How to easily write ISO to USB, burn IMG to USB, create backups, clone a flash drive and more. Win32 Disk Imager is a free disk imaging and cloning tool used to write raw disk images to a USB drive from Windows. As you might have guessed, this tool can also create a backup disk image of a flash drive. You can then use the backup image to clone a new USB drive or restore the original drive. Also included is a built in hash checker which helps to ensure your files aren’t corrupted.
Much like Etcher, it also works to direct copy data from .IMG or .ISO files to a removable USB disk. Functioning just like a dd raw write command by overwriting the entire disk with raw data from the source file. As a result, any existing content on the drive is overwritten. Some consider this method destructive because the entire disk, including the boot record and partition table data, becomes overwritten. In some cases the device might even appear unwritable. However, this is almost always only temporary.
If you need to, you can easily restore a USB flash drive to its original state after using this type of tool.
This tool works great for making clones of hard disk images, CD-ROM ISO files, or even exported virtual hard drives. When using this software, you should also be aware that the new disk capacity is set to the source file filesystem size. However, in some cases this can be fixed by extending or growing the filesystem into the unallocated space.
Writing an ISO to USB Drive
You can use Win32 Disk Imager to Write an ISO to USB or burn an IMG to USB. If the file is of a bootable hybrid image, the resulting cloned drive will boot from the image as well.
Download install and start Win32 Disk Imager (Run as Administrator)
- Click the folder icon, then browse to and select your .img or .iso file.
Note: From the file explorer browser window during step one, use the dropdown in the lower right hand corner and (choose *.* to show your ISO files).
- Then select your USB device from the device dropdown.
- Finally, click the Write button to write the Image to your USB.
How to Backup USB Flash Drive – Clone USB
When you Backup USB Flash Drive, the resulting .img file of the device can later be used to restore the original contents on the device. Or you might wish to use the image to clone USB to another drive.
To begin, Start Win32 Disk Imager (Run as Administrator)
- Type a path as well as a filename to use for your backup image.
- Then select the drive you want to backup.
- Finally, click the Read button to backup your entire USB drive to the Image file.
That is really all there is to it. With the help of the Win32 disk imaging tool, you are able to read or write raw files to and from your USB device. Burn IMG to USB, write ISO to USB, read IMG from USB, create backups of your data, clone USB, restore your flash drive and much more.