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[Fixed] The drive is not a valid backup location

Updated by Gemma on Feb 17, 2022
Written by Roxanne

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

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 Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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