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Windows 7 System Image on USB

Last response: in Windows 7
August 7, 2013 1:39:21 PM

I have a 32 GB USB stick that will just fit a bootable copy of Windows 7 Home Premium plus a system image that I copied over from the "D" drive. Problem is, Windows setup will not allow me to select the USB drive as a source to install the image. Another problem is, I cannot select to save to the USB stick when creating the image in the first place. Any workarounds?
a b $ Windows 7
August 7, 2013 3:17:47 PM

you will have to set it to boot from usb in the bios. get the ms 7 to usb tool (Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool) and it will make a bootable usb. I think you will only be able to put one image on there for it to boot.
August 7, 2013 3:25:47 PM

I specially prepared the USB stick and can boot from it fine. I can even do a new install Windows directly from the USB drive. The problem is in restoring the 15 GB "C" drive image.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 7, 2013 3:39:40 PM

According to MS If you're using Windows Backup to back up your files, you can have a system image created each time your files are backed up. The files can be saved on a USB flash drive, CDs, DVDs, or a hard drive. The system image must be saved on a hard drive. By default, the system image only includes the drives required for Windows to run.

So you might have to move the image to the hd to restore????
August 7, 2013 5:40:40 PM

That's a lousy solution, even if it might be the only one. It wouldn't work with my laptop because you need to restore the system image from a hard drive that's not the destination drive. Come on Microsoft! USB's are big enough nowadays to be considered hard drives.
February 16, 2014 8:36:07 PM

If you wish to make a system image on a USB connected flash drive in Windows 7, you must have Windows 7 Pro. Home Premium will not do it, I believe. With Pro, the flash drive can be given full network share and receive the system image sent to the network. Not possible with Home Premium.

With Home Premium you can 1. buy a backup harddrive; 2. upgrade to Windows 7 Pro; 3. buy software for creating system image backups. These three choices are, to my mind, too expensive. When I bought my new computer a few months ago, I made sure that the purchase included a copy of the OEM Windows 7 Home Premium OS on a DVD. I also demanded a DVD with the essential drivers. I use Windows 7 "Backup and Restore" to make copies of my data files every week. If I have a HDD fail, I shall have to start from the recovery disk, which I made as soon as I setup my computer. Then I would reload the OS and all the drivers and KB files and other udpates. Then I would load my data files. A time consuming task, but I would not be rewarding the industry for making a lousy HDD that failed on me.