How to create a Windows To Go USB Drive Without the Enterprise Edition

Microsoft Windows To Go feature installed Windows as a living system on a bootable USB drive. It is officially only for Windows Enterprise editions, but we found a way to do with any edition of Windows 8 or 8.1.

This process allows you to create a live USB drive Windows that works as a Linux live USB drive. You can start on any computer. Files and operating system programs remain in the external hard drive and follow you everywhere.

What You’ll Need

This is what you need:

A USB flash drive or external hard drive with 16 GB of extra space: For maximum speed, you probably want a fast USB 3.0 Flash Drive. However, you can also use an external hard drive is larger than around. It will not be as fast, but it will work all the same. Microsoft offers Windows To Go certified units, and they all starts at 32 GB of storage space, so there is enough space for the operating system and additional files. These devices are certified and tested with high speed and good manufacturer warranties – an inexpensive USB drive may be slower and die earlier due to the greater volume of writes. RELATED ARTICLE

Locate the Install file. wim

First, locate the Install file. wim, which is stored in the Windows installation disk. If you have a physical disk, insert it into your computer. If you have an ISO file, you can ride in Windows 8, by double clicking on it in File Explorer.

Open the drive in Windows Explorer and enter the sources directory. Look for the install wim. File – which is in X: install sources. wim, where X is the drive letter of the disk.

Install image file. wim on a USB drive

Then open the gimagex tool. Extract the downloaded file and run the correct version of the program for your computer – 64 one in a 64-bit x86 Windows or one in a 32-bit version of Windows.

Click Apply gimagex tab. In the Source box, locate the install file. wim has encountered before. In the Target box, select the external drive that will install windows to go in. Click the Apply button gimagex will present the Install image. wim on the USB drive.

Wait for the imaging process to complete before continuing. This is the longest part, although it should not take long. The imaging process only took 12 minutes for us, even though we were putting our system of windows to go on an external mechanical unit through a slower USB 2.0 connection.

Make the active partition


Create boot entries in the USB drive

Then you have to create corresponding entries in the Windows startup Go To boot loader unit. First, open a command prompt as an administrator – Windows 8.1, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen or press the Windows key bios X and select Command Prompt (Administrator).

Then run the following two commands to switch to Windows To Go external hard with its drive letter instead of X. Open a File Explorer window to see the chart in the unit if you do not know:

X: Windows system32 cd

Then run the following command, replacing X with the letter of the external drive with windows to go in it.
bcdboot. exe X: Windows bios s X: bios f ALL
(Page bcdboot As Microsoft documentation explains this command make boot entries in a USB flash drive, including boot files to support either a BIOS-based or UEFI-based computer. )

Booting Windows To Go

Now you have a Windows To Go drive! Restart the computer and boot from it – you may need to configure the boot order in the BIOS or using using the boot menu in Windows 8 UEFI-based options to boot from an external drive systems.

The first time you start the installation of Windows on the drie, will have to go through the same installation process for the first time would be after you install Windows on a computer normally. This will only happen the first time you boot your Windows To Go drive. Windows To Go works almost like a normal system, although Microsoft says some differences – for example, a Windows To Go system starts with internal disks offline by default. This is designed to prevent accidental confidential data is stored in an internal disk when using Windows To Go.

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