My home computer runs Windows so I therefore use this to prepare the SD card for the Raspberry Pi. Preparing the SD card requires the installing of an operating system onto the SD Card and so far, for all my projects I’ve used Raspbian, the operating system supplied by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. To install Raspbian you’ll need:
- Raspbian, the operating system to be installed.
- SDFormatter, to format your SD card.
- Win32DiskImager, to write the Raspbian image that you download to the SD card.
The current version of Raspbian is called Stretch (as at Nov 2017) and it comes in two flavors. Desktop or Lite. The difference is that the lite version does not have any of the graphical user interface and it is therefore smaller in size. The Lite version is approx 300Mb whereas the full version is approx 1,400Mb. Personally I use the ‘lite’ version as I want to be hands-on with the command line, but the choice is yours.
Format your SD card
Use SDFormatter with the default options:
Write the Raspbian Image to the SD card
Use Win32DiskImager to write the Raspbian image file you downloaded from raspberry.org to the SD card. Tip – Sometimes Win32DiskImager needs to be run with admin privileges, to do this right click on its icon and select “Run as administrator”.
Safely eject/unmount the SD card from Windows, insert into your Raspberry Pi, apply power and off you go. The default username is ‘pi’ and the password is ‘raspberry’ (without the quotation marks).
When ever possible you should always download files from the author’s website. If you get them from a 3rd party then it’s possible for that 3rd party to tamper with the files so that you unwittingly infect or open up a back door to your system. The links at the top of this page takes you to each of the authors websites where you can download the necessary files.