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[Fixed] The drive is not a valid backup location

Updated on Apr 04, 2019 by Abby Haines to Todo Backup Resource

Summary:
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.

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. 

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.

Step 1. Empty the USB Flash Drive

  1. 1. Make sure that your USB flash drive is as big as or even bigger than your current system C drive.
  2. 2. System Backup will overwrite all existing data on the USB, please also empty your USB flash drive if you saved important data there. 

Step 2. Backup Windows System to USB

1. Connect the USB to your PC and run EaseUS Todo Backup.
Click the icon at the left top corner, select System Backup on the left tool pane.

Select backup mode to start backing up system to USB

2. Select the Windows system and click Browse to select USB as your backup destination. 

Select Windows OS and USB to start backing up system to USB.

If you want to create a backup plan to automatically backing up your Windows OS at a certain frequency, click Schedule: Off and set to backup your OS by day, by week or even by month.

You can also click Upon Event to set automatically backup your OS to USB everytime when it's plugged in your computer. 

Set backup plan to automatically backup system to USB when it's plugged in computer.

3. After this, click Proceed to start backing up your Windows OS to USB now.
If you've created an automatic backup plan for Windows OS backup, EaseUS Todo Backup will automatically to run and back up your OS after the first full backup.

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.