Solved Reliability of Flash Drives as Recovery Media

November 15, 2015 at 17:06:17
Specs: Windows 8, Intel i3
I have a surface pro and an Acer netbook, both are running windows 8. The recovery media for both of these is on USB flash drive. Neither machine has a DVD burner. I do have access to an external USB DVD burner. However, the surface prompted for a USB flash drive when making the user created recovery image. The Acer USB recovery drive was supplied by Acer. I have seen allot of posts talking about USB flash drives as being unreliable temporary storage or transfer media. I would think a recovery image for your OS is anything but temporary. And, it seems the industry is shifting toward the use of these drives for recovery media. Have things improved so much in the last 2 to 5 years that USB Flash Drive storage can really be deemed reliable backup storage? And what USB flash drives in the market today are the most reliable?

See More: Reliability of Flash Drives as Recovery Media

Report •

November 15, 2015 at 17:12:02
✔ Best Answer
You should always make multiple backups. I don't trust usb flash drives alone. Even an external hard drive can crash. I, personally use cd or dvd disks and keep them in a safe place in case of fire. Preferably outside your home. You can also use cloud storage for some things, if you trust it.

message edited by grasshopper

Report •

November 15, 2015 at 21:07:27
Well, I am trying to back up the surface pro (windows 8) to DVD, I am going to the desktop, control panel, searching recovery drive, selecting "Create a recovery drive" under System, but when I get to the point of selecting a destination drive my external USB DVD burner is not showing up. The burner is recognized in my computer. I put in a blank disc, but it still is not an available destination. It only shows the C drive. If I select C, it prompts me that it is going to overwrite / format the drive. If I put in a USB flash drive, it shows up as the destination. But that is not what I am trying to make.

So, I tried running /recimg to make a custom image on the C drive.

Only at ~12GB it is too large to transfer to a DVD+R.
Is there a way to make the DVD drive visible to the recovery disk creator?

message edited by ISAmad

Report •

November 16, 2015 at 23:02:48
Well, I have since updated to windows 8.1 and I still can't get my external DVD drive to be seen in system recovery.

I am trying another path now: Using File History, System Image Backup.
It sees that I have a DVD burner and automatically selects it. It begins creating the system image and asks for a blank disc. I put one in and select OK, but I get back this error "Class not registered (0x80040154) Close windows Backup and try again. The widow asking for the disk also changes to say "The media in the drive is not formatted".
I have tried a couple different types of DVD's now and none are working.

Report •

Related Solutions

November 16, 2015 at 23:39:46
It is looking like my question should have been how do you make a DVD backup in windows 8. It looks like updating to 8.1 made it more difficult.

I have never had much luck pre-formatting CD's or DVD's for some reason, but I figured I might as well try again.

I tried following the instructions here.

The autoplay pop up didn't appear. So, I clicked on the DVD drive and the formatting prompt box appeared. I selected mastered. Nothing seemed to happened, and the window to burn files to the DVD drive opened up (empty). I went back to the image creator, but continued to get multiple errors.

So, I right clicked on the DVD drive and selected format instead. I chose the UDF 2.01 (Default) format. The drive spun up and formatted the DVD+R.

I was then able to start the image creation process. It did give me one more error box, but I clicked ok and then the progress bar started moving.

Hopefully, with all the difficult in getting to this point, these are useable backups.

Report •

November 17, 2015 at 08:24:30
"I have never had much luck pre-formatting CD's or DVD's for some reason, but I figured I might as well try again."

You do not need to pre-format CD or DVD's unless you plan to burn to it multiple times. I would not suggest using this format, it can be quite unstable.

Do not format it and just burn to it once.

Report •

November 17, 2015 at 21:27:18
Well, windows 8.1 wouldn't allow me to do that. And the only formatting options I seemed to have were UDF 1.50, 2.00, 2.01 (default), and 2.50. It took 2hrs to get eight disks made, and in a very buggy way. I haven't had a chance to see if they will work or not yet. Anyway, I got an external hard drive and made the same image to it in about 20mins.

Report •

November 18, 2015 at 14:41:36
Just copy the complete flash drive backup to DVD using the copy function. Then use the flash drive as your backup media. If it should fail, just make a new one. As stated, flash drives are not reliable for long term storage.

Report •

January 16, 2016 at 21:35:04
I ended up getting an external USB hard drive to make backup images for the surface pro. And the Acer netbook drive was not some odd SDD like in the surface. It was just a SATA disk drive. It took a bit of disassembly, but I pulled the drive out of the Acer and cloned it on a Kingwin EZClone *to a drive the same size*. I'm really liking this Clone method, much less hassle and a big time saver when you compare it to reloading everything then doing updates etc.

Report •

Ask Question