The common problem to follow this instruction is due to the pendrive or usb flash drive is not being detected by the Windows 7 Backup & Restore Tools and the option “On Hard Disk” is greyed out. This article will explain how to create Windows 10 system image in usb flash drive using Windows 7 Backup & Restore Tools with step by step. There will be no 3rd party software to use. If you are trying to backup the system image using Windows 7 Backup & Restore Tools in an external hard disk instead of USB flash drive, then this article is not for you.


Creating a backup system recovery image is very important especially when you  decide to make changes to your computer and it is recommended that you do this when you bought a new PC. In Windows 10, you can create a system image recovery using Windows 7 Backup & Restore Tools (Windows 10 backup utilities),  The main reason many people use this tool is to backup the system partition recovery for a new pc that was built by a manufacturer. The recovery partition contains your default operating system that comes with the manufacturer’s applications. It also contains pre-activated software licenses that were given by your manufacturer. So, if you lost this recovery partition you might not be able to use the software. Hence, it is important that you backup the recovery partition.

THE PROBLEM with using USB Drive to backup recovery

 In the current Windows 10, you can use external hard drive to backup your recovery partition but you might not be able to use USB pendrive to create system image because the Windows 7 Backup & Restore Tools does not detect it as a hard drive. So, the USB pendrive backup is greyed out.

You can not use the option “On a hard disk” for usb flash-drive, because it does not detect it as a hard drive.


You have to use a network option, but before you go that way you need to prepare your flash-drive.

1) format this drive in NTFS file system.

2) Once formatting is done, right-click on this drive and go to properties.

3) Go to “Sharing”, see if this flash-drive is shared. If not go to “Advanced Sharing”

4) Check-mark “Share this folder”, click on “Permissions”.

5) In Permissions for “Drive Letter” window, under “Group or user names” you will see “Everyone” and below  “read” permission selected, select “Full control”. Click “Apply”, “OK”. Click “OK” in “Advanced Sharing”.

6) Back in “(Drive Letter:) Properties” window you should be able to see under “Network File and Folder” the drive letter (some letter:) sais “Shared” and below the network path. Wright down this network path, or highlight-select-right click-copy.

7) Finally, go back to “Create a system image” and select “On network location” radio-button. Click on “Select” button to the right of it. The “Select a network location” window will open, type or paste the network path (from step 6, see above). Don’t bother with “Browse” button. If you start typing, it might even autofill it (meaning you are almost there). Below you will see “Network credentials”, type in your Windows 10 user log-in name and password. At this point “OK” button will come “alive”. Click “OK”, and go on with all the steps to follow. There will be a warning that a network option is not reliable or secure, disregard it, and go on.