Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

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bertilak
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Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by bertilak » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:05 pm

I want to create a restore-able Win10 system image on a flash drive.

Despite the system image tools that come with Win10 this is apparently impossible. There are MANY places on the internet where people ask how to make this work and NONE of the answers work for me, nor anybody else for that matter despite numerous attempts to post solutions by various MS gurus. Some people say they could get the "share a directory then create the image on the share" idea to work but others report sure, that "works" but the restore process does not recognize the image.

I give up on trying to use MS's built in tools, tools that apparently don't work for anyone.

So, can anyone recommend a third-party solution?
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

Nyc10036
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by Nyc10036 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:27 pm

I think Windows has an issue with using USB flash drives for back up.
I use Clonezilla (Linux-based) and back up the hard drive image to a 2TB Western Digital USB hard drive.

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BigFoot48
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by BigFoot48 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:32 pm

I actually bricked my mother-in-laws HP desktop recently following a Microsoft recommended procedure for getting a USB port working, that resulted in making no USB ports work. You know, the ones that run the keyboard and mouse. Fortunately a year earlier I had backed up her operating system files using AOEMI Backupper, a free program. It includes creating a WinPE bootable CD or Flashdrive. I booted up with the CD, restored the OS from the backup file, and the desktop was working again, in a one year old state.

I recommend and use it on all my computers, and hers!
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FreeAtLast
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by FreeAtLast » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:07 am

I created a "Recovery" USB flash drive using Control Panel. Took up 9.11 GB of 16 GB. Did not try to create a whole system image. I also back up all my data using a 2 TB Seagate "Slim" external drive. These precautions help me sleep well at night.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

hudson
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by hudson » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:38 am

I haven't tried this, and you've probably already been here...might be worth a look?

https://support.hp.com/si-en/document/c04641788

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bertilak
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:42 am

FreeAtLast wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:07 am
I created a "Recovery" USB flash drive using Control Panel. Took up 9.11 GB of 16 GB. Did not try to create a whole system image. I also back up all my data using a 2 TB Seagate "Slim" external drive. These precautions help me sleep well at night.
I am unsure of what a recover disk actually is. What can it actually recover? Is it the same s a repair disk? I was led to believe by something I read online that a repair disk was simply something bootable that could then do a restore of a system image.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

hudson
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by hudson » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:08 am

Maybe this...you would need a huge drive...for me a 1TB drive would probably work.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3011736 ... ed-be.html

Nyc10036
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by Nyc10036 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 am

bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:42 am
FreeAtLast wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:07 am
I created a "Recovery" USB flash drive using Control Panel. Took up 9.11 GB of 16 GB. Did not try to create a whole system image. I also back up all my data using a 2 TB Seagate "Slim" external drive. These precautions help me sleep well at night.
I am unsure of what a recover disk actually is. What can it actually recover? Is it the same s a repair disk? I was led to believe by something I read online that a repair disk was simply something bootable that could then do a restore of a system image.
All new PCs come with a hidden partition on the hard drive called Recovery.
Using the manufacturer's software you can create on 16 GB or bigger USB flash drive a recovery flash drive. The contents is Windows and Windows only on the date of manufacture. Any subsequent Windows updates are not included.
If you use your recovery flash drive, you would lose all personal data that was on the hard drive and any Windows updates.
I spent overnight running an image backup of the entire hard drive.

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bertilak
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 am

Nyc10036 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:57 am
All new PCs come with a hidden partition on the hard drive called Recovery.
Using the manufacturer's software you can create on 16 GB or bigger USB flash drive a recovery flash drive. The contents is Windows and Windows only on the date of manufacture. Any subsequent Windows updates are not included.
If you use your recovery flash drive, you would lose all personal data that was on the hard drive and any Windows updates.
I spent overnight running an image backup of the entire hard drive.
Thank. Looks like a Recovery flash drive is not what I was looking for. I want to take a snapshot of the currently installed system that can then be re-installed after something "bad" happens and, perhaps, the system won't even boot. I don't want to restore it back to the day I got it, although that's a nice capability as well.

