FlashBoot: Create installable clone of Windows on USB thumbdrive

FlashBoot Pro can create installable clone of Windows 7/8.x/10 on USB thumbdrive or USB HDD. This self-extracting backup of entire OS (Windows with all installed apps and settings) can be used to:

  • transfer entire OS from old computer to a new computer, even with dissimilar hardware
  • move entire OS from HDD to SATA SSD or to NVMe SSD (including the ability to copy to a smaller-capacity drive)
  • recover entire OS after next ransomware virus attack, failed Windows update, accidently deleted file, failed hard disk or lost/stolen laptop
  • shrink preinstalled Windows 10 to gain free space for dual-boot with Windows 7 or Linux
  • move entire OS from/to RAID array
  • copy entire OS between virtual machine and real hardware (or between virtual machines of different vendors)
  • switch Windows boot method between UEFI and non-UEFI

Optionally, you may choose to integrate drivers to an installable clone of Windows, which makes sense if you are going to reinstall Windows to a new PC with dissimilar hardware (such as USB 3.0 controller or NVMe bootable storage device). Alternatively, drivers for target storage device (such as RAID controller or NVMe SSD) can be added later, during Windows reinstallation.

Existing files will be compressed, so for this operation usually you need smaller capacity USB storage device than your disk C:. Typical compression ratio is 50-60%.

This example demonstrates creation of installable clone of Windows 7 in BIOS mode. FlashBoot also supports installable clones of Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1, as well as creation of installable clones in UEFI mode.

1) Run FlashBoot Pro, click Next:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Starting FlashBoot
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Starting FlashBoot


2) Choose "OS installer -> USB" in the the Main Menu:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing OS installer to USB in the Main Menu
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing OS installer to USB in the Main Menu


3) Choose "Installable clone of Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (for BIOS-based computers)" in this menu and click Next:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Installable clone of Windows 7/8/8.1/10 for BIOS-based computers
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Installable clone of Windows 7/8/8.1/10 for BIOS-based computers


4) Choose which files and folders are to be excluded from the clone. If you have large enough USB thumbdrive or USB HDD, then you can leave all files and folders included:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing excluded files and folders
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing excluded files and folders


5) Choose which drivers should be integrated and click Next:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing which drivers should be integrated
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Choosing which drivers should be integrated


6) Specify target USB storage device and click Next:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Specifying target USB storage device
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Specifying target USB storage device


7) If necessary, change volume label, or leave it as is, and click Next:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Volume label
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Volume label


8) Check summary information and click Format Now:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Summary information
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Summary information


9) Wait for process completion:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - In progress
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - In progress


10) Bootable USB storage device is ready to use. Click OK to exit:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - FlashBoot done
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - FlashBoot done

Windows Reinstallation Wizard consists of two pages:

1) Disk repartitioning page:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Disk repartitioning page
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Disk repartitioning page

2) Reinstallation progress page:

Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Reinstallation progress page
Create Installable Clone of Windows on USB - Reinstallation progress page

System Reserved Partition is not included to the backup image, it will be recreated automatically during the reinstallation (or just updated in dual-boot configurations).

Installable clones are available only in FlashBoot Pro.