format my SD card. Help!

  • Hi

    I am trying to backup/clone my retropie SD card with all my games and settings, but I don't get very far :-(

    When I plug it into my PC I get an error message saying that it needs to format the SD card before I can use it. But if I do that then everything on the card would be lost, right?

    So what do I do now? Is there something I can do to create the image anyway? I'm slightly pannicking if I can't backup, because it has taking me forever to setup everything (I'm quite a noob, but somehow succeded).

    Can you help, please?

    I don't know if this matters but a little more details on the error message:

    • when I plug the sd card into my laptop it sees it as drive H, and asks to format before I can use it. I press cancel of course, and then get the message that the disk doesn't contain a recognizable file system.

    • However it does open af 'boot folder' (shown as a drive G) at the same time and it has a folder called 'overlays'. But the files are only about 21MB. And it still won't let my access the data/files on the H disk.

    Any help would be greatly appeciated! :-)

  • Global Moderator

    @steffenbrauner The SD card has 2 partitions (G: and H:), one of which is unreadable by Windows (hence the format question) and the boot partition which is very small - as you noticed.
    Ignore any warnings to format by Windows and just use Win32DiskImager to create a backup image of your SD card.

    You should also take a look at the documentation - - so see what other options you have for taking a backup.

  • @mitu Thanks. That already sounds promising. I was going to use Win32DiskImage but thought I couldn't do it beceause of theese warnings. I'give it a try.

    But which particion/drive letter should I choose to create the image from in Win32DiskImage? I suspect it to be 'H', but what about the 'G' particion then?

    Sorry for the dumb questions. I just don't wanna f*** something up.

  • Global Moderator

    @steffenbrauner You should choose the partition which is readable by Windows as the source of the backup. Verify afterwards that the .img file size is as large as your SD card's capacity.

  • @mitu Ah, okay, that must be the small 'G' particion then. Thanks.

  • @mitu looks like it went well. A big thank you! Now I can sleep better at night ;-)

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