• Step by Step on Help Creating Bootable USB and Other Backup Types

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Backup » Backup software – Macrium Reflect » Step by Step on Help Creating Bootable USB and Other Backup Types


    My only user experience in Backup program was using Win7 Pro’s built in backup tools twice.

    I have watched a couple of tutorial videos, but there’s no reliable Q&A. Soo, looking for detailed/clear step by step on how to create Bootable Repair/Recovery USB/CD with Win RE, Bootable Rescue USB/CD, separate Files and Data Backup, Full image back up, and how much storage space needed for both of those Bootable media before having to move from Win7 Pro to Win10 Pro

    Reason for going from Win7 back to Win10 is because Adobe CC subscription based programs no longer support PC’s with Win7.


    I have custom PC built in 2014 that had Win7 enterprise then downgraded to Win10 for couple of days then installed Windows 7 Pro (x64) instead in the end a few years ago. It has 512GB SSD and 1 TB HDD.
    I use SSD for OS, downloads, and frequently used software and HDD for everything else.

    Viewing 10 reply threads
    • #2388839

      Do you have a backup program?

      In order to backup that C and D I would get a 2 Terrabyte Western Digital external hard drive.

      I’m a fan of Macrium reflect that builds the boot menu system for you so that you can easily boot into the recovery process.  Woody is a fan of EaseUS .


      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      • #2389021

        Nope, I don’t have a backup program. Can two free backup programs be used when one of them doesn’t have certain feature(s) ?

        I ask this since I just learned Macrium Reflect Free version doesn’t have option to create a separate files and data backup even though it can do more/can customize how a feature/tool behaves. Compared to Ease ToDo Backup Free version that offers file and data backup & Bootable Rescue with a WinPE Menu, but what happens if need something Macrium Free  has what’s needed or same feature performs better, etc.


        How much memory does it usually take to create each one of these, Bootable Repair and a Bootable Rescue? I’ve been getting a wide number range. I don’t want to waste most of USB storage.


    • #2388900

      start .. run .. recoverydrive


    • #2388913

      Are you considering Macrium Reflect Free?
      See https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree – scroll down on the page
      Do note that “File and folder level backup and recovery” is not in the free version.

      Do you have the documentation on the Macrium Reflect program?
      I recommend that you download the PDF. Ignore the 7.3 changes initially.
      There are chapters and sections that do not apply to the Free version. Skip them.

      Complete User Guide – Current through V7.2 —
      – – Downloadable PDF

      – – Online – As above, but also includes the 7.3 update material available separately below

      New in V7.3 – Online only – Already included in the Online link above

      Suggested procedure:
      Skim through chapters and headings so you have an idea of what is covered, and where.
      Go through the Introduction chapter, focusing on the organization.
      The chapter The Macrium Rescue Environment – page 293 – probably is where you will want to understand and implement.

      • #2389024

        Yes I’m considering Macrium Reflect Free. Paid version having the File and Data type of backup, I don’t know how that I didn’t notice. Not ready to buy paid version of backup programs since new to 3rd party backup programs.  Thanks, I will read through those links and Guide PDF.

    • #2388914

      There are several Topics in the Macrium Reflect Backup Forum on creating bootable Rescue media.

    • #2389029

      How much memory does it usually take to create each one of these

      Creating a bootable USB has nothing to do with memory.
      You confuse memory with storage.
      An 8 GB USB stick will suffice.

      You don’t need 2 backup apps. Settle down on the one that is the easiest and does what you need.
      I use Acronis paid version. I run 2 full image backups on the 1st and 16th of every month and incremental backups every day in-between.
      I also run a scheduled daily Shadowcopy.

      MiniTool® ShadowMaker Free 3.6
      is an option too.

    • #2389036

      sorry – got distracted elsewhere. Installing Windows, easy. Getting hens into a hen house, not so. Both can be time consuming and need preparatory work..

      Given the history of the system it might be worth looking into if the system can (or does currently) use UEFI (and thus a GPT partition layout) as (besides some security issues) operating in legacy mode can still cause poor performance on a Windows 10 upgrade and often causes the Windows partition to be something other than drive C in the recovery console command prompt.