Perhaps AOEMI Backupper as mentioned by BigFoot48 will do the job.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

hudson
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by hudson » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:38 am

I used to use free Clonezilla to image hard to replace PCs. I think that's what you want...an image that you could restore that includes everything.
There's a learning curve, but it worked well. We eventually got where we could run it remotely and image a number of PCs overnight...over the network. It's kind of techy...but do-able with patience. I actually should run it on both of my home PCs; one of them is getting long in the tooth.

http://clonezilla.org/

jebmke
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by jebmke » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:00 am

hudson wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:38 am
I used to use free Clonezilla to image hard to replace PCs. I think that's what you want...an image that you could restore that includes everything.
There's a learning curve, but it worked well. We eventually got where we could run it remotely and image a number of PCs overnight...over the network. It's kind of techy...but do-able with patience. I actually should run it on both of my home PCs; one of them is getting long in the tooth.

http://clonezilla.org/
Thanks for the link. I should look at this. I re-image about 50 machines every year using DISM. It isn't that hard for me to do it myself using the command line but if clonezilla has a decent UI I might be able to train others to do this.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Nyc10036
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by Nyc10036 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:14 am

Clonezilla is Linux-based and I have used it for about 10 years.

There are a couple of Windows-based programs that are mentioned when this subject comes up.

hudson
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by hudson » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:56 am

jebmke wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:00 am
hudson wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:38 am
I used to use free Clonezilla to image hard to replace PCs. I think that's what you want...an image that you could restore that includes everything.
There's a learning curve, but it worked well. We eventually got where we could run it remotely and image a number of PCs overnight...over the network. It's kind of techy...but do-able with patience. I actually should run it on both of my home PCs; one of them is getting long in the tooth.

http://clonezilla.org/
Thanks for the link. I should look at this. I re-image about 50 machines every year using DISM. It isn't that hard for me to do it myself using the command line but if clonezilla has a decent UI I might be able to train others to do this.
I seem to remember a scheduler; you could run it off your machine, clone a number of pcs over the network, and drop the images on a server. I don't think Clonezilla cared if there was an active user. I thought it was easily delegated.

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BigFoot48
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by BigFoot48 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:59 am

bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 am
Thank. Looks like a Recovery flash drive is not what I was looking for. I want to take a snapshot of the currently installed system that can then be re-installed after something "bad" happens and, perhaps, the system won't even boot. I don't want to restore it back to the day I got it, although that's a nice capability as well.

Perhaps AOEMI Backupper as mentioned by BigFoot48 will do the job.
It sure worked for me. We bought her a laptop to use when I broke her desktop. I took the desktop home where I had the AOEMI boot CD. It worked like magic. As a bonus, Windows then updated to the latest 17xx version which had been failing to install before the bricking. I now have a CD and flash drive of the AOEMI boot/restore program at her home and plan 6 month backups of the OS on all our computers. My laptop OS backup is 71GB, stored in multiple locations.

She's going to keep using the laptop as it will be more useful should she ever move into an assisted living facility.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FreeAtLast
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by FreeAtLast » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Bertilak -

If you don't have one already, buy yourself an external hard drive and back-up all your data. You can always re-install Windows 10; it's your documents and letters and photos that are precious. My Seagate drive cost me $98.00 a year and a half ago. It's probably down to $50.00 by now. Your peace of mind is worth half a C-note. :)

Free

P.S. I looked around on Amazon and it seems that the same drive I own now costs $70.00 (before tax and shipping) for a new one. Still well worth it.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

theplayer11
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:11 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:59 am
bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 am
Thank. Looks like a Recovery flash drive is not what I was looking for. I want to take a snapshot of the currently installed system that can then be re-installed after something "bad" happens and, perhaps, the system won't even boot. I don't want to restore it back to the day I got it, although that's a nice capability as well.

Perhaps AOEMI Backupper as mentioned by BigFoot48 will do the job.
It sure worked for me. We bought her a laptop to use when I broke her desktop. I took the desktop home where I had the AOEMI boot CD. It worked like magic. As a bonus, Windows then updated to the latest 17xx version which had been failing to install before the bricking. I now have a CD and flash drive of the AOEMI boot/restore program at her home and plan 6 month backups of the OS on all our computers. My laptop OS backup is 71GB, stored in multiple locations.

