Creating Bootable MicroSD Without Reader

Home Forums RetroPie Project Everything else related to the RetroPie Project Creating Bootable MicroSD Without Reader

RetroPie has a new website and forum. Please visit for the new site. The new forum is located at This forum is left here as a read-only archive.

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of originalusernamesarehard originalusernamesarehard 1 year, 11 months ago.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #98321


    I’m totally new to this whole thing in pretty much every possible way, and have a question. I am not currently in possession of a USB MicroSD card reader with which to create a bootable image. I have a phone and a tablet whose cards can be accessed by USB, but this doesn’t seem to qualify them in the same way for Win 32 Disk Imager. Can a bootable image be created using a phone or tablet as an access point?

    I understand that this seems like a very small issue but I am unable to acquire a reader at the moment, and I’m on a fairly tight schedule. I’d be very grateful even for a simple “It can’t be done” which can end my search for a solution. Thank you.

    Profile photo of link2803

    I use a Mac and an old HTC smartphone to read and write to a Micro SD card. Is the SD card definitely showing as a valid drive within Windows Explorer?

    Most Android devices have an option to mount the SD card when connected through USB. Check the notification section when you connect initially as this is normally disabled by default. You should be shown an option to move from “Charge Only” to “Disk Use” or something along those lines.

    From here, the SD card should show as a new drive (often with the name “NONAME”) and you should be free to use Win 32 Disk Imager. I use the dd command over Terminal to write images.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Profile photo of link2803 link2803.

    Thank you very much for your response, link2803. The problem I’m having is that neither my phone nor my tablet are attached as USB Mass Storage (but rather by MTP) and thus are not assigned a drive letter, which Win 32 Disk Imager seems to need.

    If I was more skilled at all this, I’m sure I could find some kind of workaround. I’m a Windows user who has built several systems in the past, so I’m rather used to being able to find workarounds for things. This is just rather unfamiliar territory and I’m having that new tech panic.

    Is there perhaps a different program which allows me to manually select a storage device for installing a Raspbian image? Am I just using the wrong one?


    I’ve managed to fix it now, based in part on your advice, link. Just got an old phone and used that instead – after some fiddling, it worked. Thank you very much indeed for replying. I’m now one step further along than I was.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

Forums are currently read only - please visit the new RetroPie forums at

Skip to toolbar