USB Image Tool 1.42 released

Version 1.42 can create MD5 checksums of image files during the backup process. This feature can be activated on the “Options” tab.

Next version will probably be 1.50. With this, I want to make the core I/O functions thread-safe, so you can work on multiple USB device at the same time. This would also allow a batch restore mode to write an image to multiple USB devices.


    • Code 5 ist the standard Windows error code for “Access denied”. Check, if you have opened the USB drive or any folder on it in the explorer. This could prevent USB Image Tool from locking the device.

  • I have a USB flash drive which appears as a Hard Disk. It has multiple partitions/volumes. USB Image Tool does not detect it at all.
    It is a Lexar Jumpdrive which I changed from a Removable Drive to a Hard DIsk drive using Bootit.exe.

    • At the moment USB Image Tool only supports and detects removable USB drives. Any drive, that appears as fixed media, is currently not listed. This may change in future versions.

  • Hi,
    I am trying to install this application and it fails. No error messages.
    However, I find this in the event viewer-“Faulting application usb image tool.exe, version, stamp 49cf8168, faulting module kernel32.dll, version 5.1.2600.3119, stamp 46239bd5, debug? 0, fault address 0x00012a5b.”

    Any suggestions?
    Thank you.

    • What do you mean by installing? You just have to unzip the downloaded file an run the executable. USB Image Tool requires the usbit32.dll and an installed .net Framework 2.0 or higher.

    • USB Image Tool usually works for Windows Vista as well (since 1.21). Did you test it with XP? It shows only USB flash drives, not USB hard drives. In volume mode it doesn’t also show devices formatted with a file system unknown to Windows. Try to run it as Administrator and swicth to device mode. Email would be “software(replacewithanat)”.

    • It should be working with 64bit Windows versions. I fixed it with the 1.28 update. Do you get any specific error message or can you explain the issue more in detail?

  • Hi Alex, i have a booteable flash usb of live ubuntu . Can i make a working image of it in “device” mode?

    And other question: is possible in a future release select to make an image of only written data, without including the free space in a flash usb?

    And Thank you for USB IMAGE TOOL !

    • Device mode is intended to create images of bootable flash drives, so you can use it to duplicate or backup your portable Linux. Making a backup of only written data is going a little bit against the concept of creating an image file. This would require a parsing of different file systems (FAT, NTFS, ext2/3, etc.) to decide, whether data is used or not. USB Image Tool is designed to work on flash drives regardless it’s file system. However you can try to create a compressed image, which can reduce the size of the image file. For more information on this please take a look at the FAQ.

  • Hello Alex, I have a original SD Card Magellan Maps. The program can create the image, but when I put the card into the GPS unit, the GPS unit shows a limited map, only shows cities, no shows streets.
    Is possible than the SD card is codified specially (at harware) for the GPS unit?

    Thank you

    • SD Cards (Secure Digital) provide DRM functions. Most card readers only implement the mass storage functions, which are the base for USB Image Tool. Additional data and validation may be implemented in a DRM secured area. The Wikipedia article contains some information on this topic. Please note, that USB Image Tool is not intended to break any copyright protection.

  • Hi i am trying to create a bootable flash. but is showing an error “disk error “. Can you suggest how to create a bootable flash.

    • USB Image Tool can only restore an image, that was bootable before (in device mode). It cannot create a bootable image from the scratch.

  • Well, I’ve got a great problem!
    I installed UBCD 3.5 on a 8GB stick. Then I made an USB-stick-image using USB Image Tool 1.42. Then I tried to copy the image to another 8GB USB-Stick. USB Image Tools tells me “the new USB stick is too small”. After checking this I’ve to say: that’s true.
    1st Stick=7,57GB and 2nd Stick=7,44GB
    The 2nd stick is a bit smaller than the 1st stick.

    Now my Question: I there a way to make this work?

    BTW: 80% USB stick capacity is free!

  • Strange, New problems :-(((

    After restoring up a 8GB usb stick the usb stick is dead :-((

    No access any more! I had to format the stick to get access again.

    I tried this two times but every time no access any more.

    Maybe I have to try older USB image tools???

    • For the first issue, like I wrote in the email, the way to do this is to reduce the partition size on the flash drive before creating the device image and then cutting off the image with another tool (for example Total Commander).
      The second issue: What means dead? Did you mix volume and device mode? Is it not bootable? To keep an flash drive bootable, you have to use device mode. Does it appear on “My Computer”?
      Older versions of USB Image Tool won’t do anything different in general. I don’t know, what you are trying to do in detail, so it’s hard to answer what the problem is.

  • Great product Alex. Thanks for providing it. I have a question regarding size. I made an image of my old 1GB (700MB used) stick which has all my portable apps… then I imaged it on to a 4GB Kingston stick. It all works fine, but shows up as a 1GB stick, even though it is a 4GB stick. Is there a way to free up the other 3.3GB?
    Thanks again.