She's going to keep using the laptop as it will be more useful should she ever move into an assisted living facility.
Bigfoot..can you explain what needs to be done using AOEMI? I downloaded the program, clicked on back up>system backup and there were 2 options to back up, so I did both to external hard drive. Do I now need to create a bootable recovery disk under utilities?
My goal is to be able to get back into windows 10 in case of a crash and to get all files back in case of a hard disk failure.....and will the back up reinstall windows itself if needed? thanks

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by cjking » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:32 pm

I think I've reinstalled Windows and all my applications a couple of times since Windows 10 came out. Once to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit, and once when my hard drive suddenly failed and I replaced it with an SSD. Recovering from the hard drive failure gave me confidence that I definitely don't need an image backup, it's good enough to back up all my data.

I see a drive failure as a good opportunity to go back to a completely clean install, and only reinstall software I still need/use. I wouldn't want to restore a system image.

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by BigFoot48 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:37 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:11 pm
Bigfoot..can you explain what needs to be done using AOEMI? I downloaded the program, clicked on back up>system backup and there were 2 options to back up, so I did both to external hard drive. Do I now need to create a bootable recovery disk under utilities?
My goal is to be able to get back into windows 10 in case of a crash and to get all files back in case of a hard disk failure.....and will the back up reinstall windows itself if needed? thanks
Yes, you will find "Create Bootable Media" in the Utilities menu. It will create a CD or "USB Boot Device" (I did both) using either Linex or Windows PE. I used PE and by having the computer boot to the CD drive at start-up it loads PE which offers an option to restore the Operating System from a backup file.
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by technovelist » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:41 pm

I have used Acronis backup in the past to make a complete restorable image of my OS. It can even restore your image to different hardware if your machine dies and you can't get an identical one.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by Nyc10036 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:14 pm

I have two backup hard drives!

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:59 am
bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:12 am
Thank. Looks like a Recovery flash drive is not what I was looking for. I want to take a snapshot of the currently installed system that can then be re-installed after something "bad" happens and, perhaps, the system won't even boot. I don't want to restore it back to the day I got it, although that's a nice capability as well.

Perhaps AOEMI Backupper as mentioned by BigFoot48 will do the job.
It sure worked for me. We bought her a laptop to use when I broke her desktop. I took the desktop home where I had the AOEMI boot CD. It worked like magic. As a bonus, Windows then updated to the latest 17xx version which had been failing to install before the bricking. I now have a CD and flash drive of the AOEMI boot/restore program at her home and plan 6 month backups of the OS on all our computers. My laptop OS backup is 71GB, stored in multiple locations.

She's going to keep using the laptop as it will be more useful should she ever move into an assisted living facility.
BigFoot,

I was able to create both a system backup and a boot drive, on two different USB flash drives using AOEMI Backupper. I was able to get my BIOS to boot from the AOEMI USB boot drive. This woke up he AMEMI backupper utility.

Thanks!

Finding the proper BIOS settings to get it to boot from USB was a bit tricky. For those who care (that would be those with Samsung laptops or ultra books) I needed to set the BIOS to:
  • Pressing F2 at the very beginning of the boot gets you to the BIOS settings.
  • Disable fast BIOS mode. Otherwise it won't even look for the USB during boot.
  • Set boot method to CMOS.
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jebmke
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by jebmke » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:13 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 pm
Finding the proper BIOS settings to get it to boot from USB was a bit tricky. For those who care (that would be those with Samsung laptops or ultra books) I needed to set the BIOS to:

Pressing F2 at the very beginning of the boot gets you to the BIOS settings.
Disable fast BIOS mode. Otherwise it won't even look for the USB during boot.
Set boot method to CMOS.
This may be hardware-specific. Newer machines are not even using BIOS but rather UEFI. I have one group of laptops that have a secret little button on the side that boots to the UEFI menu. They really should standardize these routines.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:09 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:13 pm
bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 pm
Finding the proper BIOS settings to get it to boot from USB was a bit tricky. For those who care (that would be those with Samsung laptops or ultra books) I needed to set the BIOS to:

Pressing F2 at the very beginning of the boot gets you to the BIOS settings.
Disable fast BIOS mode. Otherwise it won't even look for the USB during boot.
Set boot method to CMOS.
This may be hardware-specific. Newer machines are not even using BIOS but rather UEFI. I have one group of laptops that have a secret little button on the side that boots to the UEFI menu. They really should standardize these routines.
Well, my lack of experience is showing here. I call it BIOS but it calls itself UEFI when I boot to it.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by technovelist » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:26 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:09 pm
jebmke wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:13 pm
bertilak wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 pm
Finding the proper BIOS settings to get it to boot from USB was a bit tricky. For those who care (that would be those with Samsung laptops or ultra books) I needed to set the BIOS to:

