By AOMEI / Last Updated July 28, 2017

6 cool ways to use USB drives

A USB flash drive or pen drive has a lot of usages. You can use it to do cool stuff in daily life besides save or transfer files.

1. Run portable version of software and games. Many programs like Chrome, Skype are portable, so you can move their installation to a USB flash drive and then run on any computer.

2. Create a Windows recovery drive. When you Windows cannot boot, you can boot from the Windows recovery USB and then use the recovery options to restore your system.

3. Create a Windows installation disk. You can burn a Windows installation image to a USB flash drive. When in need, you can boot from it to install Windows.

4. Run open-source operating system (OS). You may have heard a new Linux OS be amazing and wanted to try. In that case, you can simply try it on a USB disk before you decide to install it on your internal hard drive.

5. Install a portable version of Windows 10/8/7. As you may know, the Enterprise version of Windows 8/8.1/10 provides a feature Windows to Go allows you to run Windows OS on a certificated USB flash drive. with the help of a free tool, you can run Windows 10/8/7 on non-certificated USB flash drive.

6. Use it as a backup drive. You should backup to the location where no system is installed, so it is a great choice for backup to USB drive.

Do you need to backup USB drive?

USB flash drive is very convenient to carry with you everywhere you go, and it is also easy to be lost.

Some of the operation will wipe out all previous data on the USB drive, like creating Windows recovery drive. It is quite easy to delete all data from USB drive by accident.

With many times of plug in and plug off, USB drive may get corrupted.

Therefore, with valuable data saved on the USB drive, you should backup USB drive.

Why do you need a USB image tool?

If you save a lot of files on a USB drive, the way to simply copy and paste will take a lot of time. You probably want to get the USB drive backed up and use it for other things. Besides, some files may not be copied correctly.

Even if all the files are copied, they can be affected by other program or malware. Seeing so many computer files have been encrypted by ransomware like WannaCry and Petya, you should create an image backup to protect your valuable files.

Manually creating USB image is not recommended because you may not always remember to backup your USB disk. Therefore, you should create backups on a regular basis, and setting up an automatic backup is much better.

Here, a reliable free USB image tool for Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 7- AOMEI Backupper allows you to backup USB drive automatically on a regular basis. For creating scheduled backup, you can use incremental backup or differential backup to only include newly added and modified files in the backup to save disk space and time.

Besides USB drive, the program also works with other devices like internal hard drive, memory card, SD card, and network drive.

How to backup USB drive properly?

With AOMEI Backupper, you can set up a schedule to automatically backup USB drives at a specific time or on an event. You can use this USB image creator to create USB drive image backup to local computer, NAS (network attached storage), external hard drive or other storage devices.

To image a USB drive:

1. Download this USB image tool and run it on your computer.

2. Click “Backup”, and select “Disk Backup”. If you only need to backup a few files, you can select File Backup.

Disk Backup

3. Select the USB disk as the backup source and then specify a folder or partition to save the backup image. You can backup multiple USB drives at once.

Select USB Drive

4. Click Schedule to set up automatic backup task if need be.

Schedule Backup

5. Click “Start Backup” to start backup USB drive.

Start USB Image Backup

This image file was protected with a special file format, so malware or virus cannot affect it. By default, the backup is compressed. You can adjust the compression level in the Backup options.

If you need to backup USB drive without loading system (when system cannot boot), you can use USB image tool bootable version by creating a bootable media under Utility.

If you need to restore this image, you can click Restore and select the backup image to start restore the USB drive. If the backup is not listed, you can click Path to locate the backup image and then perform the restore.

Restore USB

Note: When you complete the USB drive image restore, all the newly created data or changed files will after the backup was taken will be lost.

As a USB image tool, AOMEI Backupper also allows you to create an exact clone of your USB drive to protect your data, besides image backup. If you want to have multiple USB drives with the same purpose, you can also use Clone feature to clone USB drive.