I choose a Western Digital Elements Portable USB 3.0 because they are reasonable inexpensive, $57.99 (Sale price) the last time I looked on Amazon. A 2TB model is only about $30.00 more.
Western Digital includes a free trial of WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software, which I deleted as I’m using EaseUS Todo Backup “Free” version which is not a trial version.
My hard disk drive has 93.1GB (Binary value) / 100GB (Decimal) of used space on my Windows disk drive. The space required on the external USB drive will be less due to a data compression option as you will see in the step by step guide.
Virtually all brands of Image Backup software have an option to select the compression level, EaseUS Todo Backup compression levels vary from:
* None (No compression) - fastest time to complete the backup, Image file is nearly the same size as the used space on your disk. * Normal compression - good backup time, Image file is smaller than the used space on your disk. * Medium - longer time to complete the backup, Image file is measurably smaller than the used space on your disk. The best compromise between image backup file size and time to complete, Recommended for high performance laptops and desktop computers. * High - longest time to complete the backup and requires a reasonably fast CPU, not recommended for laptop users. Image file may only be 5% smaller than the results when using the ‘Medium compression’ option.
The final size of the image backup file may also vary depending on the type of documents, photos, music and other data (Recovery and Utility partitions) stored on your drive. Note that .zip files are already compressed so if your drive contains a larger number of zip files there is little or no reduction in file size during the backup.
Notes: a) Screen shots of the backup process are included later in this article.
Medium compression: Time to complete = 27 minutes. Image Backup file size = 65.3 GB
b) Transfer speeds and time to complete a backup using an external USB dives will vary for different models or manufactures.
c) You need to create an Image Backup the whole drive and all partitions as installing Windows 10 may result in a non-functional Windows 7 recovery partition if you use the Windows 10 Roll Back feature and are successful in restoring your previous version of Windows. Also the Roll Back feature is not always successful resulting in at worst an un-bootable computer or Windows 7 or 8.1 may display that you do not have a activated version.
Page 1: How to create an Image Backup of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to an External USB Drive-----> Page 2: How to create Todo Backup’s “Emergency” / Recovery media-----> Page 3: Image backup preliminary information-----> Page 4: Common drive partition arrangements-----> Page 5: Creating an EaseUS Todo image backup, step by step-----> Page 6: Test your Emergency / Recovery media-----> Page 7: How to restore your Image Backup----->