Monday, 19 March 2012

Using DD for Windows

Following my earlier post covering how to create an SD card using Win32DiskImager, I thought I'd put together a similar post for using DD for Windows.

First, a precaution:  This will manually remove partitions from the SD Card.  Ensure you follow the steps carefully as you could end up erasing data on other drives in your computer.  This can actually delete the partition that you're currently running Windows on!  But don't worry - I've got some basic steps you can take to make sure you're making the right changes

EDIT: 06/05/2012: In an attempt to tidy up my blog I've placed this under a separate page - you can find it here, or on the tabs at the page.


  1. Thank you for this great page.

    A while back I used DD to install the Debian image to a 4GB SD card, following Liam's tutorial, and had no trouble.

    But using DD to install the latest March 13th Debian distro resulted in "Error reading file: 87 The parameter is incorrect." I tried many times. Now I see your example above has the same error message, but you have ignored it. I did a Google search, and the few dozen hits I checked out were essentially gibberish. Is this error important or not? There has been no mention of it on the RPi forum, or the E14 forum.

    I then installed the new image using Win32DiskImager, and it worked fine, with no error message.

    I see you use od= instead of of= in DD. Apparently this works, but I can't find od= documented on the DD page, or wikipedia entry, or anywhere else. od= sure is an easier method.

    You used DISKPART to select the disk, then individually deleted each partition. Isn't just selecting the disk, and using "clean" an easier method?

    Thanks again

  2. I finally found the od= update listed under beta1 changes.

  3. Thanks for your feedback Art. You know, I hadn't actually noticed that error before - no idea how I missed it! I'll look into it up udpate accordingly, along with more details on the version of DD used for the "od" parameter.

    As for the CLEAN method, good idea, I didn't know that existed! I'll post some steps for that too.

  4. Just an update - I've done some tests on several cards and I get that error on every one, but they always book up in my Pi, so I think it's safe to say we can ignore it.

    I've also tried out the CLEAN method and can confirm it works nicely. Easier, but more dangerous! I'll post some new screenshots soon.

  5. I just discovered your write up on preparing and writing to the SD card for RasPi. I have tried several methods, some worked better than others, but your explanation is perfect.
    I was able to delete the partition, and rewrite to the SD card following your tutorial.

    I am running Win8 CP and everything you did in Win7 worked in Win8

    I ordered my RasPi on April 2 and according to the email from Newark, I should be receiving my unit by the end of June.

    Can't wait.
    Thanks again for your effort.

  6. Second comment.
    Now that I have my SD card imaged and ready to go, how can I make a copy of it on my windows hard drive?

    Do you have a method for doing this?

    Thanks much for your help

    1. I do actually - I found a great utility recommended by someone on the forums - I haven't written up the details for it, but it's fairly straight forward with a functional UI. You can download it from here:

      It lets you apply the Raspberry Pi image to an SD Card as well as create your own images from an SD Card once you've booted up and configured everything you need - very useful!

  7. Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.

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