      If you really want to back up with low cost and flexibility, unfortunately whilst it comes on the Windows 10 media, the utility is command prompt driven and you really need to test extract the archives and verify you have what you need before doing anything drastic and verify (having unplugged the drive with the back up files) that the backups are safe from anything you might do..

      Myself I would have expected the 1TB to be the backup as 512Mb is generous for the OS and really it’s the documents and program installers (and licensing info potentially) you need- I would suggest burn Windows 10 if you hit problems later, it’ll be a different product version by the time you get to reinstalling anyway, and if you have made recovery media and kept the last major version download… (I’m running Windows 10 on two 60GB SSDs so old the manufacturer is long gone, configured in RAID 1 (BIOS supported), UEFI enabled, GPT partitioned, to get my first gen (4GB memory..) moving and it still has plenty space even with various lumpy Microsoft kits and junk I download) and due to the configuration on performing a flat Windows 7 install having dropped to command prompt on the Windows 7 install disk to partition the drive (first configuration at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/configure-uefigpt-based-hard-drive-partitions) and then started setup from that command prompt to negate the OS boot time repair efforts.. This doesn’t even need a “F6 driver” as UEFI fills that void. Just install Windows 7, activate, install Windows 10, activate.. you probably need to activate by phone for Windows 7 now though, as it’s just not secure in the native state.

      Use of the use of DISM tool to back up is discussed at various sites so read around, such as https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/dont-worry-about-being-dismissed-hurry-up-to-use/e8992666-e484-40bd-991a-95c3a6d0ce1b and this one, which details backup but not how to do a restore.. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/take-backup-of-cusers-folders-by-using-dism/68ca300e-3dda-4824-bf19-ced23119730b

      Hints would be back up to a second drive and extract the image onto a third or the original drive to test the image if you can (a data log jam is likely otherwise – slows right down, a small external USB hard drive could  be very useful if you have a USB3 port, but AVOID a USB “key”, it’s a block write mode media so is really slow at the byte level writes required) and use DISM carefully from recovery media command prompt. Never extract a backup of \users to a folder in root- nest the backup restored in a folder inside a folder there, as DISM transfers some system attributes and your GUI drive view will get confusing as you will see two \users folders if you boot Windows on the drive though the CMD folder names will be as you expect! In reintegrating data take ownership from the root folder before cut and pasting your data files into your account.

      Finally perhaps not mentioned too often, it improve chances Windows 10 will update before getting something nasty, you need:

      servicing stack update for the version you installed:


      Defender signatures


      (install download, wait for about 30 seconds for it to sort itself. No confirmation at all..)

      If you really have space even hunt out the latest “LCU” and install it before going on line. It’s large..

    • #2389042

      … Can two free backup programs be used when one of them doesn’t have certain feature(s) ?…

      Hi TheFamilyIT:

      If you’re still looking for an alternative to EasUS ToDo Free Backup, I use two different free programs for backups – Macrium Reflect Free for disk imaging (I also used this program to create a bootable rescue media on a small USB stick) and Karen’s Replicator for file and folder backups. The latest versions are currently compatible with Win XP to Win 10. My 1 TB external USB backup drive is usually unplugged from my computer so I run my backups manually instead of using the schedulers built in to these programs.

      The How-To Geek tutorial at How to Create a Full-Disk Backup of Your PC with Macrium Reflect is a bit outdated (the images are for v6.3, not the current v7.3) but it takes you through the basic steps of creating your first disk image, your USB/CD rescue media, and performing an image restore. A detailed online user guide for Macrium Reflect v7 is available <here> on the Macrium site.  I create a new disk image and save it to my external USB backup drive about once a month or just before I make major changes to my system (e.g., prior to an update to my Win 10 OS version or BIOS).

      I created my Macrium rescue media on a removable 8 GB USB stick (4 GB should be enough) but I also chose to add the Macrium rescue media to the Windows boot menu on my local machine so I can boot into the rescue media without my bootable USB stick (see the AskWoody thread Macrium Reflect Free Rescue Media Questions for further details). If you add your rescue media to your Windows boot  menu just note that each time you boot up your machine you’ll be given a 10 second countdown that will give you the option to enter the recovery environment before Windows starts to load, which some users might not like.

