The NOOBless way to Flash a Pi

I thought it was about time that I move away from my product reviews and DIY instructions and continue my series on the Raspberry Pi. If you haven’t played with a Pi before or are a little bit lost reading through this post then I recommend you read my introductory Raspberry Pi post found here:

This instructable is going to focus specifically on how to install a Pi Operating System (OS) from a disk image rather than using a PI installation manager like NOOBs.   If you want to learn more about NOOBs – I recommend you read the instructables found here:

So, why would you want to install an OS this way instead of the simple way? A lot of  niche OS builds available for the PI (such as OpenELEC (media platform) and RetroPie (game emulator platform)) are not available through installation managers like NOOBs. In this case the easiest way to install the OS is to download the disk image and then flash it onto your SD card. I’m going to walk you through the easiest way to do this using both Windows and OSX (Apple)  I’ll going to assume if you are using a Linux distribution you’re already going to knowhow to do this.

Once you have all your gear ready (Raspberry Pi, SD card, cables, etc) the first step is to find and download the disk image. I’m going to use the OpenELEC image as that’s the other instructable I’m writing at the moment. The disk image is OS agnostic so all you need to do is download it to your computer to a spot you can easily find it. The OpenELEC image for the Pi 1 and 2  can be found here:

Make sure you scroll down to the Raspberry Pi downloads section and select the applicable stable disk image.

I’m going to start with how to flash the SD card using OS X and then move on to Windows.

The OS X Method

Once you have finished downloading the image and have prepped the SD card your going to want to open up ApplePi-Banker (I talk about the ApplePi-Baker software here – I’ll write more about it soon).  Once you open it up you are going to want to hit the “…” button (its circled in red in the screenshot below) and find the disk image you downloaded.



After you have selected the disk image you are going to want to hit the “Restore Backup” button – also highlighted in the screenshot above.  Once you have done that you should see the Progress bar start progressing as per the screenshot below.

After that you’ll see the pop-up window as per the screenshot below.


Eject and pull the SD Card out, plug it into your Raspberry Pi and your away.  If you want to know the next step to setting up OpenELEC on your Pi head over to the following instructable:

(I’ll whack the link here once I write it :-)).

The Windows Method

Alright, hopefully you have downloaded the disk image and have your SD card ready to go.  Next you are going to want to download and install the Win32 Disk Imager software.  You can find it here:

Make sure you start the program as an administrator by right clicking on the start-up icon and select “Run as administrator” otherwise its not going to play nice with you.  Once the program starts you will see something similar to the screenshot below.  Next you want to select the button with the folder pic on it – I’ve highlighted it below to help you out.  Find and open the disk image you have just downloaded.

Flash Image

Next you are going to want to select the drive your computer has assigned to your SD card – again I’ve highlighted it above to help you out.  If your not sure which drive this is use Windows Explorer to do a bit of recon and find out.  Once you have set the program up (you should see something like I have above)you can hit the “Write” button.  If all goes well you should then see something like the screenshot below.

Flash Image 2

Once its complete you should see the “Complete” pop-up window like the one in the shot below.

Flash Image 3

Pull the SD Card out, plug it into your Raspberry Pi and your away. If you want to know the next step to setting up OpenELEC on your Pi head over to the following instructable:

(I’ll whack the link here once I write it :-)).



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