How do you normally back up your USB drives? Or do you back it up at all? Honestly, I don’t. But if I do, I prefer using a tool that can quickly capture the whole drive into an image file that can be also easily mounted and restored later on. USB Image Tool is a free portable tool that creates images of any type of USB devices that are mounted on your Windows system as a device drive. You can use this tool to back up any of your portable USB external storage devices.
It’s a portable tool so you can simply run it without an installation process. You can back up USB drives into 3 different image formats, image files (.img, .ima), compressed ZIP files, or compressed GZip image files. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to mount the image file to a drive on my Windows 8 machine. It would be nice if the image file could be in an ISO format so that you don’t have to restore the image to a drive in order to access the data.
You can restore the image files back to the original devices or any device that has larger storage space than the data in the image files. For example, you can restore a 8G image to a 16G USB drive but you will lose 8G of space on the restored 16G drive.
There are also number of options you can choose when creating the image files to your USB devices, including creating MD5 checksums hash during the backup on the uncompressed image to make sure the integrity of the backup image files. You can do so by checking the option “Create MD5 checksums” in Options tab before backing up your device.
USB Image Tools works on all Windows systems, from XP all the way to Windows 8, both 32-bit and 64-bit editions are supported. Since it’s free and portable, it can be a very useful tool added into your portable tool kit.
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Last updated: 08/04/2014