2 Free Ways to Copy Recovery Partition to USB Windows 10, 8, 7

If you want to save more space on your computer or simply want to back up recovery partition files, you’ll need to learn how to copy recovery partition to USB or any other drives. You’re going to see a detailed guide on how to do it via 2 different tools.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Scenario: “I just bought a new computer and I found there is a 450mb big recovery partition. I wanna copy this recovery partition to my USB so that I can make use of it whenever necessary. What should I do?”

What Is Recovery Partition and What Does It Do?

A recovery partition is a partition in your hard drive with no drive letter. It has very important data for system recovery. For example, when your computer is down, you may need this partition to resume factory setting. It usually comes with a brand-new computer or laptop or when you first install Windows operating system, this partition is created.

Moreover, there are 2 kinds of recovery partition. One of them is Windows recovery partition and the other is computer suppliers’ recovery partition. They have different sizes but share similar function.


Why Should We Save Recovery Partition to USB Drive?

Users often copy recovery partition to USB mainly for 2 purposes.

1. Save Storage Space

The computer suppliers’ recovery partition sometimes can be as large as 20GB compared with 450 MB of Windows recovery partition. So, to clone recovery partition to USB or another hard drive and delete the original files on the hard disk can help you free up a lot of disk space.

2. Back up Recovery Partition Data

The other reason why people clone recovery partition to USB Windows 10, 8, or 7 is that they hope to back up recovery partition files.

Sometimes, it may occur that your system can’t boot or your disk encounter physical damage that it can no longer be used. In such a case, if you’ve copied the recovery partition to other external hard drives, you can insert the drive into your computer and set your system back to the factory mode.

3. Create a bootable USB

You can perform system restore when the OS crashes by creating a bootable USB from recovery partition beforehand. The bootable USB also helps when you want to replace the hard disk.

2 Ways to Free Clone Recovery Partition to USB

There are 2 methods to help copy recovery partition to Windows 7, 8, 10. They're both free and easy-to-use. Follow the instruction below to see how they work.

1. Apply Windows' Native Tool

Since Windows has its own inbuilt tool to copy HP and Dell recovery partitions to USB, why not try it first for free.

1. Tap on the Windows key on your keyboard.

2. In the search box, input recovery drive, and then, select “Create a recovery drive”.

Backup Recovery Drive

3. After opened, select “Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive” and click on “Next”.

4. Insert your USB drive or any other external devices, select it and choose “Next”

5. Choose “Create” and then, it will start the process to copy the recovery partition to the USB.

NoteIf you want to delete the recovery partition to free up some space, proceed with the following steps or you may stop here.

6. When the process is completed, select “Delete the recovery partition” to remove the recovery partition from your PC.

7. Then, hit “Delete”. When done, click on “Finish”.

8. Remove the USB stick from the PC.

Refer to this page for detailed information about how to copy recovery partition to USB.

2. Try A Free Third-Party Tool

The USB stick is a reliable device to store the recovery partition by using the Windows built-in feature mentioned above. However, sometimes, you may run into the error “The drive is not a valid backup location”. The cause of it is that Windows doesn’t recognize the USB drive as a valid backup location since earlier they weren’t large enough to hold system images.

The Drive Is Not A Valid Backup Location

Luckily, although we could more or less encounter those mentioned issues, we still have a chance to clone recovery partition to USB with the most powerful disk management tool - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. With this software, you’re not only capable of copying hp recovery partition to USB, but also, you can do things like clone hard drive, clone OS to SSD/HDD, partition USB drive and so on.

Free download the most user-friendly program and learn how to copy HP recovery partition to USB on windows 7, 8, or 10.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Before started, there should be part of unallocated space on your USB drive. If there isn’t, please create one by deleting or shrinking another partition. You’ll lose your data if you delete the partition and so, back it up first.

Step 1. Launch Partition Assistant

Download, install and launch the program of Partition Assistant. 

Step 2. Choose A Clone Type

Right click on the recovery partition and select “Clone Partition” in the drop-down menu. 

copy recovery partition

Then, on the pop-up window, there are 2 copying methods provided by AOMEI - “Clone Partition Quickly” and “Sector-by-Sector clone”.

Here, I recommend the first one. After selected, click on "Next".

clone partition quickly

1. Clone Partition Quickly: Only used space is cloned and you can resize the partition in the course of the cloning process.
2. Sector-by-Sector Clone: All sectors of the selected partition will be copied no matter they’re used or not. It spends more time and the destination space should be larger than the source partition.

Step 3Select Destination Space

On the new window, select the USB drive as the destination space. Click on “Next”.

select unallocated space

Step 4. Preset the Size 

Drag the green bar to customize the size of the destination space. After that, click on "Finish" to proceed. 

preset the size

After going back to the main interface, click on "Apply" on the upper left and wait several seconds before the process is done.


Further reading: An alternative to the recovery partition – back up the OS

Sometimes, for different reasons, the recovery partition won’t work when you try to restore your PC to the previous healthy state. Luckily, you can upgrade to the Pro edition of AOMEI Partition Assistant to migrate OS to another hard drive for a system backup so that you can restore the system instead of launching an OS reinstallation when system errors appear.

Migrate OS to SSD


Now, you must have known how to copy the recovery partition to USB, quick and safe. This time, you’ve seen 2 methods above. Windows' inbuilt tool helps transfer recovery partitions to external devices by creating a recovery drive, but you can possibly run into an error “the drive is not a valid backup location” for system programs exist. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can be used on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 for recovery partition to USB transfer, and upgrading to the Professional Edition will more features to efficiently manage your computers. 

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.