Beagleboard:Win32 Disk Imager

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This page explains how to use Win32 Disk Imager to flash an image to a microSD using a Windows computer.

Flashing An Image To A microSD

  1. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have downloaded and installed Win32 Disk Imager to a known location on your computer. You will have to unzip the folder that is downloaded. Leave all of the contents in this folder after it is unzipped.
    • To unzip the folder, right click on the .zip folder and click Extract all.... You can choose which folder to extract to and then click Extract
  2. Next you will have to download the .img file of the image you want. This is completely up to you as to which image you want to use. For this tutorial, the only requirement is that the file you download is a .img file type.
    • Most image file downloads will have a .img.xz format to keep the size of the download files small. If this is the case you will need to unzip the file with a program such as 7zip.
  3. After you have downloaded your image of choice (and extracted it if needed) you must open Win32 Disk Imager. Go the folder where you extracted it and click on the icon shown below. Click Yes if it asks you for administrative privileges.
    Win icon.png
  4. Now you must plug your microSD card into your computer
    • Using a microSD-to-USB or microSD-to-SD adapter is fine.
  5. Determine which drive your microSD card is mounted to. The easiest way to do this is to use Windows Explorer. Click Start > Documents. Then on the left side of the window you should be able to see your microSD listed under Computer
    Win comp1.png
    The drive corresponding to the microSD is highlighted here. Its drive letter is (F:). Your drive name and letter may be different.
    Win comp2.png
  6. In Win32 Disk Imager, make sure the correct drive letter is selected under 'Device'. Then click the small folder icon in order select your desired image file.
    Win sel.png
    • Note: Win32 Disk Imager will most likely choose the correct drive letter automatically if the microSD is the only storage device you have plugged in. However, make sure the correct drive is selected because it will be formatted and you will lose any data stored on it.
  7. When you have the correct file and drive selected you can click Write. This will give you a warning and ask if you want to continue. Click Yes if you wish to continue.
  8. It should now be writing an image to the disk. Depending on your microSD and image size this can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes.
  9. When it finishes you will have a microSD with an image ready to boot from or flash to the eMMC

Simplified Process

The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Determine which image you want, download it, and extract it if need be
  2. Insert microSD
  3. Open Win32 Disk Imager
  4. Select correct drive and image in Win32 Disk Imager
  5. Click Write and wait for it to finish