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How to Clone an SD Card

Updated February 21, 2017

A Secure Digital (SD) card is a portable data-storage device commonly used in digital cameras to store photos. A single SD card can store hundreds of photos. Important photos stored on SD cards should be copied or backed up to another location to protect against data loss. One option is to copy all the data on the SD card to another SD card to make a "clone" of the card.

Plug your primary SD card into your SD card reader.

Connect the SD card reader to your computer using the appropriate cable if necessary. Many card readers connect to computers using a USB cable; some computers have built-in card readers.

Choose "Open folder to view files" if an Autoplay window appears. If not, click "Start" and "Computer", and then double-click on the SD card in the storage device list.

Right-click on your desktop, point to "New", choose "Folder", and enter a name for the folder such as "SD card cloned data".

Click on the SD card's window, hold the control key and then press "A" (this will select all the files and folders in window), click on one of the files, hold down the mouse button, drag the file to the folder you created and release the mouse button. All of the files on the SD card will be copied to the new folder.

Take the SD card out of the card reader and plug the secondary SD card into the reader. The secondary SD card should have at least as much storage capacity as the primary card to ensure that all the data will fit on the card.

Choose "Open folder to view files" if an Autoplay window appears. If not, click "Start" and "Computer", and double-click on the SD card in the storage device list.

Click on the folder containing the copied files, hold down the mouse button, drag the folder into the window of the secondary SD card and then release the mouse button. A copy of the folder will be created on the SD card containing all of the files and folders from the original SD card.

Tip

If you do not have a second SD card you can simply copy files to your hard drive or a USB flash drive. If you have two SD card readers you can connect both readers to your PC, insert one card in each reader and then copy files directly from one SD card to the other.

Things You'll Need

  • Primary SD card
  • Secondary SD card
  • SD card reader
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About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.