Copying and Resizing a Raspberry Pi SD Card

The Micro SD Card I use in a Raspberry PI ran out of space so here is how I copied the contents of the 15GB drive to a new 64GB card and resized the partition. I used a separate computer running Debian and as the machine does not have a monitor or keyboard attached this will be being completed through the bash command line using SSH.

1. Making a copy of the SD Card.

Insert the old card into your computer, if the computer attempts to mount the drive then unmount it. We need to find which mount point has been used, do this with the lsblk command:

The device sde matches our SD card. So we will use that. The dd command is used to create the ISO image, I am creating the file in my home directory:

once complete, check that the records match:

Swap the SD cards and check the mount point again:

Now copy the iso image to the new card:

this can take a while, the write speed is rather slow:

and lsblk shows us the new partitions:

2. Resizing the partition

The copied partition is now the same size as the original. If you have space remaining, the new card can be put back in the Pi and use the raspi-config utility, and using the Expand Filesystem option in the Advanced Settings section. However if the drive is completely full you won’t be able to login as there won’t be enough space available for the temporary files created at login, to get round this you can use parted to resize, start with:

if you get the following message:

then quit from parted, if you are using a full size SD Card, check the Write Protect tab on the side of the card and try again, otherwise try:

If problem persists try formatting the new card in a camera, as these have a simple file system, and write the ISO image again.

We need to resize the larger partition /dev/sde2 with the ext4 file system, the smaller is used to boot the Pi and can be ignored. In parted, list the partitions with the print command:

Using resizepart set the new size, I set this to larger than the 15GB but smaller than the unallocated space, this to save me having to accurately work out the remaining space manually:

Now update the boundaries to grow and resize the partition into the freshly allocated space:

Now boot the Pi with the new card, login and use the raspi-config utility then in Advanced Options choose Expand Filesystem and follow the onscreen instructions. Once rebooted you should now be set to fill up your new card.

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