I want to try to be more specific with this question as I think I see others asking it, but I really can't find anybody answering is constructively (no offense).

Is there a way to use my Windows machine to take a RaspberryPi .IMG image file that wishes to be extracted to an "X" GB sized Micro SD card and instead extract it to a smaller GB sized Micro SD card that is inserted into the same Windows machine given the actual data inside the image is not larger then the smaller Micro SD card?

To help with the answer, correct answers to this question would not include methodologies that use Linux in any way. Correct answers also would not include phrases and words that ultimately would be interpreted as it is not possible. (we all know better then to think something can't possibly be done like this) Correct answers would also not include derision of the concept as I have seen on other forums.

  • 1
    You have ruled out all the tools which would make this possible. It is not straightforward, but there are 2 essential steps. 1. Shrink the ext4 partition. 2. Copy a limited part of the SD i.e. to the end of the last partition. Windows cannot do this without 3rd party tools. It can be done on any Linux machine (even the Pi itself) with a SD Card reader.
    – Milliways
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 3:46
  • You can use this downsizer script to down size your img file. sirlagz.net/2013/03/10/script-automatic-rpi-image-downsizer Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:49
  • But again the method mentioned above wouldn't work on windows. You need to have some sort of linux (cygwin or linux on VM). Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 5:03
  • A 16gb source image with partitions which are not full (and thus unshrinkable) is a poorly engineered one which will waste a huge amount of time in copying. You really should fix the problem at the source of the image. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


Assuming the IMG file is just the wrong size, and the underlying partitions don't fill the IMG file, the guide on doing it on This page worked for me. Yes, installing Cygwin is kind of "cheating" but at least I didn't need to install a full blown Linux VM, which I suspected I'd need to.

If, however, the underlying partitions fill the IMG file, you're going to have to go to Linux :-/

I've got EXT3/4 working under windows as a file system, but I wouldn't call it reliable enough to resize partitions...


You cannot do this only using windows. You will either need tools added to windows or a linux or unix (or BSD) system.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.