By Nicky / Last Updated February 26, 2020

When users say that they want to mirror an image backup, it means creating a system backup. This kind of backup absolutely includes everything (the operating system, all of your personal files, installed programs, temporary files, etc.) on your computer. Because these backups are larger in size, they are generally stored on external hard drives, USB flash drive, network drives and so on.

User case

“My computer is running Windows 10, and the OS takes up 67 GB of disk space. Recently, I bought a 128 GB USB flash drive and I would like to mirror a Windows 10 image backup. My question is how to mirror the system image to this USB? I hope someone can help me.”

Why mirror image backup in Windows 10/8/7?

Usually, people may want to mirror an image backup for the following reasons:

Protect your data: Sometimes, you may meet some computer problems like system errors or virus infections. In this situation, your important data, such as business documents and financial information are at risk. So, you can mirror an image of your computer to backup your data.

Avoid reinstalling the system: Maybe you've collected lots of programs and files on your computer over the years. To avoid reinstalling or re-download everything again, you’d better mirror an image of your system so that you can restore the imaged system onto a new one if something happens to your existing computer.

How to mirror a system image of my computer?

You can learn how to backup Windows 10/8/7 to USB with Backup and Restore (Windows 7) in Windows 10 and AOMEI Backupper Standard here. But if you meet any problems when you mirror an image to USB with Backup and Restore like “The drive is not a valid backup location”, you can follow the second way to use AOMEI Backupper.

Method 1. Mirroring system image backup via Backup and Restore (built-in)

Note: Before you start, connect the USB drive to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 1. Click Start, open Control Panel>System and Security> Backup and Restore (Windows 7) subsequently. Once you enter the backup section, you will need to click on the Set up backup link.

Set Backup

Step 2. Choose to save backup on a hard drive or network location. Here, choose your USB drive. then click Next.

Select Backup Destination

Step 3. Then, tick “Let Windows choose”, it will basically include system image.

Let Windows Choose

Step 4. Once you have chosen what you want to back up, you will be given an overview. After confirming everything you need is included, click “Save settings and run backup”.

Start To Backup

Actually, you may meet some problems when using Backup and restore tool like “Windows Backup did not complete successfully”, “Backup and Restore not working” and so on. And it may take a lot of time and effort of you to fix these problems. Therefore, you can trun to the more stable and secure third-party software-AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Method 2. Mirroring system image backup via AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and professional Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista image backup software. Within only a few steps, it can help you backup all the things on your computer, including operating system, applications, files, etc. to other destinations.

There are many useful features in this software that can help you improve the efficiency of backup:

It supports scheduled backup like Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Incremental, Differential and Event triggers, etc. After setting, this software will automatically backup your data regularly.

It can help you backup system to USB and this operation is not available in Windows built-in tool. Besides, there is a specific feature called “USB plug in” that can automatically backup data from/ to USB once you insert USB again to computer.

If you run a scheduled backup, you can enable Disk Space Management feature in “Scheme”. Then, this software will delete old backup images to save disk space automatically.

You can create bootable media (USB drive or CD) with AOMEI Backupper. This function can help to boot your computer and perform recovery if any serious problem happens to your computer.

Follow the steps to mirror a system image backup, and you need to do preparations as below at first:

  • Please connect the target hard drive to your computer. Make sure it is detected.

  • Back up files to external hard drive in advance, because all files on target drive will be overwritten.

  • Then, download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

Step 1. Click "System Backup" under the "Backup" tab.

System Backup

Step 2. The system and boot related partitions have been selected as source partitions automatically. Select your USB drive as the destination path

Select Destination

Note: This software supports you to backup to different places such as local disk, external drive, network share, NAS, cloud drive, etc.

Step 3. You can click on “Schedule” to select Daily/Weekly/Monthly backup at the General tab or Incremental/Differential backup under Advanced tab according to your needs.

Schedule Settings General

Step 4. Click "Start Backup" to begin system backup.

Tips: If you are Windows Server user, you can use another version-AOMEI Backupper Server to enjoy these functions.

What's more, AOMEI Backupper is also a powerful restore software, you can restore the system image with it at any time as you need. And you can refer to the restore steps in this article: How to Restore System Image from External Hard Drive?


If you mirror a system image in Windows 10/8/7, AOMEI Backupper is a really good choice. Under the help of it, you can mirror a system image easily and quickly. And it has helpful features like incremental backup, USB plug in, disk space management, etc that can help you save much time and disk space.