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I have a standard USB flash drive that I have partitioned and formatted and organized and done quite a lot of things to. I was hoping to create another copy of that drive, with partitions and everything intact, and doing it manually would be an absolute chore (and not an acceptable option if I were to produce many more). Is there any way (in bash or something) that I could make another USB thumb drive of the same model exactly the same?

I am on a MacBook Pro that I dual boot with Ubuntu.

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This is trivial with linux, what OS are you using? – Paul Aug 16 '13 at 4:00
True. ANd not to nitpick but probably trivial for any unix like. (e.g. including BSD's, OS X, AIX, ... ). – Hennes Aug 16 '13 at 4:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As you mentioned "bash" I assume you are using Linux or some Unix variant (You may want to specify this in the summary) If this is the case, simply use "DD"


If the disk you want to copy is /dev/sdb and the new blank is /dev/sdc 1. Ensure both are unmounted. (You can use df to check this). If they are not, unmount them. 2. Issue the command "dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc" and wait. It will do a bit copy between the disks.

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Might want to specify a larger than default block size to improve performance. Try bs=1M or something like that. – Michael Kjörling Aug 16 '13 at 8:42
Thanks a bunch for that answer! I thought of something else, however, and thought I'd dig up this question. Would there be any way of storing the copy of the drive in a file, so you could restore it later and use it for multiple other drives without the original? – russellsayshi Sep 11 '13 at 0:12
of-course, you can use file instead of /dev/sdX, and in that way you can read to a file and later write to a disk. – davidgo Sep 11 '13 at 3:13

win32 image writer is what I'd use on windows - it does a pretty good, simple job at making images, and applying it to a raw drive. On linux, I guess you could use dd.

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First thing that popped up my mind was Acronis Disk Director.

Maybe gparted can do the same. Looking into that.

Gparted can do what you want, independently of OS, if you use the Live CD.

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Use imageUSB to create exact bit-level copies

  1. Select your old USB drive and choose Create from UFD.
    It will save a BIN file somewhere on your computer

  2. Select your new USB drive and Write to UFD
    It will copy th BIN file back and you're done

enter image description here

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I haven't tried this, but I'm suspicious of it referring to drives by drive letter and including information about file system type. That would seem to point to it working on partitions, not whole devices, while the OP wants the latter. – Michael Kjörling Aug 16 '13 at 8:46
I don't see the point. What should be wrong with this method? Where does he state that he doesn't have any drive letter? – nixda Aug 16 '13 at 9:06
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this method or answer, I am just saying that I wouldn't be so sure the tool you mention (based on the screenshot shown) works on whole devices rather than only partitions. The OP explicitly mentions wanting "partitions and everything intact" on the copy. – Michael Kjörling Aug 16 '13 at 9:08
Ah, I get it. I would expect the tool to let me select multiple partitions as there are little checkmarks as seen on screenshot – nixda Aug 16 '13 at 9:13

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