Can we use Rufus to save a local disk partition into an .img image file? Basically the Windows equivalent of:

dd if=/dev/sda4 of=output.img

Also can we use Rufus to write an image, not to a whole USB disk (I already know the advanced option "List USB Hard Drive"), but to an internal disk on a precise partition? Basically the equivalent of:

dd if=output.img of=/dev/sda4 

(Or maybe is this available directly built in in Windows 7?)

  • There's an abundance of cloning tools and some are free (e.g. Clonezilla). Why would you want to use Rufus? No, it isn't designed to do that. May 17 at 10:33
  • @ChanganAuto Because it works well for everything I had to do with images up to now, so if what I described here was possible with Rufus, it would have been handy. Also, are there built-in tools for this in Windows 7?
    – Basj
    May 17 at 10:34
  • I suggest using AOMEI Backupper Freeware, which is made for this, although it doesn't create an .img file, but its own format. The image is compressed.
    – harrymc
    May 17 at 11:08
  • @harrymc Is it possible with Windows 7 internal tools? PS: AOMEI looks nice but rather commercial (big labels "Flash sale 60%" with a time countdown). I'm more looking for an open-source solution, or a lightweight solution (Rufus is 1.3MB single exe file) or even a command-line only solution if possible. The best would be internal Win7 tools.
    – Basj
    May 17 at 11:15
  • AOMEI is freeware for you and me and, true, does a hell of a lot. For a Microsoft backup solution see this post, although I do not advise using DISM (per my answer there).
    – harrymc
    May 17 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


Rufus developer here.

Yes, you absolutely can!

Just click Show advanced drive properties and then click the "save" icon next to your device.

This will save to uncompressed VHD, which, for all purposes and intents, is virtually the same as a .img (there's just a 512 bytes footer added, but that will not interfere with using a .vhd like a .img). You can actually rename an uncompressed .vhd to .img and use it in the same way as you would a flat disk .img.

And of course you can then use this same .vhd in Rufus to restore your disk.

For more on this, you can also look at the Rufus FAQ.

  • Thans @Akeo! I tried, but it only works for external USB flash drives or USB Hard drives (with option "List USB Hard Drives"). Can it also work to save an image of an internal disk, and only a specific partition?
    – Basj
    May 17 at 11:02
  • If your internal drive is seen as REMOVABLE (that's a BIOS property that you may be able to toggle), then you may be able to use Ctrl-Alt-F to have Rufus list such a drive. However, this is an unofficial cheat mode that I can't support, so if it doesn't work for you, you're on your own. Obviously, Rufus is designed to work with removable drives, so I have no plans to add support for creating images of internal drives.
    – Akeo
    May 17 at 21:07
  • Thanks @Akeo for this information. Is it possible to select a specific partition and not the whole disk?
    – Basj
    May 17 at 21:36
  • Nope, whole disk. Again, please understand that the feature is designed for common Rufus usage, which deals with whole bootable removable media. If you need more than this, you should look at a different application, as most properly designed software will limit its mandate and design goals to a specific usage in order to avoid feature creep (and Rufus is no exception). Dealing with partitions or non removable internal disks would be feature creep in the context of Rufus, so these features will never be added to the application.
    – Akeo
    May 18 at 0:34
  • @Akeo Might it be possible that some types of removable media might not be recognized as external? That could be a use case for providing some sort of special "cheat code" that would disable the "removable" requirement. And, of course, such modes can be explicitly stated to be "at your own risk."
    – trlkly
    May 18 at 0:50

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