Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad

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  1. STU9000's Avatar
    Posts : 66
    Windows 10 21H1
       #1

    Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad


    I just got my mum a new Lenovo 14" Ideapad for £200 at Argos, just a cheap computer for watching Netflix and Facebook etc. (suprised at how slow it is actually)

    Buy Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 1 14in AMD A4 4GB 64GB Cloudbook - Grey | Laptops and netbooks | Argos

    I also bought a 64GB USB clip to create a disk image/backup but when I try to create a system image it says "The drive is not a valid backup location"?

    I reformatted it to NTFS.

    I know the answer will probably be "Use Macrium" but this is a third party app/software and the OS is Windows 10S (a new version of Windows that doesn't allow third party software). I could opt out of the S mode but it's one-way I believe and for what my mum will use it for I think Microsoft Edge should suffice anyway so for security reasons might be as well just leaving it on S.

    I was going to install ESET on it but now also not sure about that because of the S mode thing.

    Do I even need a system image on this computer anyway?
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,097
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    STU9000 said:
    I just got my mum a new Lenovo 14" Ideapad... I also bought a 64GB USB clip to create a disk image/backup but when I try to create a system image it says "The drive is not a valid backup location"?

    ...I know the answer will probably be "Use Macrium" but this is a third party app/software and the OS is Windows 10S (a new version of Windows that doesn't allow third party software). I could opt out of the S mode but it's one-way I believe and for what my mum will use it for I think Microsoft Edge should suffice anyway so for security reasons might be as well just leaving it on S...

    ...Do I even need a system image on this computer anyway?
    The 'S' in S mode has has various meanings over the years, but currently Microsoft like to say it's 'S for Safe'. Only allowing Store apps means that it's difficult to get infected with malware. If your mum is not an experienced user than it's safer to stay in S Mode. Yes, you are correct that it's a one-way switch.

    You'd need a system image if the drive got so corrupted that you couldn't boot to Windows. If you can still boot to Windows then the normal way to recover would be a factory reset.

    Restore factory settings
    • This is to do a factory restore on an OEM PC that came preinstalled with Windows 10.
    • Reinstalls the version of Windows that your PC came with and removes your personal files.
    • Removes apps and drivers you installed.
    • Removes changes you made to settings.
    • Reinstalls any apps your PC manufacturer installed on your PC.
    • This option isn't available on all PCs.
    Reset Windows 10

    However, although you can't install Macrium on this S mode machine you can still use Macrium to make an image. I assume you have a PC of your own that you could install Macrium on (or already have).

    On another PC that has Macrium installed, first re-format the usb to Fat32. This is difficult as Windows normally limits you to creating 32GB partitions in Fat32, but it can be done.

    How-To Geek | How to Format USB Drives Larger Than 32GB With FAT32 on Windows

    Then use Macrium's 'Other Tasks > Create Rescue Media...' and put the rescue media onto the USB. It will occupy less than 1GB. Now you can boot the Lenovo from the rescue media. It's not only for restoring images, it has a full copy of Macrium and can create images too.
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  3. STU9000's Avatar
    Posts : 66
    Windows 10 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #3

    So is this rescue media (<1GB) basically the same as a factory reset that can be done through BIOS?

    I'd like to have a backup that I can restore the computer back to, with all the apps and passwords set up (so I don't have to do it all again). Is that possible using this method?
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  4. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 1,994
    trying to install win10
       #4

    So is this rescue media (<1GB) basically the same as a factory reset that can be done through BIOS?
    Not exactly the same. You might want to do a factory restore if you were selling/giving away the machine at some time in the future.

    I'd like to have a backup that I can restore the computer back to, with all the apps and passwords set up (so I don't have to do it all again)
    You can use any of the common disk imaging programs - most have free versions.
    Use the imaging program to create its own boot media on usb stick. ( you can do that on a different windows machine)
    Boot the usb stick you just created on the ideapad.
    Use the program in the booted media to create the image.
    Select the usb stick as the destination for the image file.

    For example:


    Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad-bootmedia1.jpg

    Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad-bootmedia2.jpg

    Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad-bootmedia3.jpg

    Creating a system image/backup onto USB from Lenovo Ideapad-bootmedia4.jpg
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  5. STU9000's Avatar
    Posts : 66
    Windows 10 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks for the help folks. I've decided to just create a back up onto one my external hard drives. She'll need me to fix things if there are any problems so I can spare 30gb on one and it's just a whole lot easier than the Macrium way. Can't believe there is no way straightforward way to do this on Win 10, shocking but not surprising..
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  6. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 8,681
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H1 Build 19043.1110
       #6

    Do bear in mind that Windows own imaging solution was deprecated*** in Ver 1709 and that MS recommend that a third-party utility is used instead.
    See Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update - TenForums

    MS said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.

    *** MS use the term deprecated to mean, at the very least, that no further functional corrections will be made and that the only updates to a facility will be those necessitated by newly-identified security vulnerabilities.
    [They sometimes also use it to mean already deliberately disabled]

    Denis
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  7. STU9000's Avatar
    Posts : 66
    Windows 10 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Indeed^^

    I just used this USB I bought the other day, stuck it in and reformatted it back to NTFS after I put Macrium on it and now it's telling me it's 32GB. I'm sure it was a 64GB clip? Has Macrium done something to it?

    I distinctly remember buying a 64GB USB and putting in my computer and it said 64GB so why is it now only 32GB?

    Can anyone shed some light on the matter?

    EDIT:

    Maybe it was actually a 32GB USB and that's why it wouldn't allow me to back up? I threw away the packaging, but my mum should still have the receipt so I'll check that when I get back. I'm certain it was sold as a 64GB..
    Last edited by STU9000; 04 Sep 2020 at 15:31.
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  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,097
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    STU9000 said:
    I just used this USB I bought the other day, stuck it in and reformatted it back to NTFS after I put Macrium on it and now it's telling me it's 32GB. I'm sure it was a 64GB clip? Has Macrium done something to it?
    Yes. When you create the rescue media in Macrium it requires a Fat32 partition. As your USB was NTFS Macrium would have reformatted it first. 32GB is the maximum size of a Fat32 partition in Windows, so for a 64GB stick after Macrium had finished there would be one Fat32 partition of 32GB and a further 32GB of unallocated space.

    You could format this as a second partition if you like. Better still, shrink the Fat32 partition (Macrium recovery media only needs a 1GB partition) then format the remaining 63GB for your own use.
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  9. STU9000's Avatar
    Posts : 66
    Windows 10 21H1
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Right. I was just performing a quite format on it through file explorer, when I looked in disk management I could see the unallocated space. Sorted now, thanks.
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  10. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,170
    Windows10
       #10

    It is an unfortunate restriction of Windows S that you cannot run tools like Macrium Reflect Free from Windows, only from a usb drive. This is due to the security restrictions of UWP apps.

    Oddly enough the deprecated inbuilt tool does work. So I advise you use the inbuilt tool for convenience but periodically boot from a Macrium Reflect USB drive to make a backup as well (ie not keeping all eggs in one basket).
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