Issues Flashing or Cloning to SD Card

Assistance needed with flashing or cloning SD cards.


  • While trying to flash to an SD card with a USB 2.0 as a source with a .img file causes a lot of errors.
  • While trying to flash to an SD card with a USB 2.0 as a source with a .xz file gives a i/o error, read.


  • While cloning an SD card source to another SD card causes the newly cloned one to not work properly, either the files are being copied poorly or something else is happening.

It sounds like it could be wrong permissions for the USB storage device, or the device could be degraded/corrupted. Have you tried using different USB drives and different USB ports on your workstation in order to rule out hardware issues? Otherwise, it would be helpful to know what the error messages are & what host OS you’re running Etcher on.

The same applies to the SD card; these are known to degrade quickly & suddenly. And again, the exact error messages you’re seeing would be helpful to know, as well as a description of the expected vs actual behaviour of the SD card.

In the case of (most modern) SD cards, as they begin to fail they’ll isolate bad blocks - so they’ll appear to work ok, until they run out of reserved spare blocks at which point they lock to read only mode.

We have tried up to 9 different USB drives and all of them end up with the same message. The Etcher Pro is running on the provided tablet we received and the OS we are trying to flash is Linux.
Several of the SD cards we have tried are straight out of packaging brand new. All of these devices work when plugged into Balena Etcher via our Windows computers.

When using the source file to flash the SD cards, it will always work on our computers but when we try to use it on the Etcher Pro, this pops up.

Hi @b-le, do you still have the same issue? Can you please check which Etcher version you are running on EtcherPro? We need to make sure your device is up to date and if you still face issues we can send a replacement device.

We are running on 1.5.122. The latest update to our issues are found in this forum.

It is a little disappointing that this issue still hasn’t been resolved. I’ve been using the free version of BalenaEtcher for years to clone SD cards and today I’ve wasted my time trying to use this flakey software for this purpose.

My issues relates to the ability to clone a micro SD card that stored a Raspberry Pi OS (Ubuntu server in this instance). Every time I attempted to clone the card it resulted in a cloned card with file system errors e.g. any attempt to boot my Pi with the clone failed. I tried x3 different micro SD cards, x2 different USB micro SD card readers and x2 different SD card readers (the ones that you insert the micro SD card into). In terms of laptops I used… I tried this on two different Apple silicon laptops (a MacBook Pro 14” M1 and a MacBook Air M3) as well as an x86 Macbook Pro 16 “. I downloaded the latest version of BalenaEtcher in each case.

In the end I used clonezilla on a 20 year old x86 laptop and this cloned the micro SD card perfectly.

In summary, I think there is a serious problem with the latest version of the free BalenaEtcher tool. I’m afraid to say, I don’t think I’ll ever be using this again.