How To Install NOOBS To A SD-Card Using Windows

NOOBS

If you are using the Raspberry PI for the first time and you want to get up and running as quickly as possible then NOOBS (New Out Of The Box Software) is a good place to start.

You can buy SD-Cards with NOOBS already included or you can use an existing SD-Card that you already have laying around.

This guide shows you how to install NOOBS to an SD-Card using the Windows operating system.

NOTE: The SD-Card will be formatted and all existing data will be removed

Pre-Requisites

In order to follow this guide you will need the following:

  • A computer running Microsoft Windows 10
  • A class 10 micro SD-Card (16 gb or above recommended)
  • A working internet connection
  • An SD-Card reader (most modern laptops have one built in)
  • A microSD card adapter

Download NOOBS

Open a web browser and go to https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/

NOOBS Download Page

There are 2 versions of NOOBS available:

  • NOOBS
  • NOOBS Lite

NOOBS is a full download and allows you to install an operating system to the Raspberry PI without the PI having a network available.

NOOBS Lite allows you to boot the Raspberry PI and connect to the network in order to install an operating system.

For this guide you are encouraged to download the full NOOBS zip file,

Click on the “Download Zip” file under the NOOBS heading.

Download And Install SD Card Formatter

You will need to format the SD Card before installing NOOBS

Open a web browser and go to https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter/

SD Card formatter

Scroll down the page and click on the “For Windows” link.

Accept the license agreement.

Downloads Folder

Open Windows Explorer (press Windows key and E key at the same time)

Click on the Downloads folder.

Double click on the “SDCardFormatter” icon.

If a window appears asking how to open the file choose “File Explorer”.

SD Card Formatter

Click into the SDCardFormatter folder

Setup

Double click on the “SD Card Formatter Setup”

Run Setup

Click on the “Run” button.

Install SD Card Formatter

Click “Next” when the installer opens.

License Agreement

Click “Next” to accept the license agreement

Choose destination folder

Click “Next” to accept the default installation folder

Install SD Card Formatter

Click “Install” to complete the installation.

Launch SD Card Formatter

To launch the program click “Finish”. If you need to launch it again in the future press the Windows start button and search for “SD Card Formatter”

Format An SD-Card Using SD Card Formatter

Most SD-Card readers require a full size SD-Card. You will therefore need to insert the micro-SD card into an SD-Card adapter.

Kingston microSDHC SDC4/8GB Class 4 Flash Card + SD Adapter, Black
SD-Card Adapter

If you are using an internal SD card reader built into a laptop insert the SD-Card adapter into the reader. If you are using an external SD card reader attach it to your computer (probably via USB) and insert the SD-Card adapter into the external SD card reader.

Format The SD Card

Select the drive letter for the SD Card. Look at the type and capacity. This lets you know you have the correct drive letter.

In the image above I have a 32 gb SD card so I can be confident that the E drive letter is the correct one.

You can give the volume a label if you wish or you can just click “Format”.

Erase All Data

A final warning will appear stating that all data currently on the drive will be removed. Make sure you have backed up any important files on that drive elsewhere.

Click “Yes” to continue.

Format Complete

Click “OK” and then the “X” in the top right corner to close the formatter.

Install NOOBS To The SD Card

Extract NOOBS

Open Windows Explorer (press Windows key and E key)

Navigate to the downloads folder

Double click on the NOOBS file.

Extract NOOBS

You will now see a list showing the contents of the NOOBS zip file.

Click on the “Extract” button at the top of the screen.

Extract All

Click on the “Extract All” button.

Browse to the drive letter

Either enter the drive letter for the SD card or click browse and click on the drive letter.

Click “Extract”.

Summary

There are easier ways to get an operating system installed onto the SD Card for use with a Raspberry PI but I showed you this method as this is how you get the same SD card as if you had bought as SD Card with NOOBS pre-installed.

You are now in a position to follow the guide to installing an operating system on the Raspberry PI using NOOBS.