Win 7 won't backup anymore

For months I was able to backup my files using Win 7 backup and restore but lately it just won't work. It's starts the backup to my flash drive (which I used previously) then process stops and I get this message "Windows backup needs a cd/dvd or usb drive to continue" Did not complete successfully. What gives ??? How can I get backup to, well, backup like it used to ?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I know this is a dumb question but are you sure the flash drives is't full?


Yes, I'm Positive.

but maybe the stick turned bad - try format or another one


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Microsoft Community Contributor

My thought too, if another stick works you will know it's the stick.
Does the computer recognize it when you plug it in?
Can you read the stick and format it in Windows Explorer?

Stick is fine, I've added other files to it no problem. I've also tried to back up to a CD and that failed as well. Got the same messages as when I tried to back up to stick.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I don't have any other ideas beyond doing a repair install and seeing if that fixes it.
If you have a restore point from back when it was working you could try that.

I can't find any one else having the same problem.
The closest was someone who got the same message after completing the first disk of a two disk backup that wouldn't continue on to the second disk.
It just kept giving the same message. They resolved it by starting the whole process over, which won't help you out here.



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Microsoft Community Contributor

You will probably get a lot of different opinions on this but I have used Norton Ghost for many years on many computers.

I have it on both my PC and my wifes laptop right now.

It has saved my tail a number of times especially back in the Window 98 and XP days.
I did one restore in Windows 7 on my old PC after a virus attack. Easier then trying to get rid of the thing.

It will boot your computer from a restore DVD and you will be up and running again in no an hour or so with everything back the way it was.

You create the boot disk from an iso image file downloaded from Norton. I have used copies of the same disk on 4 different Windows 7 computers with no problems.

You will need Ghost 15 to work with Windows 7.

I don't back up daily but it can be configured to do an additive backup on any schedule and it will run in the background. You can also browse and restore file on and individual basis.

I can't comment on how Ghost stacks up against other options because it's all I have ever used, but it has always worked for me.


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New Member
Try Clonezilla. It's free and works great.
It only images the used space of a drive or partition to help keep the resulting image size small.
It uses a compression scheme that further reduces the image size by about 50%.
It will image NTFS, Fat 32 and all the various Linux filesystems.
The image can be saved while it's being created to a USB thumb drive, USB external hard drive, internal drive or another partition
on the same drive.
It can even be saved to a network share.

To avoid the 4 GB file size restriction of Fat 32 storage media it will automatically split the image into 2 GB pieces by default.

You can restore the image from any media and copy it to another location if needed (like to a DVD for instance).

It is a Live CD (it can also be run from a USB thumb drive Live) and runs outside Windows.
This means it is booted and runs in system ram.
It won't touch your hard drive unless you tell it to, like when you do a restore or save an image to a separate partition.

Clonezilla Live is under active development and updates are frequent.
There are test releases as well as stable releases.
There are versions available to take advantage of multicore processors as well as 64 bit processors.

Clonezilla-live download

The latest stable release is Clonezilla-Live-1.2.6-24-i686 for multicore, i486 for any computer or amd64 if you want to run it with a 64 bit machine. The i486 will work on any machine while the i686 will utilize the multicore capability of a multicore processore and perform quicker.
Same with the amd64.

You would burn the .iso to a CD or install it on a USB thumb drive (if your computer can boot a USB device).

There is a tool called Unetbootin that can make short work of creating a USB flash Clonezilla live.

UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads

The Windows version is a standalone app.
Download the .exe and run it.

You would format the thumb drive to Fat 32 and plug it in and start Unetbootin.

Skip the first field (distribution) and select the radio button for "diskimage" and use the browse button on the right to locate the Clonezilla .iso you previously downloaded and click OK. When Unetbootin is done you will have Clonezilla on a thumb drive.
Boot to it like you would a Clonezilla Live CD.

I have posted a guide to using Clonezilla at another forum.

A guide to using Clonezilla - Scot's Newsletter Forums

There are also instructions at the Clonezilla web site complete with screen shots and a community forum is maintained as well.

Once you use Clonezilla a couple of times it will become old hat.

Clonezilla is fast. I use it to image my 13 GB Win 7 install and it takes about 9 minutes to create and save the image to a 200 GB external hard drive. The resulting image is about 6 GB in size.

Restoring from the external drive takes about 5 minutes.

Your mileage may vary.

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