Backing up your RPi
Like any other computer system, the data running on your RPi is only as good as it’s last backup. Heck, have you ever even backed-up your RPi since you got it up and running? Well let me show you how to get backed-up so that you can get back up in the event that you ever have a RPi catastrophe.
This article is going to focus on backing up your RPi with Windows. While can also back it up using Linux or MacOS, I’m not going to cover those as I primarily use the Windows Operating System. If you desire more info on backing up your RPi, please consult the official documentation here.
Backup on Windows
In Windows, we’ll use a utility called “Win32 Disk Imager”. Go ahead and download and install Win32 Disk Imager onto your computer. It will allow us to make a full image copy of the micro-SD card that is used in our RPi. That way we can restore a 1:1 image of that micro-SD card as it is at the time of backup, back onto the card or onto a new card if we ever need to. We can keep that image copy on a desktop or NAS or cloud storage.
Start by shutting down the RPi with the following command.
sudo shutdown now
One the RPi has shut down, disconnect the power. You can now pull the micro-SD card out of it. Place it into the the card reader on your Windows computer. This might be a usb adapter that you are using, or there might be a SD slot on your laptop that will take a “micro-SD to SD card” adapter.
On your Windows computer, open the Win32 Disk Imager program.
In the upper right, under ‘Device’, select the drive letter of the card reader.
Mine is “D:\”, your will likely be different.
In the ‘Image File’ box, click on the folder button to browse to, and select, the location of where you would like to save the image file to.
Click the ‘Read’ button at the button to begin creating your backup image.
Once the backup completes, there will be a popup message you need to click ‘OK’ to.
Your backup is complete!
Go ahead and eject the card from your card reader and return it to your RPi. You can then reconnect the power and turn it back on.
You can now restore you RPi to this point-in-time image when anything ever goes wrong in the future.