win32diskimager: How to write raw disk image to removable storage device

By | June 14, 2016

Win32diskimager effectively writes images (such as .img, .iso) to SD card or pen drive. In the embedded Linux environment, we specially use this software to write .img disk images to SD/MMC. This software works well with all desktop windows versions.

In this post, you are going to see the procedure to flash a raw disk image to SD card using win32diskimager software. You will also see the procedure to create your our custom disk image.

Win32DiskImagerHow to Download:

Download the latest version of win32diskimager from the below link.

You just have to click the above link. It will directly take you to download page. After 5 seconds, a pop up window will appear as shown below. Then click on save file.

Download win32diskimagerInstallation:

Noting special about installation. You just have to install like a normal windows software. Double click on Win32DiskImager-install .exe, then click next next next … at last ‘finish’.

Once you click on ‘finish’, win32diskimager software opens automatically. One strange observation is that, on my windows 8.1, software failed to load after clicking ‘finish’. Windows is showing below error.

setup_createProcess_failed; code 740

CreateProcess failed; code 740. 
The requested operation requires elevation.

I’m not sure about other windows versions. If you see such error message, just ignore it, and click OK.

Lets flash a Disk Image:

Before proceeding further, remove all SD cards and USB sticks from your computer.

1. Open start menu and type ‘win32DiskImager’, and open the software.

Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step1

2. Software window appears as shown below. Since there is no removable media connected to host machine, you should see device field as empty.

Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step2

3. Now plugin your SD card  (or) card reader (or) USB stick. Software automatically detects the device and updated the ‘Device’ field.

Here [H:\] is only for reference. You may get different driver letter.

Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step3

4. Now click on folder icon. Select your disk image and click on Open.  Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step4

5. In the software window, select MD5 check box to generate the a MD5 hash for disk image. Normally, disk image providers shares MD5 hash of the disk image. Compare both to avoid errors.

Next, click ‘Write’ to flash disk image to storage medium.

Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step56. Click ‘Yes’ and Confirm the overwrite

Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step6

7. Now, disk image will be written to removable storage medium. Progress can be observed in the progress bar.  Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step7

8. Once done with the  flashing procedure, ‘Complete’ pop up appears. Just click OK.  Disk image flashing win32diskimager -step8

9. Eject the storage medium.

Backup storage device:

You can also dump your entire SD card and create a disk image using this software.

To do that,  click on folder icon and give appropriate path and name to your disk image. Then click on ‘Read’.

Disk image reading win32diskimager -step1Disk image creation takes some time based on the storage medium size. You can observe the progress in ‘Progress’ bar.

Once done with the disk image creation, click on “MD5 Hash” check box to generate MD5 Hash value.

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