Windows to Go
Hey guys this is a tutorial on how to set up a Windows to Go (a live Windows 8 boot) USB using any version of Windows provided you have a copy of Windows 8.
Things you will need:
- A USB or external HDD with 16GB of space (It is actually possible to do it onto an 8GB drive but depending on its actual formatted capacity you may have to remove a few drivers etc.)
- A copy of a Windows 8 disc or ISO (Any version is fine including upgrade ones) you can grab a free 90 trial here
- Less that 30 minutes of time depending on your hardware
- Locate your Windows 8 disc or ISO and mount it
- Navigate to \sources and copy the install.wim file to your desktop or other convenient location
- Insert your USB or HDD and format the partition as NTFS with the default allocation
- Download the free GImageX (http://www.softpedia...s/GImageX.shtml) and extract it
- Run the x86 or x64 version depending on the version of Windows you are using
- Navigate to the "Apply" tab
- In the source section enter or browse for the location of the install.wim we copied earlier
- In the destination section enter or browse for the location of the device you want to use for Windows to Go
- Leave the checkboxes unchecked and hit apply
- After imaging process is complete navigate to Disk Management (type in partition at search and you will find it)
- Find the partition you are using for Windows to Go and right click it then -> "Mark partition as active" - this will allow us to boot from this partition, if its already active then don't worry about this step
- Navigate to your Windows to Go disk and go to \Windows\System32
- Open up CMD from this location (or change directory to the above folder) and enter
bcdboot.exe X:\Windows /s X: /f ALLwhere "X" is your Windows To Go drive letter
- Congratulations! Your Windows to Go device is now ready and all you will have to do is boot from the USB at startup then run through the one time configuration settings!
- Double check the drive letter when flashing the device because if you have other partitions then you will screw them up
- Use a USB device with a high read/write rate because it will enhance disk IO performance on the machine you are running it on. USB 3.0 and or an SSD will greatly increase performance!
- Copy a few installers to a folder on the USB for easy setup when you're up and running
- Try not to unplug your Windows to Go device whilst the computer is still running because it may cause data corruption but if you do you will have 1 minute before it shuts down
- You can use this method to quickly flash SSDs, HDDs, USBs and SDs with a custom image of Windows 8!