Quick Question about Flashing

Hi Everyone, first off I am new to this so bear with me.

I’m creating a Magic Mirror and have Raspbian Buster on my SD card with almost everything set up. There’s a cool voice kit that I want to flash onto the SD card now, but I read that Etcher formats the card before it writes. So my very “newbie” question is…

If I flash this aiy downloaded file through Etcher, will it overwrite my raspbian Buster OS and will I have to start all over again?

Thanks everyone!

Hi Brandon,

No worries, everyone is new at something :slight_smile:

To simply answer your question, yes, Etcher will overwrite your OS if you flash something else in its place.
What is the voice kit you are referring to? Is it an OS bundled with some additional features, or is it maybe just a library? Normally you would just install the library on your existing OS. Maybe you can let us know what that voice kit is and why you think you need to flash it using Etcher, and we can take it from there.


Thanks for the reply Steve. The voice kit is so I can run speakers through the mirror. It’s from https://aiyprojects.withgoogle.com/voice-v1/

and it’s inline with this video tutorial on magic mirror building

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO326ptdlco (from beginning of video to 4:33).
Essentially, I am trying to get my mirror to interact with my calendar, reminders through google.

Ah ok, so yes, it seems they have a special variant of Raspbian that you need to install if you follow the guide. If you don’t want to overwrite your current OS setup, maybe you can just get another SD card and flash it on it?

Also, it also seems that one of our team members has played around with the vision kit, so you can run it on balena as well, here is the repository: https://github.com/balena-io-playground/aiy-vision-kit. As it is a playground project, there isn’t any thorough documentation for it, but it should be easy to follow, and maybe you can adjust it to the voice kit as well.

Let us know how it goes, or if you need any assistance!

Oh that’s awesome! So I can download it directly on raspbian. Thanks!

Maybe I wasn’t clear, what I meant is if you want to follow the guide you posted, you will have to flash their OS image on the SD card. What do you mean you can download it directly?

Also, the vision kit playground project I posted is simply a reference to how you might be able to do the same for the voice kit to work with different OS, such as balenaOS, but it might be a bit more complicated to do so.

Oh I was thinking that I could use Raspbian to download it directly from a repository through Raspbian.

I’m not familiar with balena as an OS.

You don’t need to use balenaOS.
Just download the latest aiy image from here https://github.com/google/aiyprojects-raspbian/releases/download/v20181116/aiyprojects-2018-11-16.img.xz
Open it with Etcher, write it to an SD card (any previous content on the SD card will be overwritten).
Put the SD card in the raspberry pi and power it on.

I need it to not overwrite the OS on the raspberry pi card.

This is what “flashing” means: overwriting an SD card (or anything else) with the contents of a disk image.
If you don’t want to overwrite your SD card image, don’t use Etcher.

If you want to install aiy on your raspbian, this might help: https://github.com/t1m0thyj/AssistantPi .

pardon my ignorance, but if I flash the sd card will it take the raspbian off the pi?

Yes it will overwrite the SD card completely.
It will flash a new OS on it.
I’m not 100% sure but google’s aiy disk images may also be based on raspbian, so it will install another raspbian on your SD card.