Q: How to clone a bootable USB?
"Friends, I have a bootable USB flash drive that has Windows 7 installed on it. Now, I want to copy it to another flash drive so that I can have a backup for future use. Can I use file explorer merely to copy and paste it? Do you know any better solution to clone bootable USB?"
There is the widespread use of USB flash drives or USB hard disks because of the convenience they offer. They are both compact and portable. Most users prefer saving their files and data to USB flash drives or USB hard disks. But you can never know when your USB drive may be rendered unrecognizable by any computer system. It can mean an irreversible data loss. So you must keep the files and data on your USB drive safe.
So how can you protect your data? Most users will think of taking a backup of their USB drives. It will involve copying all the files on the disk onto some other storage devices. This copying process is going to take time and can be inconvenient.
You can find a more straightforward method to protect all your data. It is to clone bootable USB to some other device.
A bootable USB drive will have all the instructions required for the computer bootloader to load a wide range of assets for running the OS.
Usually, you will want to clone bootable USB to be used as an OS installer. The system will get the instructions to boot into the installer. The installer then unpacks a large-sized compressed file that contains the operating system’s resources. On the other hand, if an OS is installed on a different USB drive, it can also be classified as a bootable USB. However, it will be a bootable USB for a full-fledged OS.
So a bootable USB drive can be compared to an installation disc that comes from a PC manufacturer. The drive can be used to boot your system and troubleshoot it if there is any disaster or crash. All it will require is little settings change for boot priority from within BIOS.
Most of the modern systems continue to have the USB drive technology preserved in them. Many systems don’t have an optical drive. That is why it is somehow more sensible to clone a bootable USB drive instead of considering any other bootable option.
Traditionally, USB drives have been used for storing and moving personal data. So, most users continue to use the method of Copy/Paste for transferring files between USB drives.
You can also use it for copying personal files and folders to a different USB drive. If a USB drive has a bootable partition, along with its master boot record (MBR) and slack space, then you cannot think of using the drag-and-drop function to move it to another flash drive.
It will be required to follow the proper steps to clone a bootable USB drive. So, it is not just possible to copy-paste the files from a bootable drive.
As mentioned above, USB drives are popular because they offer exceptional convenience in terms of data storage. It makes it easy to transfer data from a computer system to another or between different USB flash drives.
However, that is not everything that USB drives are used for. They can also be used as bootable devices to deal with disaster recovery. You can clone bootable USB Windows 10 as a method of backup.
A bootable USB drive allows the computer hardware to rely on a USB storage stick to run all the vital system booting files and data. There are many vital reasons why you would want to clone USB flash drive bootable. Some of the most important reasons are as follows:
It is essential to understand that the process to clone a bootable USB flash drive is not just about copy-paste from a bootable USB drive to another USB stick. If you do such a copy-paste, then it is going to make the operating system unbootable, or the program can become corrupt. So, it is recommended to use a specialized USB clone tool that will ensure safety, speed, and reliable booting.
Windows don’t provide you much flexibility. It means that there is no feature to clone bootable USB windows 10. That is why you will need a third-party program for cloning a bootable USB drive. However, you have so many cloning tools to choose from, which can make it challenging to make the right choice.
Since it is required to upgrade the USB drive, the right cloning program should allow more features than sector by sector clothing technique. Also, it should have an intelligent cloning feature that skips any bad sectors on the USB drive. It will help ensure that the cloning is successful even when there is any little damage to the USB drive. And this is where AOMEI Backupper Professional makes the right choice as an expert-recommended USB clone tool.
This tool allows you to clone a bootable USB drive to another USB stick, hard drive, or SSD drive using the Disk Clone function. When cloning, every partition on the USB drive will get cloned to the new drive. It will be done using a few clicks and will include the boot and data drive partitions. Besides, the tool also allows you to determine if you want to maintain the same layout or make changes to the partition size on the target disk. It can be resolved before the cloning process begins.
AOMEI Backupper is a comprehensive backup software for Windows. It can be used not just to clone bootable USB Windows 10, but also to sync, backup, and restore data as per your needs. The Disk Clone feature allows you to clone a hard drive from a bootable USB drive.
Some of its key features and benefits are as follows:
So how can you use AOMEI Backupper? It will be required to start by downloading the software on your Windows system. It is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10. Once downloaded, you should follow the steps given below.
Steps to Clone USB Bootable Drive in Windows
So how to clone a USB bootable drive? The different steps involved are as follows:
Step 1: Connect the USB Drive
Boot your computer system in the usual way. Now, plug in the bootable USB drive and the destination disk. Ensure that Windows detects both the drives.
Step 2: Install the Software
Once you have downloaded AOMEI Backupper, install it, and run the program. Select the option "clone" and then "disk clone."
Step 3: Select the Drive
Choose the bootable USB flash drive.
Step 4: Select the Destination Drive
Choose the destination drive where you want to clone a bootable USB flash drive. This destination drive could be a hard drive or some other USB drive.
Step 5: Make Changes to Partitions (Optional)
If you want to make changes to the partition size, click on the option "Edit partitions on the destination disk." If the destination drive is an SSD, you should check the button against ‘Align partitions to optimize for SSD.’ This will help in getting the best possible performance. Once configured, click on the option ‘start clone.’
There is no option in Windows to clone a bootable USB drive. You can find several third-party disk cloning tools. They are designed for disk copying and disk cloning.
But AOMEI Backupper allows you to clone bootable USB flash drive in Windows 7, 8, and 10 with just a few clicks. Moreover, it can also allow you to clone GPT disk / dynamic disk to MBR disk. You can also use it when the target disk has lesser space than the original drive.
You may use AOMEI Backupper not just to clone bootable USB, but also for USB image backup. It can also be used to swiftly create backups of bootable USB drives. This professional backup/restore tool has many functions. It can be configured to schedule automatic Windows backups. Whenever there is a system crash or disaster, it allows you to restore the system to the previous status.
So AOMEI Backupper Professional is a complete program that allows cloning, backup, restore, and more.