Pressing F2 at the very beginning of the boot gets you to the BIOS settings.
Disable fast BIOS mode. Otherwise it won't even look for the USB during boot.
Set boot method to CMOS.
This may be hardware-specific. Newer machines are not even using BIOS but rather UEFI. I have one group of laptops that have a secret little button on the side that boots to the UEFI menu. They really should standardize these routines.
Well, my lack of experience is showing here. I call it BIOS but it calls itself UEFI when I boot to it.
I have lots of experience but I would still refer to UEFI as a type of BIOS even if that is not technically accurate.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

theplayer11
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:26 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:37 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:11 pm
Bigfoot..can you explain what needs to be done using AOEMI? I downloaded the program, clicked on back up>system backup and there were 2 options to back up, so I did both to external hard drive. Do I now need to create a bootable recovery disk under utilities?
My goal is to be able to get back into windows 10 in case of a crash and to get all files back in case of a hard disk failure.....and will the back up reinstall windows itself if needed? thanks
Yes, you will find "Create Bootable Media" in the Utilities menu. It will create a CD or "USB Boot Device" (I did both) using either Linex or Windows PE. I used PE and by having the computer boot to the CD drive at start-up it loads PE which offers an option to restore the Operating System from a backup file.
I have made a windows PE boot disk on a DVD and a flash drive. I was testing and was able to boot from each...BUT the AOMEI utility never popped up before after after windows start up. Windows 10 just starts normally. I'm assuming it booted from the DVD and flash drive as I went into BIOS and was able to select each method.
Shouldn't the AOMEI utility open?

cjking
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by cjking » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:55 am

Possibly I should have mentioned that in addition to backing up data, I do create a Windows recovery drive from which I can reinstall Windows.

theplayer11
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by theplayer11 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:19 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:26 pm
BigFoot48 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:37 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:11 pm
Bigfoot..can you explain what needs to be done using AOEMI? I downloaded the program, clicked on back up>system backup and there were 2 options to back up, so I did both to external hard drive. Do I now need to create a bootable recovery disk under utilities?
My goal is to be able to get back into windows 10 in case of a crash and to get all files back in case of a hard disk failure.....and will the back up reinstall windows itself if needed? thanks
Yes, you will find "Create Bootable Media" in the Utilities menu. It will create a CD or "USB Boot Device" (I did both) using either Linex or Windows PE. I used PE and by having the computer boot to the CD drive at start-up it loads PE which offers an option to restore the Operating System from a backup file.
I have made a windows PE boot disk on a DVD and a flash drive. I was testing and was able to boot from each...BUT the AOMEI utility never popped up before after after windows start up. Windows 10 just starts normally. I'm assuming it booted from the DVD and flash drive as I went into BIOS and was able to select each method.
Shouldn't the AOMEI utility open?

Edit-solved by creating UEFI instead of legacy disc

hudson
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Re: Windows 10 System image on USB flash drive

Post by hudson » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:05 am

hudson wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:56 am
jebmke wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:00 am
hudson wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:38 am
I used to use free Clonezilla to image hard to replace PCs. I think that's what you want...an image that you could restore that includes everything.
There's a learning curve, but it worked well. We eventually got where we could run it remotely and image a number of PCs overnight...over the network. It's kind of techy...but do-able with patience. I actually should run it on both of my home PCs; one of them is getting long in the tooth.

http://clonezilla.org/
Thanks for the link. I should look at this. I re-image about 50 machines every year using DISM. It isn't that hard for me to do it myself using the command line but if clonezilla has a decent UI I might be able to train others to do this.
I seem to remember a scheduler; you could run it off your machine, clone a number of pcs over the network, and drop the images on a server. I don't think Clonezilla cared if there was an active user. I thought it was easily delegated.
I emailed the guy who replaced me; he said that they no longer use Clonezilla; they now use "Fog Server"... https://fogproject.org/
I think Clonezilla would work best for the original poster; The Fog Server would be best used by an IT person.

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