Procedure to Backup and restore SD

I am teaching a course with PiTops. It took forever to update the latest PiTop OS image from your site, and I had to do it at home because of the firewall in school.
I am having trouble creating an image of my post-updates SD.

pi-shrink does not work because the PiTop OS is not built on MBR partition-map.
ApplePiBaker has the same issue.
And when I resize the original manually with gparted, I can’t get the auto-resize partition to launch on boot.
I could copy the 16GB image, but I have to do this again next semester and I need the fastest method possible.

Thank you

@TeacherZ - First, welcome to the pi-top Forum.

The simplest and fastest way to back up a microSD is to make an image of the entire card. If it is a 16GB microSD, it will be a 16GB image file.

Depending on the OS on your computer, the procedure is different. For example, I’m using a Mac and I use the Disk Utilities that is part of the OS. On a Windows system the procedure will be different and a third-party program required.

This guide is the one I use to make a local image file of a microSD to use to after I have a fully set up microSD. This let’s me then use balenaEtcher to flash that image to a different microSD (hope this helps you achieve what you’re after):

Thank you. But I have a few good methods for taking images of my SD cards, including the one you shared, but I am looking to go a step further. I want to reduce the size of the image down to 7 GB or less and have it auto-resize on first boot, the way the initial image from the pi-top site does. I am stuck on this last part.

I found tools that do this for other Rasperry Pi OS images, but they are not working on the current Pi-Top OS.

Thank you,

I see. Yeah, I think I’ve tried tools to reduce the size of the image file (just an image with data, not the entire size of the microSD) and never got that to work properly.