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Backup, clone or reformat USB keys with ImageUSB

31 March 2015, Mike Williams

ImageUSBImageUSB is a free Windows application for creating and writing images of USB drives. It sounds much like many other free tools, but wait – this one is much better than you might expect.

The program comes from a trustworthy developer, PassMark Software, so you can download it with confidence. That won’t exactly take long – it’s a very compact 463KB – and there’s no installation required, just unzip and go.

A straightforward interface lists all currently connected USB drives, and gives you the option to create images from, or write images to them.

That’s no great surprise, but what stands out here is not only that ImageUSB reads and writes .iso, .bin and .img images, but it can do so concurrently. If you want to clone one USB key to two, three, four others – or as many as your PC can support – then the program is able to do it in a single operation.

ImageUSB

Everything is controlled from a single dialog

ImageUSB isn’t just copying the files, either, or even the file system. It’s intended for use with forensic applications, and produces exact bit-level copies of everything, including all unused and slack space, and the Master Boot Record.

As a bonus, you also get options to zero (securely wipe) or reformat USB keys. We didn’t test the latter feature, but PassMark says it works with “even hard to format drives”.

The program hasn’t worked as you expect? ImageUSB may be able to help even here, thanks to an on-screen log. If it doesn’t display a USB drive on launch, for example, just glance at the log box and you’ll see the drives it’s checked and any errors that came up.

Overall ImageUSB is convenient and easy to use, with a solid set of features, and especially good at bulk imaging. Give it a try.

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