Page 1 of 1

Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:51 pm
by CRP99
Hi all, I just have a quick question:

Before using WinDisk32Imager to flash the image file of the Raspbian OS to an SD card, do you first need to use the SD card formatting tool (found here https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/), or is this step only necessary when using NOOBS?

Thanks

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:54 pm
by richiepp
I've done it with a brand new card without first formatting. Be sure to expand the partition when you first log on.

Good Luck!
Rich

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:05 pm
by FTrevorGowen
CRP99 wrote:Hi all, I just have a quick question:
Before using WinDisk32Imager to flash the image file of the Raspbian OS to an SD card, do you first need to use the SD card formatting tool (found here https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/), or is this step only necessary when using NOOBS?
Thanks
WinDisk32Imager should overwrite the whole card with the disk image and so SDFormatter should not be needed. However, if you are re-using an SDHC card that may have suffered "corruption" (due to power glitches, bad shutdowns ...) IIRC, it has been suggested that using SDFormatter's full overwrite mode may be helpful in recovering the full capacity. (Windows may not "see" beyond the corruption)
Trev

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:06 pm
by DeeJay
CRP99 wrote:Before using WinDisk32Imager to flash the image file of the Raspbian OS to an SD card, do you first need to use the SD card formatting tool (found here https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/), or is this step only necessary when using NOOBS?
The latter. Win32DiskImager writes a bit-by-bit copy of the content of the image file onto the SD card, ignoring (and destroying) any existing data or partition structure on the SD card. Using SDformatter in this situation is therefore redundant, but not harmful.

(But I agree with the previous reply's emphasis on should and may... )

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:22 pm
by CRP99
Thanks for that quick response (which could be the understatement of the year thus far, considering that it literally only took about 3 minutes) :lol:
richiepp wrote:...Be sure to expand the partition when you first log on...
Also, I have seen things about expanding the partition in numerous places, and I don't think I fully grasp the concept of it quite yet.

From what I understand, the purpose of expanding the partition is to speed up the performance/response of the OS, which would otherwise be limited. I think it has to do with something inherent with the structure of flash memory, where expanding the partition effectively places it across more easily accessible memory locations... or something to that effect that.

My only question about that is whether the expanding partition would leave me with less room on the card for saving other things, like programs, applications, and the like?

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:31 pm
by DeeJay
CRP99 wrote: From what I understand, the purpose of expanding the partition is to speed up the performance/response of the OS, which would otherwise be limited. I think it has to do with something inherent with the structure of flash memory, where expanding the partition effectively places it across more easily accessible memory locations... or something to that effect that.
No, nothing like that at all.
My only question about that is whether the expanding partition would leave me with less room on the card for saving other things, like programs, applications, and the like?
The opposite. The installed Operating System - if installed by 'flashing' from a .img file - only takes up the minimum possible space on the SD card. The remaining space is inaccessible for "saving other things, like programs, applications, and the like". Expanding the filesystem via the option in raspi-config makes as much as possible of the SD card capacity available to you for these purposes.

NOOBS shares out SD card space differently, so the option in raspi-config is not useful in this situation.

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:43 pm
by CRP99
DeeJay wrote: The opposite. The installed Operating System - if installed by 'flashing' from a .img file - only takes up the minimum possible space on the SD card. The remaining space is inaccessible for "saving other things, like programs, applications, and the like". Expanding the filesystem via the option in raspi-config makes as much as possible of the SD card capacity available to you for these purposes.

NOOBS shares out SD card space differently, so the option in raspi-config is not useful in this situation.
Ohhhh, so the flashing process of the .img file makes the rest of the card's storage inaccessible, and expanding the filesystem corrects this issue. Got it now.

Re: Setting Up the SD Card

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:18 pm
by FTrevorGowen
CRP99 wrote:
DeeJay wrote: The opposite. The installed Operating System - if installed by 'flashing' from a .img file - only takes up the minimum possible space on the SD card. The remaining space is inaccessible for "saving other things, like programs, applications, and the like". Expanding the filesystem via the option in raspi-config makes as much as possible of the SD card capacity available to you for these purposes.
NOOBS shares out SD card space differently, so the option in raspi-config is not useful in this situation.
Ohhhh, so the flashing process of the .img file makes the rest of the card's storage inaccessible, and expanding the filesystem corrects this issue. Got it now.
FWIW, a screenshot based guide to the process which illustrates the partition size changes etc. (via Ubuntu Linux tools) can be found at: http://www.cpmspectrepi.webspace.virgin ... _SDHC_Card , albeit for an older version of Raspbian.
Trev.