    • You have to expand the partition on the USB flash drive to use the full capacity. You can do this with a partition tool. A free and easy way is to download an Gnome based Linux Live CD (like Ubuntu). Burn it to CD and boot from it. When on the desktop, plugin your USB flash drive. It should be auto-mounted and appear on your desktop. Then start GParted to resize your flash drive partition. I will add this as a tutorial later.

  • hello. first, thanks for such an awesome tool.

    unfortuanatly, i used USB inage tool to back up my USB key, and then due to some work i was doing, reformatted my usb key a few times. now the key is a differnet size (by a very small amount), but i cant put my image abck onto the key. Is there anyway that i can access the .img file so i can get to my work??


    • WinImage ( or any other image reading tool could be the solution for your problem.
      Did you use device or volume mode to create your backup? You have to restore it in the same way you created the backup. Personally I would recommend using the device mode for most of the operations. I think I will make it the default setting for next version, because it’s not affected by formatting issues and does a 1:1 copy of the physical drive.

  • Thanks for your reply. I just managed to fix it by using a virtual usb drive on my pc, and extracting it to that, then copying that to my usb. Thanks for your help

  • hello alex, thank you for your great product 🙂

    the tool works perfect, but if i clone an cf card (1gb) to 2 others (both 1Gb) – usb image tool says, that there is too less space, because the 2 others have only 1.008.000 / 1.012.000 instead of the 1.014.000 original bytes space . . . is there a solution for this?

    regards daytrader

    • The best option to do this ist to shorten the partition to the desired size (f.e. using a gparted live image) before you backup the image in device mode. After that you can safely cut off the now unused part of image by a tool of your choice and then restore it to the new CF card.

    • What do you mean by self-extracting? Should it just extract the image or create an executable, that will restore it to the device just by clicking the exe file?

  • What i meant, is an option to create USB stick image – encapsulated into an executable, that is able to restore that image to the USB back, that is an image that includes the restore utility inside it, not needing anything external to be restored.

  • Thank you Alex!
    Reading back my description it sounds so garbled i am happy you just got what i was talking about lol

    • First of all, to create a bootable image, you have to use the device mode. Otherwise your restored image won’t be bootable. Looks like you’re using this for Bart PE, so this is essential.

      On the second point, 2GiB USB flash drives (or SD cards) aren’t necessarily of the same size. There might be minor differences, so you can’t restore a larger image file to a smaller USB device, it just won’t fit. What’s important here is the device size. You could try to split/cut the image to the desired size, but this can result in data loss and definitely in a restored device, where partition info doesn’t match the physical available space. Maybe scandisk can repair somthing like that, but if there’s data in the lost part, it’s gone.

      The option to ignore the size check is obly intended for gzip images of a size greater that 4GiB, because this file format only knows filesizes of 2^32.

  • Hi Alex

    I was able to use the USB Image Tool to create a patchstick for my AppleTV. I was also able to get everything installed but now I want to revert my USB stick back to the original size.

    I used a 1GB stick but I can see no way to get it back to the original size — in Explorer it shows as ~200MB and I see no option in your tool to re-format it?

    Please advise. Thanks.

    • What Windows version? What about the HP tool? Or try Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk management and modify/resize/format the partition there. You can also try a GParted Live CD.

  • Its Windows XP SP2. I didn’t get a chance to try the HP tool. I did use Disk Management and it shows two individual partitions — one for 244MB and then another for the remaining space.

    I don’t see a why to combine them though….any ideas?

    • I will upload an empty 512kB file to the downoald section that you can restore in device mode to overwrite the flash drive boot sector with zeroes. After that, Windows should create a new partion and reformat it.

  • @Abdullah.. same question and hey Alex, thanks for that.

    Under Windows Vista the device mode requires administrative rights. Right-click the executable and select “Run as administrator”.

  • i have flash memory 16GB after restore and format the size decrease to 6GB on windows 7 x64 i go to disk management there is unallocate 9GB HOW CAN I SOLVE roblem

    • 1. get latest version 1.55
      2. download empty boot record
      3. write it to flash drive, use device mode
      4. reformat/repartition the drive

  • How does your app read the USB device # using the -l switch? I am referring to the random integer that is assigned to the USB device.

  • could not write to the usb device(code:21)!
    please close all open explorer windows for this device.
    the device is not ready.

    pls solve this problem!!!

    • @shubham: Not much I can do about it. Windows does not report the drive as ready/accessible. Maybe it’s locked by another program.

  • i use ur programm now since ~ 1 year – great work!
    but since 3 weeks i’ve got this error message: Could not access the USB device Code 5! – but got no windows open, nothing that lock the device … im complete cluless because i didnt changed anything :/

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