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Writing image to USB drive, in Windows

April 01, 2016 — BarryK
I am revisiting this topic, considering what is the best tool in Windows, to write an image-file to a drive. In my case, it will be writing a Quirky image to a USB drive or SD-card.

There is a 'dd' utility for Windows, however the project is old and there is some feedback that it doesn't work properly with Windows 10:

Win32 Disk Imager
This seems to be the most popular:

Expanding an image file
I upload USB drive image files with xz compression.
The problem with the Windows GUI tools like Win32 Disk Imager, as far as I am aware, cannot pipe in a .img.xz file and expand it as it is being read -- it has to be expanded completely beforehand. So, if it is a 16GB image, the Windows drive will need that much free space.

Anyway, a tool for Windows to expand a .img.xz file is 7-zip:


This is another one, Windows image-writer tool:


HDD Raw Copy Tool

I seem to recall, a few years ago when I looked at this tool, is does read a compressed image file, but does not support xz.


Careful though, read the user feedback, some warnings.

I don't know why we would need to do this, but Puppy Forum member 'don570' has reported that he needs to format the card first, using 'SD Card Formatter' (for Windows):

SD Card Formatter

Tags: linux