Okay, if you now have all the parts ready to get started with your Raspberry Pi the next step is to flash a MicroSD card with a Pi Operating System (OS) and get cracking. If you’re a bit lost about what I’m talking about or have landed straight on this page then I suggest that you read my introductory article to the Raspberry Pi here:
To make following this guide a bit easier I’m going to break it up into the following steps:
- Preparing the MicroSD Card;
- Installing the Operating System; and
- Basic Raspbian Setup.
Preparing the MicroSD Card
Now in this article I am going to explain how to prepare and flash a MicroSD card using Windows (Windows 8 to be precise). If you are an Apple user then I suggest that you skip to my article explaining how to use OS X to flash a MicroSD card here:
The first thing you are going to want to do is download and install SDFormatter V4.0. You can find it here:
The first time you open it you should be presented with a screen that looks like this:
Plug your MicroSD card into a card reader and connect it to your PC – or just plug it straight into your PC if you can. Next go to MyComputer and take note of which Drive your computer has allocated the MicroSD card. In my case it was F: drive. Right click the “Refresh” Button in SDFormatter and then select the allocated drive from the drop down menu. In the Volume Label you can name the volume what ever you want – I’ve called mine Raspberry.
Next you are going to want to right click the “Option” button. This will bring up the “Option Setting” pop-up window (see screenshot below).
From the “FORMAT TYPE” drop down menu choose “FULL (Over Write)” and from the “FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT” menu chose “ON”. The go ahead and right click “OK”. The pop-up window will then disappear. Now you are ready to right click “Format”. Once you do you will be asked if you really want to format this card (see screenshot below).
Right click “OK” and the program will start formatting the card. This will take a while so don’t worry – just grab a coffee or a snack and let it go. Once completed you will see the following pop-up window.
Right click “OK” and then “Exit”. To double check that the preparation has worked – open My Computer and you should see the MicroSD Card is now represented in this PC as RASPBERRY or something similar. The screenshot below shows what you should see – or something similar anyway.
Installing the Operating System
Okay, so we’ve prepped the MicroSD card – next you are going yo need to download the NOOBS.zip file from the following website.
Make sure that it is the NOOBS zip file and not the NOOBS LITE version as this just adds further complications to the install. Unzip the file and copy all the files to your MicroSD card. Your MicroSD card contents should look like the below.
Now its time to put the PC away and start using the Raspberry Pi. Set up the Pi 2 as per the instructions in my previous post here. Plug the MicroSD card into the Pi 2 and turn on the power. The first thing you will see on power up is a NOOBS menu similar to the one below.
Select the Raspbian option (shown with a X on the left hand side) and then click install in the top left hand corner. You will be asked to confirm this selection as per the pic above. Go ahead and confirm and then your install should start – as per the screenshot below.
Once Raspbian has successfully been installed you will get a pop-up as per the pic below.
Select okay and then your Pi will restart.
Basic Raspbian Setup
Once your Pi has restarted you will presented with the raspi-config main menu – screenshot below.
The first thing you are going to want to do is change your password. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the menu to the “Change User Password” option and press enter once it’s hi-lighted. You’ll then see a prompt to change your password (as per the screenshot below) press enter and change the password to your liking.
Press enter again and you will presented with the raspi-config main menu. Once you are back to the main menu use the arrow keys again to navigate to the “Enable Boot to Desktop/Scratch” option and press enter. You will presented to with the following sub-menu.
Select “Desktop Log in as user ‘pi’ at the graphical desktop” and press enter. You’ll then be sent back to the main menu again. At this point we are going to want to navigate to the “Finish” option (use the left and right arrow keys) and press enter. When prompted to reboot – go ahead and do it. You will then be booted straight into the Raspbian desktop GUI – hopefully it will look like the screenshot below.
Congratulations! you now have a working Raspberry Pi OS to play with. If you connect up your Pi to a wired internet connection you’ll even be able to surf the net.
For now get comfortable with this GUI and overtime I’ll start adding some more articles to help you customise you Pi images and add more functionality to your pi. This will include using wireless, loading different OS images, loading more programs to your OS images, remoting into your Pi and much more. I’ll add the links to this articles as I write them so keep visiting every so often!