DIY Hacks To Create An Image Of USB Drive

If you are someone who is looking for a solution to creating an image of a USB drive then this article is what you need!

Copy versus clone

 You can take the usual drag-and-drop method in File Explorer to transfer files to and from the USB stick.

This article will help the users who need to fully back up or clone a USB stick, such as a USB boot drive. The only difference here is that you cannot drag-and-drop its contents to another USB drive. For that, you need the drive’s master boot record and partition tables too. Even if the source USB drive isn’t bootable, still you need to make a clone if it has more than one partition.

Hence, the image of the USB drive after the result consists of all visible and hidden files and the drive’s unused space. Also, the image includes slack space: Unused remnants of drive space Windows 10 allocates to a single file.

So finally, if you need to copy files from a single non-bootable USB drive to multiple units with an identical capacity, cloning can be your solution. It could include USB-based press kits for tradeshows, or a manufacturer’s product catalog mailed to clients.

Clone your USB Drive

You can download and extract Passmark Software’s free ImageUSB tool. The most recent version is v1.5.1000 released on October 25, 2019. This program doesn’t install into Windows 10, so you should be sure to unpack the ZIP file into a location you can remember.

Follow some steps to create an image of USB drive:

Step 1: Insert your source USB stick and launch the program by double-clicking on the ImageUSB.exe file. Click “Yes” if a User Account Control pop-up appears on the screen.

Step 2: When the program opens on your screen, you can check the box next to your listed USB device.

Step 3: Then you can select “Create Image of USB Drive” in Step 2.

Step 4: Tap on “Browse” button to select or you can create a destination for the saved image. You will also need to create a file name, but unfortunately, you cannot change the “.BIN” file extension.

Step 5: Tap on “Create” button once you choose a file name and location to start the image-saving process.

Step 6: Now finally, click “Yes” in the pop-up window to verify and confirm the task’s details.

Step 7: Now under the “Available Options” section which is on the right, the “Post Image Verification” option is checked by default. With this feature enabled, the program scans through the file upon completion to verify its sincerity. 

image of usb drive

If the file fails inspection, then you will need to create the image again. You will then see a “Beep On Completion” setting that provides an audible alert.

Transfer your image file back to USB file

For this one to work for you or for the image of USB drive, you will need a USB drive with a capacity matching the original storage device. Let’s say, if you want to create a USB image from a 128GB drive, then the second drive needs the exact matching of 128GB capacity. You cannot install the image to a drive with a 64GB capacity, Why? Because the image of USB drive includes unused space.

Step 1: As you did before, double-click the ImageUSB.exe file to launch the program. Press “Yes” if a User Account Control pop-up appears on the screen.

Step 2: When the program pops on your screen, tap on “Write Image To USB Drive.”

Step 3: Click the “Browse” button to locate and select the image file stored on your PC.

Step 4: Once you locate the stored image, you can click the “Write” button to begin. Keep in mind that the Image of the USB drive will erase everything stored on the destination USB stick and replace its contents with the image’s data.

When it’s over, you can delete the file from your PC if you don’t have to write it to another USB stick. Also If you’re making multiple clones, you can insert a new USB drive and repeat these four steps again.

Troubleshoot “Can’t Create System Image on USB” Error

If you are someone who failed to create a system image on a USB drive, or Windows won’t allow you to save the system image to your target USB drive, don’t worry we got your back.

By following these steps you can create an image of a USB drive and hence fix your issue effectively.

Troubleshoot – “This drive cannot be used to store a system image” 

If Windows gives this error message to you, which is “This device cannot be used to store a system image because it is not formatted with NTFS”, take it easy! You can actually directly go back to Method 1 in Part 1 and use EaseUS Todo Backup to create a system image of a USB drive. 

Or another way could be by formatting the USB drive image with the below steps:

Step 1. You can connect the USB drive to your PC and open Windows Explorer.

Step 2. You can locate and right-click on the USB drive, select “Format”.

Step 3. Finally, you can set the file system to “NTFS” and click “Start”.

What are the benefits of creating a system image of USB drive?

Some of you may have the same doubt that why are so many users choose to create a system image on a USB drive. Here below is the list, you’ll find the benefits and reasons:

Now some of you might be thinking about the image of USB drive and how it is beneficial for the user?

Here are some points which will tell you all about the USB drive image benefits:

  • 1.It free up space on the system hard drive, save more and more usable storage space
  • 2. It is a safe way to back up the Windows system, installed programs, and saved data on the system drive
  • 3. It is also portable to restore system image to any computer
  • 4. It can be used in Emergency restoration when the system goes wrong or bring the system back to the previous stable state

Unlike the system restore point, the biggest benefit of creating a system image is its portability. You can either save your system backup image to the local drive or on an external storage device and we all know how important it is these days!

Sometimes, due to system error or USB drive issue, you may not be able to create a system image on the USB drive. As the reasons that cause the issue are various, so they are to the solutions. 

Therefore, you can try all the listed methods step by step until the USB is available for saving the system image again in Windows 10/8/7, and in this way, you can create an image of the USB drive. So, now you know all about the image of a USB drive and how to create an image of a USB drive. We hope this article was helpful.

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