I would like to format SD card remotely (without removing it from board).

I'm looking for SD card emulator (like FaceDancer21 for USB) or something like SD Dual-Host Multiplexer (FSSD07).

Making my own solution with FSSD07 seems little bit complicated.

Do you know about any other/easier method to format SD card remotely?

  • Before trying to answer that, might I ask why you want to do this? What is it you want to achieve by formatting the card?
    – Bex
    Aug 8, 2014 at 7:27
  • I would like to give full remote access to RPi (honeypot or remote learning device). I assume that someone can completely destroy content on SD card, so I need some recovery method from this situation and it should be automated. Aug 8, 2014 at 8:57
  • 1
    I can think of plenty of reasons to do this ie raspbian sux, and I make my own distro. As I improve it, I want to push that image to my Pi(es). I think you can ignore the media type. Instead, look into booting PXE on the Pi
    – j0h
    Aug 8, 2014 at 13:38
  • PXE solution reuqires 2nd/3rd stage bootloader on SD card, so this not fit to my requirements. If I miss somtething please correct me. Aug 9, 2014 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


It could be possible if you had an OS that loads itself into ram completely, and then formats the card - the question is what happens after that - unless you also put an OS back on the card, you would eventually need to remove the card to do so.

Another interesting idea would be to hack a wifi-SD card and do it via it's OS, however this could cause issues with anything running on the Pi (although I suspect the on-board OS would be able to take priority, the default is probably against that), and I am not sure how much power a Pi can supply to a SD card


It looks that solution was posted on Hack a day for BeagleBone month ago. It contain pretty simple circuitry with two multiplexer switches (SN74CBT3257D) and two microSD sniffer boards. Solution contain C code for controlling and schematics. I didn't try this solution but it looks reasonable and it works for others.

There are other possible solutions for this problem mentioned in the comments - like:

  • Wireless SD card
  • MAX14502

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