ImageUSB: Make Duplicate USB by Creating and Writing an Image of a UFD

Like CD/DVD, in many cases software, game comes in a USB drive. So, making an image of USB Flash Drives is sometimes very essential for backing up things exactly in its original form. ImageUSB from PassMark Software is a handy tool in such situation. According to the developer,

ImageUSB is a free utility which lets you write an image concurrently to multiple USB Flash Drives. Capable of creating exact bit-level copies of USB Flash Drive (UFDs), ImageUSB is an extremely effective tool for the mass duplication of UFDs. Unlike other USB duplication tools, ImageUSB can preserve all unused and slack space during the cloning process, including the Master Boot Record (MBR). ImageUSB can perform flawless mass duplications of all UFD images, including bootable UFDs.

Download & Installation
To use the application, download the archive [439 Kb] from the following link.
Extract the contents to a new folder and run imageUSB.exe to launch the application. The executable is digitally signed by PassMark Software Pty Ltd.
The software is portable.You can run the executable any time to launch the application but the developer gives the following instructions.
To install imageUSB: Copy the imageUSB directory to the Program Files directory.
To uninstall imageUSB: Delete the directory to the Program Files directory.
System Requirements
  1. Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  2. RAM: 256 Meg
  3. Intel Pentium 4 or newer Processor
  4. Disk space: 2MB free hard disk space, plus any additional space required to store image file.
  5. Administrative Rights
Features
  • The software mainly have two features:
  1. To create backup of UFD to hard drive
  2. To write image to one or multiple UFD simultaneously.
  • ImageUSB is currently only able to handle images (.bin) files that were created by imageUSB and ISO (.iso) files. imageUSB’s .bin files have a 512-byte header added to the beginning of the raw image.
  • Writing an image file with ImageUSB will destroy all data on any removable drive volume specified. So, take the following precautions
  1. Backup the USB Flash Drive contents to a hard disk drive before proceeding.
  2. Make sure to select the correct drive!! Better remove any other removable drives on the system to avoid any such mistakes.
  3. Follow the on screen instructions or read the Help documentation that has been provided with the software.
  • Backing up an USB drive to hard disk requires exact the same space as the USB drive has (e.g. A 8 Gb UFD). So, make the backup in a drive that has that much space available. Otherwise, you will have to skip the process after spending too much time.
  • The backup process is slow but give accurate results. System resource usage is minimal at idle time but is acceptable during the process.
  • The application GUI is not resizable.
  • The software allow multiple instances but it is not recommended to run two or more at the same time.
  • The software offers two warnings (1 & 2) during writing on USB.
  • The software offers a “Post Image Verification” box for verification of the contents on the UFD afterwards (only for imageUSB .bin files). Image verification may double the normal imaging time.
  • If you choose to abort imaging after the imaging process has been started, any drives that are not completed will be rendered unreadable. To fix the unreadable drives, you will need to reformat the.
Logging
  • A log is kept at the bottom of the program, it will display status messages, errors, and any other relevant information. Starting imageUSB with the “-l” command line argument will save a log. The filename for the logfile is “imageUSB.log” and can be found in the same directory as the executable.
  • Debug information (useful to the developers to debug problems) can also be logged by starting imageUSB with the “-d” command line argument. It will save to the same logfile, “imageUSB.log”.
Note:
  • CD ISO images use a different file systems compared to USB drives. So the direct imaging of ISO9660, Joliet or UDF file system, from a CD, to a USB drive, might not allow the USB drive to funtion in all operating systems. A reformat can recover the drive however.
  • Due to the forensic nature of image duplication by ImageUSB, please ensure that you select UFDs with a storage size similar to the image you wish to duplicate. For example, if a 2GB image is copied to an 8GB USB Flash Drive, the drive will only be able to use two out of the eight gigabytes of storage space. In this scenario, users will need to reformat the UFD in order to access the rest of the storage space.
Screenshots
Creating an Image of a UFD
Writing an Image of a UFD
My Verdict
The software indeed is very useful for backing up UFDs. I am not sure if it is perfect for making bootable USB for installing Windows, Linux. I tried to write a Linux distro and later the USB was not readable from Windows 7. So, I would suggest you to use the software for backing up UFDs and for restoring USB images only.

One thought on “ImageUSB: Make Duplicate USB by Creating and Writing an Image of a UFD

  1. Thanks for this page. Needed to make image for bootable memory stick for work machines. Made it quick to see how image is created.

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