I just bought a Raspberry CanaKit for Raspberry Pi 4 with all the latest features, and the Micro SD comes already preloaded with NOOBS (Gotta love that acronym) and backup files it appears, so why does every online Set-Up Tutorial, Video, and even their own CanaKit booklet suggest you should format your SD card , which I believe essentially wipes it clean. I don't want to have to reinstall NOOBS and all the stuff CanaKit put on there. I feel that formatting the card is a step I should skip, but unfortunately everyone I know used an old SD card they already owned and no kit. What do you all think? I think I should not format it, given the fact that it's a brand new clean SD with preloaded goodies.

Will there be problems if I don't format it?

Am I right or wrong?

Any advice is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


If CanaKit supplies NOOBS they are doing you a disservice. They don't put anything extra on the SD Card.
It has many problems - even the Foundation now hides the download and no experienced users actually use it. It is almost impossible to update and wastes much space.

If you want to use it (and if it works - some vendors actually supply old version that don't work with a Pi4) it is perfectly usable; indeed many of us started this way until we discovered its limitations.

Most use Raspberry Pi OS and install it with Raspberry Pi Imager. There is NEVER a need to format the SD Card.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. So you are saying erase Noobs, but don't format and upload it with the Raspberry Pi OS (Which I was planning to do, but I also want Retro Pi on there, so I have to see how you get two operating systems). I basically was hoping to use it #1 to do some cute programs with Raspberry Pi Sense Hat and #2 to run some N64 Knock off HomeBrew Games like "Banjo Dreamie" and possibly upload my own pygames on to it. Given your information, maybe I do want to wipe the card clean and get rid of NOOBS since I am fluent enough in Python to use the Raspberrian language.
    – John
    Jun 20, 2021 at 0:31
  • I was not recommending you erase anything; give Raspberry Pi OS on NOOBS a run, then use a new card. If you want multiple OS use PINN , but SD Cards are cheap, so I use different cards for different OS. It is easy to swap cards so switching OS hardly seems worth the effort.
    – Milliways
    Jun 20, 2021 at 1:11

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