Computer Support Blog

USB Image Tools that are Applicable to all Windows Versions

How to perform the USB backup? How to backup drive to keep data safe? How to use USB image tool? This post will show you the answers and will introduce two free and reliable USB image tools which can be used in all Windows versions including Windows 10/8/7.

USB flash drive or other external hard drives that connect via the USB are becoming more and more popular because they are convenient and portable to save files and data.

And to keep data safe is also pretty important since recovering data is tough unless you use the professional data recovery software like MiniTool Power Data Recovery or you can go to professional data recovery companies but it is expensive.

Backing up has become an effective way to protect your data. Do you know how to backup USB drive, backup flash drive and backup external hard drives that connect via USB with ease?

Free USB Image Tool – MiniTool ShadowMaker

Let’s look at the first USB flash drive backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

It is a piece of professional backup software which is able to backup files, folder, disk, partition, and the operating system with its powerful features.

The main purpose of USB backup is to protect your data so as to avoid data loss. And the second purpose of backing USB drive is to perform the recovery solutions with the USB image when some accidents happen. And, MiniTool ShadowMaker is also able to help you make restore action. For example, it can help you to restore the computer to an earlier date.

Besides the backup and restore feature, MiniTool ShadowMaker is also a piece of USB clone tool. Thus, it can help you to clone the USB flash drive or clone external hard drives that connect via USB, or even clone the system related hard drive to SSD.

With this best USB image tool Windows, you can backup USB drive or backup flash drive with ease. 

Step 1: Connect the USB flash drive or external hard drive that connects via USB to the computer. Here, we take the USB flash drive as an example.

Step 2: Launch the USB imaging software – MiniTool ShadowMaker, click Keep Trial, and click Connect in This Computer in the Local module to enter its main interface.


Step 3: After entering its main interface, please go to the Backup page and click Source module to continue. To backup USB drive, please choose Disk and Partitions to go on.


Step 4: And then you can see all hard drives are listed here including the USB flash drive. Then please the USB flash drive you need to backup and click OKto continue.


Step 5: Then you are required to choose a backup image destination. You can click Destination module to choose a target disk. Here, you can see there are five options can be chosen including AdministratorLibraries, ComputerNetwork, and Shared. It is recommended to choose an external hard drive because it can help you to recover data when the computer encounters some problems. At last, click OK to continue.

To protect your data well, there are several things you need to know when performing USB backup with this USB image tool portable.

This USB Image tool – MiniTool ShadowMaker enables you to create an automatic USB backup. Thus, you just need to click the Schedule button and turn on this setting. Then you can set the USB backup on a regular basis such as daily/weekly/monthly/on event and click OK to go on.

Step 6: After you have set those backup parameters, it is time to backup USB flash drive. Thus, you can click Back up Now to perform USB backup immediately or you can click Back up Later to delay the USB backup process. Then see the backup task in the Manage page.


Step 7: After the USB backup process is finished, you had better create the bootable media which can be used to boot your computer so as to perform some recovery solutions. The USB image tool can also help you to do that. Just go to the Tools page and click Media Builder to go on based on its instructions.


When all steps are finished, you have successfully backed up USB flash drive with this USB image tool. And if you want to backup USB drive or other external hard drives that connect via the USB, operations are the same.

So you can see this USB image tool is the best choice to backup flash drive or backup other files.

Another USB Image Tool – Windows Snap-in Tool

Windows snap-in tool can also be used to backup USB hard disk or external hard drives that connect via USB.

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the search box of Windows 10 and choose the best-matched one to enter its main interface.

Step 2: After entering the Control Panel window, please choose Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to continue. If you can’t find it, please change the View byat the top right corner to Large icons firstly and then choose the USB image tool.


Step 3: In the next popup window, please choose Set up backup to at the right side to continue.

Step 4: Next, you are required to choose a target disk to save the USB backup and click Next to continue. It is recommended to save to an external hard drive since you can perform recovery solutions even if the computer can’t boot.

Also, you can save the USB backup to the network location by clicking the button Save on a network… and input the required elements.

Step 5: Next, you are required to choose what you want to backup. Here, you can see two options which respectively are Let Windows choose (Recommended) and Let me choose. You can choose the second option and click Next to continue. The second option will help you to select libraries and folder and whether to include a system image in the backup.

Step 6: Next, you are required to choose what you want to backup. Please select the USB hard disk you want to backup and click Next to continue. If you want to backup the operating system, please check the option Include a system image of drives: System Reserved, (C).

Step 7: Next, you are required to review the backup settings. Also, you can click the button Change schedule to set the USB backup on a regular basis so as to provide better protection for the data. Then, click the button Save settings and run backup to start backing up.

Step 8: Then the USB backup process will begin.

When you have finished all the steps, the USB backup is completely finished. But note Windows snap-in tool doesn’t support backing up the USB flash drive.

Comparison MiniTool ShadowMaker with Windows Snap-in Tool

From the above information, you can find that these two USB image tools have some difference. We list some in the following part.

  • First of all, MiniTool ShadowMaker supports backing up the USB flash drive or other external hard drives that connect via USB. But Windows snap-in image tool doesn’t backing up USB flash drive.
  • Secondly, MiniTool ShadowMaker is easier than Windows snap-in backup tools because it just needs a few steps.
  • Thirdly, MiniTool ShadowMaker is also a piece of file sync software which enables you to sync files to two or more locations.
  • More…

So in my opinion, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a great USB image tool Windows. So if you want to create an image backup, try MiniTool ShadowMaker.

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