Here is a free and open-source tool to write a raw disk image file to a removable device (say USB or flash drive). The tool is named Win32 Disk Imager. It can come in handy when you want to create a copy or backup of your game or some other data stored on some CD or DVD (in an image format) so that you can use that backup later when needed. You can also use it to backup your removable device to a raw disk image file.
This tool supports only IMG files for read and write but it works very well. Also, the tool is a bit old and was designed to work for Windows 10 and lower versions, but it works pretty well for Windows 11 operating system also.
Features of Win32 Disk Imager for Windows
Following are the features or options present in Win32 Disk Imager:
- Read: This option lets you read data from a removable device to the input image file
- Write: Use this option when you want to backup or write your IMG file data to the removable device
- Hash: Using this option, you can generate MD5, SHA256, and/or SHA1 hash of your IMG file. It also lets you copy the generated hash so that you can save it to a folder
- Verify Only: You can use this feature to check or verify file integrity (input IMG file and the removable device). If the file stored in the removable device is exactly the same as the input IMG file, then their hash will match, and file integrity verification will be successful.
How to use Win32 Disk Imager to write a raw disk image file to USB
Using this tool is very easy. The tool comes with a tiny interface where everything is self-explanatory. To use this tool, first, grab its EXE file from sourceforge.net. Execute the EXE file and complete the installation process. Finally, launch the tool, and its interface will be in front of you.
Now connect your removable device (if not already) and it will automatically detect and select it. If multiple removable devices are connected to your computer, then select the desired device from the drop-down menu available on the top-right section of its interface.
Once you have done that, use the Folder or Browse icon available on the top part of its interface to add the input IMG file. Generate a hash (if needed for the IMG file) or simply skip this step.
Finally, hit the Write button, confirm your action using the Yes button, and wait till the process is completed. Once it is done, it will write your IMG file data successfully.
If you want, you can also use other features like verifying file integrity, reading data from the removable device, etc., using the buttons present on its interface.
Related: Best free imaging, backup, and recovery software for Windows.
How do I copy an image using Win32 Disk Imager?
Copying or writing an IMG file to some removable device is pretty simple. Use the icon available to enter your input IMG file, select the output removable device, and then use the Write button. Let the whole process be completed. If everything goes well, you will have a backup or copy of your image file to the removable device. This article also covers the entire process for copying an image file with the help of Win32 Disk Imager.
Why do you need software such as Win32 Disk Imager?
Tools like Win32 Disk Imager are useful when you want to write data from your IMG file to some removable device. Even if the original image file is lost or corrupted, you will have a backup copy of your stuff. Such tools are also helpful when you want to backup your removable device to a raw disk image file.
Hope this helps.
Read next: Best free Game Backup software for Windows computers.