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I have just purchased a Seagate 500GB Expansion USB portable hard drive, to back up pictures and files from my new Toshiba laptop. I have tried to write the system recovery discs onto some new TDK 4.7 DVD-R discs but I keep getting and error code coming up at some point near to the end of this lengthy process so I have abandoned my attempts after wasting 5 new discs. My question is, can I use the portable hard drive in the same way that I could use a 32GB flash drive to store my system recovery, as well as using it for regular backups?

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Most likely the best way to do this would be by making a backup of the recovery partition with a partition backup tool. – David Schwartz Oct 10 '12 at 11:42
What error code? – Karan Oct 10 '12 at 13:01
Use dvd+r discs. – Moab Oct 10 '12 at 18:39

Yes you can use the USB drive to save the recovery info. Burn a recovery boot disk and create the recory file on the USB device.

The only caution is try to boot from the recovery disk and see that The USB drive or stick is visible to the recovery software.
I have had a rare case or two where it would not recognize the device.

As for the DVD problem see if you can borrow someone else's DVD burner to see if the problem is the burner itself.

PS David Creating the recovery disks takes the current image including all patches to date, the partion is factory default. I usually take it right after final cleanup after ms update is done and my core tools are installed and the disk is defraged.

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