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Install Raspberry Pi Operating System on SD Card

Updated by Gemma on Dec 11, 2020
Written by Jean

Overview of Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in association with Broadcom. It comes with no operating system, you can opt to fill the Raspberry Pi with 100% customized OS, which is usually done by burning an operating system image file you've downloaded to an SD card.

Here's the Raspberry Pi operating system list:

  • Raspbian
  • OSMC

Full Guide to Install Raspberry Pi OS on SD Card

This guide mainly focuses on how to accomplish the Raspberry Pi OS installation on a Windows PC. All you need is an SD card and a card reader. Follow the detailed guide below, to install OS on the SD card on your own.

How to Install Raspberry Pi Operating System on PC

Step 1. Download and install the latest version of the Raspberry Pi Imager.

Step 2. Insert your SD card into the computer with a card reader or an adapter.

Step 3. Open Raspberry Pi Imager and choose the required OS from the list presented.

Step 4. In the device box, select the correct SD card.

Step 4. Click "Write" and wait for the writing process to complete.

Step 5. Exit the imager and eject the SD card.

Another recommend Imager is Win32DiskImager, you can choose the one you like.

Download source: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

Format SD Card to FAT16 or FAT32 for Raspberry Pi 1,2,3

Your SD card should be prepared in FAT files system, let it be either FAT16 or FAT32, not including large capacity SDHC or SDXC cards which with an exFAT file system. To set up a fully compatible SD card for Raspberry Pi, use the recommended SD card formatting tool to format an SD card large than 32GB to FAT32 or convert exFAT to FAT32 on Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, or Vista.

Download EaseUS FREE partition manager and follow the guide below to format your SD card.


Formatting will erase all data on the memory card. Be sure that all the important data has been transferred to a safe spot.

Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 49 reviews
  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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