Removable devices are a good choice to transfer files from PC to PC. In this guide from MiniTool Solution, we will give a brief introduction about removable devices and show you how to back them up easily. Without wasting more time, let’s get started!

What Is Removable Media/Devices?

Removable media refers to a type of storage device that can be easily inserted and removed from a computer. With a removable device, it will be much easier for you to transfer data from one computer to another.

Most early removable media like floppy disks and optical discs require a dedicated read/write device. Later removable devices such as USB flash drives are standalone plug-and-play devices that carry their own reader hardware.

Types of Removable Media/Devices

  • DVDs.
  • Magnetic tape.
  • Blu-ray discs.
  • Floppy disks.
  • CD-ROMs.
  • Dedicated external solid-state drives.
  • SD cards.
  • USB flash drives.
  • USB hard drives.

The former 4 media is now nearly obsolete due to the emergence of newer and more efficient storage technologies like USB drives, CD-ROMs, and SD cards. What’s more, they require a dedicated reader drive, with limited storage capacity and slower read & write speed compared with the latter devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Removable Storage Device

What are the benefits of using removable media? Here, we list some merits of removable storage devices for you:

  • Smaller and lighter, they are much easier to carry around.
  • Removable storage devices transfer data faster than internal hard drives because they don’t need any internal cables connecting devices.
  • Removable storage devices make it much easier to transfer files from one computer to another (even if their operating systems are different).

Meanwhile, removable devices also have the following limitations:

  • They can be misplaced, lost, or stolen.
  • They have less capacity for the same price.
  • They are more vulnerable to physical damage such as being dropped or having their connectors bent.
  • For more traditional removable devices, they rarely have password protection. 
  • Malware and viruses can be transferred among devices easily, so don’t insert any untrusted removable device into your computer.

How to Backup Removable Devices with MiniTool ShadowMaker?

# Way 1: Backup Removable Devices via Copy & Paste

How to backup a removable device to another? The easiest way is to copy and paste files to another drive manually. To do so:

Step 1. Connect your removable storage device to your computer.

Step 2. Find the source drive in File Explorer > select the data you want to back up > press Ctrl + C to copy the selected items.

Step 3. Open the new drive and press Ctrl + V to paste the data you copied.

However, it will be more time-consuming if you back up a large amount of data with this method.

Also see: 7 Methods to Fix Copy and Paste Function Not Working

# Way 2: Backup Removable Devices via MiniTool ShadowMaker

Is there a better way to backup removable devices more efficiently? Here, it is strongly recommended to utilize third-party Windows backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker to transfer your files from one removable device to another.

This tool is designed to backup system, files, folders, partitions, and even the whole disks. Compared to copy and paste, you can reduce the file size and save your disk storage space by modifying the compression degree. Also, MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to sync files or move Windows to another drive.

Now, let me show you how to backup removable device with it:

Step 1. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker to enter its main interface.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. In the Backup page, go to SOURCE > Folders and Files to select what to backup. Then, go to DESTINATION to select another removable device as the storage path.

select Folders and Files

Step 3. Click on Back Up Now to start the process at once.

If you choose to back up folders or files, the default compression level is none. MiniTool ShadowMaker also allows you to modify the compression level to medium or high to reduce file size. To do so: click on Options in the lower right corner > Backup Options > Compression > select a compression degree according to your need.

change the compression level
What Is the Optimal Backup Strategy? 3-2-1 Backup Rule for PC!
What Is the Optimal Backup Strategy? 3-2-1 Backup Rule for PC!

This post shows you details on 3-2-1 backup strategy to keep data safe. Just follow this data principle to create backups step by step.

Read More

# Way 3: Backup Removable Devices to Cloud

Another way is to backup removable devices to the cloud. With it, you can access your data at any time and any place. You can choose to back up your files from your removable devices to cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more.

# Further Reading – Create Bootable Media with Removable Device

In addition to backup, removable devices can also be used to create bootable media that can save your day when you encounter a catastrophic system failure. Once your computer fails to boot, you can boot it from the bootable media you created and perform a system recovery. Here’s how to create a bootable media with MiniTool ShadowMaker:

Step 1. Go to the Tools page in MiniTool ShadowMaker and hit Media Builder.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. Click on WinPE-based media with MiniTool plug-ins.

Step 3. MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to create 4 types of bootable media:

  • ISO File – can be applicable on virtual machines without burning.
  • USB Flash drive – is usually used on a physical machine.
  • USB Hard Drive – refers to hard drives with USB ports.
  • CD/DVD Writer – can be used on some old computers with an optical drive.
create bootable media

Select one option based on your needs. It is noted that the data on the media you choose will be destroyed, so make sure there’s nothing important on it.

Wrapping Things up

At the same time, this post also illustrates the definition of removable media, types of removable media, and their merits & demerits. As for removable device backup, we provide three options for you – Copy and Paste, MiniTool ShadowMaker, and cloud backup. You can select one as per your need.

For any problems with MiniTool ShadowMaker, please share them with us via [email protected]. Have a nice day!

Backup Removeable Devices FAQ

Is HDD or SSD better?
SSDs are much better than HDDs. Compared with the latter, SSDs are faster, lighter, more durable, and less power-consuming. However, SSD also has some demerits. For example, they are more expensive than traditional hard disk drives. See this guide - SSD VS HDD: What’s Difference? Which One Should You Use in PC to get more details.
How to backup a PC to an external drive?
To backup PC to an external hard drive in Windows 10/11, you can utilize MiniTool ShadowMaker and Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
To backup Mac to an external hard drive, Time Machine might help you out.
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