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Cloning sd card



  • Hello everyone. First time poster. My question is...
    If i make a backup of the retropie i built using win32diskimager will the roms i have on it be copied as well and be playable. Im looking to make a kick ass gift for my brothers birthday. Thanks for any input. All of your help and support comments have got me as far as i have!


  • Global Moderator

    @robhubbard86 yes, an image backup contains EVERYTHING on that card.

    it will be playable assuming you install it on a same-size or larger SD card, and inserted into the same raspberry pi model.



  • @dankcushions I just made a backup copy of my 128 gb SD card that I may have used 4 gb so far and I noticed my backup img is 128gb instead of how much I've actually used. I tried to run a virtual Linux through virtual box but I can't get it to load up properly. So I can't run pishrink. Is there a simple way to do this? Maybe something windows compatible? Or perhaps a webbed based Linux site that can shrink it for you?

    I was hoping there would be a simple way to do this. Maybe a retropie utilility disc! One step process??



  • @mahoneyt944 When you put a stock retropie image in a Pi for the first time, it automatically expands to the full size of the sd card (so it can use all the available space). I don't think there is an easy way to shrink your image.


  • Global Moderator

    @mahoneyt944 You can back-up just your ROMs and configuration files - https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Updating-RetroPie/#making-a-backup-option-2 - without cloning a full image. Then you can install from the official image and add back your files.



  • @mitu I've know you can to that but the official image is behind in updates so you have to go through a lot to update everything. What I want to do is make a backup of my updated/ configed image without roms so all I'd have to do is add my roms quickly and be back and running. I'm happy with my build.

    Retropie should add a separate partition for exporting your entire image that way you can exit es/ retropie via a option in the retropie menu and load to it where it would ask you "Do you want to export your entire image to USB, y or n?. Then it could copy only the Allocated space of your SD card and not all the blank space. This new partition could then write itself to the new image so each copied image has the ability to be exported again and again. I know it's not as simple as that but I'm sure there's a way to implement this more efficiently.

    Another thought of mine was pishrink, it seems most people run it on Linux based either legit, virtual, or live. Which removes the extra space in the img file which will expand to the new SD card size on boot, as I understand it. Is it possible to execute pishrink on the pi where pishrink is located in a shared folder on my windows PC with the large img in that same folder to be shrinked?



  • I’ve used this to copy from a 128g card to a 64g one before to create another Retropie for someone. Worked fine for me apart from having to run it twice just to make sure everything really was copied, but that was just a delta copy then.

    https://github.com/billw2/rpi-clone

    I plugged the other SD card into a USB adapter and just let it run overnight as I was close to about 60g in actual use.


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