Win32 Disk Imager – a simple program for creating (recording) an image of a USB flash drive

Now I’ll tell you about a free and very simple program that can create images of USB flash drives in IMG format, as well as write these images back to USB drives. In addition, it can be used to record ISO disk images to a USB flash drive, but not all such images are supported.

Win32 Disk Imager Overview

Win32 Disk Imager is a free program for creating a raw image of a USB drive, as well as writing to an USB stick IMG and ISO images.

You may need it, for example, in cases where you need to create a full copy of the USB media, in other words, create a flash drive archive. Simply copying files will not help if, for example, an operating system or a boot application is installed on a USB flash drive. Therefore, Win32 Disk Imager is designed to back up or simply clone such USB devices.

Win32 Disk Imager can also be used in cases where it is necessary to write ISO disk images to a USB flash drive, but as already noted, not all such images can be written to a USB flash drive, only hybrid ones are supported. Basically, Win32 Disk Imager is used to write ISO images of disks with Linux distributions, some developers even recommend using this program to write ISO images with their Linux distribution to a USB flash drive, since Win32 Disk Imager does not process any ISO images. Usually, UNetbootin or Rufus programs are used for such purposes , they are much more functional.

Win32 Disk Imager is designed for the Windows operating system and supports the following versions: Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, as the developers say, the program should work on Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016, but this feature has not been tested in detail.

Where to download Win32 Disk Imager?

After you go to the page, you must click on the green button ” Download “. As a result, you should be able to download the distribution kit for the win32diskimager-1.0.0-install.exe program about 12 megabytes in size.

Installing Win32 Disk Imager on Windows

The process of installing Win32 Disk Imager is no different from installing other applications in the Windows operating system. Let’s briefly go over all the points.

Step 1

We launch the installer and agree to the license agreement. Click ” Next .”

Step 2

If necessary, change the installation directory of the program. Click ” Next .”

Step 3

If we want, we change the installation directory of the program shortcuts. Click ” Next .”

Step 4

Check the box “ Create a desktop shortcut ” if we want the shortcut to launch Win32 Disk Imager to be created on the desktop as well. Click ” Next .”

Step 5

We check the entered parameters, and confirm the beginning of the installation process, click “ Install ”.

Burn ISO image to a USB flash drive using Win32 Disk Imager

To demonstrate how Win32 Disk Imager works, let’s write an ISO image of a Linux distribution disk ( I have Simply Linux ) onto a USB flash drive using Win32 Disk Imager as an example.

Note! After the ISO image is recorded on a USB flash drive, it will no longer be detected in Windows, although it will perform the functions of a boot device if the ISO image was bootable. To return the USB drive to its previous state, i.e. so that it functions as a regular flash drive, you must completely delete all partitions from it and format the flash drive in the FAT or NTFS file system.