[Fixed] The Drive is Not A Valid Backup Location

USB flash drive is not a valid backup location for system image? Here 2 methods are created to help you fix The drive is not a valid backup location in Windows 10/8/8.1/7: create a directory on USB drive and create system image on USB with third-party backup software.

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Updated by Jean on Feb 22, 2023
Written by Tracy King

How to Fix 'The drive is not a valid backup location' in Windows 10/8/7

"Getting error message 'Drive is not a valid backup location' while trying to create a system image to USB flash drive in Windows 10. Is there any way to fix the issue?"

It's a question that asked by one of the Windows 10 users on the Microsoft Community. And many users who running Windows 8, 8.1, 7 have admitted that they suffered the same issue as Windows Backup and Restore feature does not support thumb drives as backup storage. But don't worry! Here, we will offer two useful solutions to troubleshoot the problem. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Using Third-Party Backup Tool  On the main page, click "Select backup...Full steps

2. Create directory on the USB drive

Format the USB stick with NTFS...Full steps

1. Recommend: Create System Image on USB with a Third-Party Backup Tool 

The third-party backup tool is the easiest solution for 'The drive is not a valid backup location' issue. Here, EaseUS Todo Backup is a nice choice. As a professional software, it is the best alternative tool when Windows 10 backup doesn't work properly. Now you can download and try it to create a system image on your USB flash drive in Windows 10/8/7 or other versions in just 3 simple steps.

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Step 1. On the main page, click "Select backup contents".

create system backup step1

Step 2. Among the four available categories, click OS.

create system backup step2

Step 3. EaseUS Todo Backup will automatically select your system partition, you only need to select the backup destination.

create system backup step3

Step 4. Both Local Drive and NAS are available for you to save the backup file.

create system backup step5

Step 5. After finishing the backup process, you can check the backup status, recover, open, or delete the backup by right-clicking the backup task on the left.

create system backup step5

related articles

Windows 7 Create System Image USB Not a Valid Backup Location

Do you want to create a system Image using the Windows 7 Backup Restore feature? Is it giving  Image USB Not a Valid Backup Location when using a USB drive? Then follow this post to resolve the problem.

windows 7 create system image usb not a valid backup location

2. Create A Directory on The USB Drive

Except for a third-party backup tool, you can also try to troubleshoot 'The drive is not a valid backup location' problem by creating a directory on a USB drive. The only disadvantage is that it takes much more steps to manage the job.

1. Format the USB stick with NTFS.
2. Share the USB stick as a network drive.

  • Create a directory on your USB drive.
  • Right-click the directory and choose "Share with", "Specific people".
  • Choose yourself from the list of users and click Share and Done.

3. Ensure the advanced share allow permissions are set to full control.
4. Start Windows Backup and select System Image.
5. Select the network drive as your backup location.
6. Browse to your own computer and select the USB share.
7. Enter your computer's login credentials, if your password is blank use 1 space and click OK.

After all the above steps, Windows Backup and Restore will start to create a system image on your USB flash drive and 'The drive is not a valid backup location' error will no longer happen at most times. 

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Updated by Jean

Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 47 reviews
  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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  • EaseUS includes all the features I expect from backup software like versioning, incremental backups, and scheduling. For more advanced users, EaseUS allows you to install a pre-boot environment onto your hard drive so you can use it to restore files without burning a CD or putting it on an external USB drive.

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