      The How-To Geek site also has a basic tutorial for Karen’s Replicator at Easily Backup Data with Karen’s Replicator, and PKCano has posted a tutorial in this AskWoody forum at Karen’s Replicator – Basic File/Folder Backup/Replication for Win7 and Win8.1 that details all the advanced features of this software. I perform a simple backup of all my personal files in my C:\Users\<myusername> folder to my external USB backup drive at least once or twice a week [i.e., all subfolders and file types, only copy new or changed files, replicate deletions in source folder (C:\Users\<myusername>) on the backup drive, move items deleted on backup drive to recycle bin, disable scheduler] as shown in the attached image. I only have one hard drive in my Win 10 machine but it sounds like all your personal files are stored on your HDD so you might only need to create a single job to backup your user data if you want to try this software.

      I have a handful of really important user files (e.g., MS Office documents I couldn’t re-create from scratch if both my hard drive and external USB backup drive failed simultaneously) that I copy to a small USB thumb drive each time they’re modified,  just for extra redundancy.
      Dell Inspiron 15 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H1 build 19043.1165 * Firefox v92.0 * Macrium Reflect Free v7.3.5925 * Karen’s Replicator v3.7.6

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2389126

      I use Macrium Free and have found that I am able to mount past Images and pull out files if needed…

      • #2389191

        Really!?..how are you able to pull out individual files when free Macrium version doesn’t include files backup?  Also, l thought free version is supposed to be able to mount/use full image backups when restoring is needed.

    • #2389317


      Simply mount the image from within windows explorer- it will appear as the next drive letter available. Then just peruse the image as a disk and choose and copy what you want to a different drive. I was quite surprised at how easy it was….it’s best if you know where the files you want are located! A multi gig or Tera drive image can be tedious search!



    • #2434103

      Question: Should I keep only one version of Macrium Reflect recovery media on a single USB stick?

      Background: Today I updated Macrium Reflect Free from version 7.3.6284 to version 7.3.6391. Immediately afterwards I used Macrium to create new recovery media on the same USB stick that I had previously used to create recovery media using the 7.3.6284 version of Macrium. File Explorer now indicates that there is a D: and an E: drive on the USB stick. To test whether I could boot into the Macrium recovery media I restarted my computer and entered the BIOS to change the boot order. There was no option to select either the D: or E: drive, just the option to select the USB stick which is what I chose. The computer booted into the Macrium recovery environment which indicated it was the older 7.3.6284 version.

    • #2434114

      I’ve never had Macrium create a separate partition when creating new backup media. It always overwrites the previous version. In fact the menu where you select the media USB or CD/DVD shows you the drive letter that will be used. Of course I’m still using V6 so V7 could be different but I don’t see why they would change that. FYI: Version 6 is still clicking along on the latest 21H2 build of Windows.
      Edition: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
      Version: 2009 21H2
      Build: 19044.1586

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2434142

        I don’t have any experience creating or deleting partitions. I guess I should use something like Windows Disk Management to delete the D: drive from the USB stick which is where the older 7.3.6284 version of the Macrium recovery media resides. Then when I use the BIOS to direct the computer to boot to the USB stick the computer will boot to the E: drive, the only remaining drive on the USB stick and also the drive where the newer 7.3.6391 version of the Macrium recovery media resides.

        • #2434150

          Just delete the files and let MR recreate them. No need to play with partitions.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2434254

            I decided to stretch my computer muscles and used Windows Disk Management to delete volume D: on the USB stick. Now the USB stick has the following three blocks on it:

            1.00 GB

            Macrium_PE (E:)
            1.00 GB FAT32
            Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)

            26.64 GB

            After making this change I was able to boot to the newer 7.3.6391 version of the Macrium recovery media that is on the E: drive of the USB stick and the Macrium recovery media was able to find the Macrium images stored on my portable hard drive.

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