How to Copy Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 OS from Laptop to Pen Drive

How to copy OS from laptop to pendrive? This article provides the best solution to clone Windows 11/10/8/7 operating system from laptop to pen drive, USB or other flash drive.


by Delia Updated on August 8, 2023

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Why copy OS from laptop to pen drive

As we know, the process of reinstalling OS is more complicated than recovering the OS. First, the time required to install the operating system from scratch is usually longer. Second, after installing the OS, we also need to install hardware drivers and applications, so that the computer can work properly. Therefore, many users choose to backup the operating system in case of recovery needs.

Copying OS from laptop to other storage such as pen drive (also known as memory disk or USB disk) is a good way to backup Windows 11/10/8/7. It's independent of your local drive, so the backup will not be affected by system errors. Meanwhile, it's lighter and more portable than other external devices.

If you've got a pen drive, you can easily copy OS to it, and carry it around in case the laptop system crashes and requires a full recovery. In the following article, I will show you how to do it.

Copy OS to pendrive

How to copy OS from laptop to pen drive

Generally there 2 scenarios where you want to copy OS from laptop to pen drive:

💻Keep a full copy of the OS This gives your system double protection, allowing you to quickly revert it to a normal state if your computer crashes, or to start your computer directly from this copy.
💿Create a bootable drive This creates a recovery USB that can boot a problematic PC into recovery environment for system repair or recovery.

For most people, the process of copying an operating system from laptop to pen drive is complicated, a small mistake could lead to the loss of important data. Fortunately, with professional backup & clone software like AOMEI Backupper Professional, you can copy OS from laptop to pen drive easily.

✍It enables you to create backup image of Files & Folders, System, Partitions or entire Disk.

✍If you want to perfrom a complete duplication without restoring process, you could use the System Clone or Disk Clone feature. The intelligent-sector technology also empowers you to copy larger drive to smaller drive.

✍It could create a bootable pen drive that can be used to start a crashed computer of HP, Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, Dell, etc. as long as it runs Windows OS. And the created media is compatible with both BIOS and UEFI mode.

Then, let's learn how to copy OS with both methods below. First of all, download and install AOMEI Backupper to your Windows PC. Then, Connect pen drive to your computer, make sure it can be detected by your PC.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Method 1. Copy OS from laptop to pen drive by system clone or backup

Cloning system with AOMEI Backupper is an easy and effective way to copy operating system from laptop to pendrive. The specific steps are as follows:

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Backupper Pro,click “Clone” on the left sidebar and then select “System Clone”.

Choose System Clone

Step 2. In the pop-up window, select your pen drive as destination partition, and then click “Next”.

Select Mbr Disk

Step 3. There is the operation preview which shows you the operating system drives will be migrated to your pen drive. Review the operation summary and you can go back if you find something wrong. Then click “Start Clone” to perform the operation.

Preview Clone

* In the bottom of the window, you have three options. Check them per your situation.

  • Make full use of disk space: This option allows you to extend the system partition size automatically by the adjacent unallocated space.
  • Sector by Sector Clone: This option will clone all the space on the system partition no matter it is used or not, so it will take longer time.
  • SSD Alignment: If the destination is an SSD, you can click “SSD Alignment” to improve the performance.

Step 4. When the system clone progress reached to 100%, click “Finish” to exit the interface.

💬In addition to system clone, you can also use the completely free AOMEI Backupper Standard to perform system backup and restore.

This software helps you backup system and boot partitions to an image file conveniently. Besides, it provides the function of compression to the images file so as to reduce the storage space required by the image file to the largest extent. It also provides advanced level users with the function of incremental backup so as to improve the backup efficiency and further reduce the storage space required by the image file.

Method 2. Create a bootable pen drive to start faulty laptop

You can also create bootable media with the pen drive with AOMEI Backupper. Once the system crashed, you can use this bootable pen drive to boot your laptop and restore system from the backup image you created before.

What's more, you can also use the bootable pen drive to start another problematic Windows PC when needed.

*To recovery system with the bootable drive, you still need to create a system backup first.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper. Select "Tools" -> "Create Bootable Media".

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. Next, choose "Windows PE - Create bootable disc based on Windows PE", it's the recommended option because it provides more flexible and convenient operations.

Windows PE

Step 3. Make sure your pen drive is connected properly, and select "USB Boot Device". Then click "Next".

Select USB Drive

Step 4. When the creation is complete, click "Finish" to exit the interface.

Now you've got a bootable USB that can boot your computer into WinPE, and perform backup & restore or even clone operation there. You can even use it to restore system image to a different computer using the Universal Restore feature.


Follow these simple methods, you can effectively copy OS from laptop to pen drive. AOMEI Backupper should be the best operating system copy tool. Besides system clone and system backup, it also has many other powerful features, such as Backup/Restore dynamic disk volume, disk clone and so on.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.