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Best Methods to Backup the Raspberry Pi SD Card

Once fully configured according to your custom needs it's a good idea to create an raw image backup of your Raspberry Pi SD Card setup, once backed-up a user simply need to re-image the card in-case the underlying operating-system or filesystem gets corrupted. There are various methods to backup and restore the Raspberry Pi SD card, we reviewed all and here are the best options to get the task completed in shortest time with smallest file-size.

The most widely used Windows utility for RAW image backups and restores Win32 Disc Imager is an easy to use option but the resulting file-size is bigger as it is uncompressed, using any popular compression format results in smaller backup size as shown below. However, this approach consumes more time and requires manual efforts twice.

Win32 Disk Imager
SD Card Backup

HDD Raw Copy Tool is my choice of free utility to get the Raspberry Pi backed up, HDD Raw Copy creates an exact raw (dd) copy of the entire media (including service data such as MBR, Boot records, etc) with all filesystems (even hidden) just like Win32 Disk Imager but compresses them to offer smaller filesize as shown below.

HDD Raw Copy
HDD Raw Copy File


Great review on HDD Raw Copy Tool. I had always used True Image to backup my PI Images but while the HDD Raw Copy image is a little larger, it works great.

I've been using Win32 on all my Windows machines but I'll certainly be using HDD Raw Copy from now on. Good compression and it just 'feels right'
Thanks for the infos, my duder

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