How do I restore my Pi’s SD card?

You’ve been playing with the Pi, and you’ve messed up the operating system, so how do you go about making a brand new Pi?


Take the SD card out of your Pi and put it into your dual boot Ubuntu laptop. On OS Elementary (or any other Distro) use the Gparted tool to delete all the corrupt partitions. This tool is called “Disk Utility” on OS Elementary, it is in the Applications folder.

On the Windows side of the machine, you can use EASUS partition manager to do this, but this program is slow.

If it was originally an 8gig SD card, it will have been subdivided into smaller partitions by the Pi’s auto-setup procedure. You need to make sure that all the partitions are deleted, and that the whole SD card is re-formatted as FAT32.

You can do the re-format on the Windows side of the machine using the  “SD formatter” program, which is recommended by the Raspberry Pi website. Once the SD card is clean, you write a disk image of Raspian to it using “Win32DiskImager.exe”, the recommended program.

Screenshot from 2014-01-17 11:15:19 Screenshot from 2014-01-17 11:16:28 Screenshot from 2014-01-17 11:18:50 Screenshot from 2014-01-17 11:19:30 Screenshot from 2014-01-17 11:19:50

Caveat: re-formatting of SD cards is or is not supported on Linux, depending on your hardware and distro. That’s why we have a dual boot set up!

The disk image you want to download is at this URL

However, the web page advises you to download

New Out Of Box Software

We advise you not to take this option because the download is over 1gigabyte.

Instead, go down to:

Raw Images

and choose


Are the other operating Systems any good?

Well that’s the $64 000 dollar question.

Find out. Get another 8gig SD card, download the NOBBS Zip file, and expand it onto the card. You can do this on LInux.  Just select the SD card as the destination folder.

The program you want for doing the download is called “uGet” which is in the Software Centre. Copy and paste the URL, to uGet which is currently:

Copying and pasting from here will work, if this post is not out of date.