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Posted

[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Windows_To_Go_USB_Drive.png[/img]

[size=6][font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif]Windows to Go[/font][/size]

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.

[b]Things you will need:[/b][list]
[*]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 [url="http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?ocid=wc-tn-wctc"]here[/url]
[*]Less that 30 minutes of time depending on your hardware
[/list]
[b]Instructions:[/b]
[list=1]
[*]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 ([url="http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Plugins/GImageX.shtml"]http://www.softpedia...s/GImageX.shtml[/url]) 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 [CODE]bcdboot.exe X:\Windows /s X: /f ALL[/CODE] where "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!
[/list]
[b]Tips:[/b]

[list]
[*]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!
[/list]
If you have any problem feel free to comment below and PM me!
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Posted

Does this work on Server 2012??

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Posted

yeah I've used this method before to run windows 8 from a USB drive on an older netbook that didn't have much hard drive space. works great

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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1359779235' post='595496180']
Does this work on Server 2012??
[/quote]

Yep! Same method but just use the Server 2012 ISO.
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Posted

Awesome! Thank you!

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Posted

Sweet, this will be helpful.

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Posted

Btw does this allow installing Store apps? On Windows 8 Enterprise, there is a policy "Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces" which enables the Store inside the Windows To Go workspace. If that policy is enabled, will it work with this method?

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Posted

[quote name='UXGaurav' timestamp='1359798268' post='595496466']
Btw does this allow installing Store apps? On Windows 8 Enterprise, there is a policy "Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces" which enables the Store inside the Windows To Go workspace. If that policy is enabled, will it work with this method?
[/quote]

It sure does! On your Windows to Go device just follow the instructions [url="http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-enable-windows-8-store-on-windows-to-go-pc/"]here[/url] (just instruction on enabling that group policy) to enable the store apps and they work perfectly (that policy is on Windows 8/Pro/RT/ and Server 2012)! You could bake that setting into your image if you were making a lot of portable workspaces but I've just done mine manually and it's no trouble at all.

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Posted

Confirmed working with Server 2012 Datacentre!

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Posted

This is rather cool! Cheers for the tutorial.

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Posted

[quote name='Gnieus' timestamp='1360540850' post='595514186']
This is rather cool! Cheers for the tutorial.
[/quote]

No worries man! It is rather cool if I dare say so myself! I often use it to flash HDDs over a USB 3 to SATA III cable! Get your OS up and running in no time!
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Posted

I know Microsoft has provided a list for certified USB flash drives that will guarantee Windows To Go

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Posted

[quote name='astroXP' timestamp='1362425842' post='595557528']
I know Microsoft has provided a list for certified USB flash drives that will guarantee Windows To Go
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Posted

Wow this is great, can i ask why people would want server 2012 running on this?

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Posted

[quote name='ingramator' timestamp='1362566173' post='595560960']
Nope! The certified USBs basically just ensure data read/write consistency as well as capacity. Every USB I have (and believe me I have a LOAD) works fine but of course the USB3s and higher class SDs work a lot better. You can pretty much guarantee my technique to work on all USBs with any edition of Windows 8/Server 2012 :) What I will say however is that some USB's don't play nice at booting off them but they are usually generics which don't follow standard USB protocol!
[/quote]

Sweet! Thanks :D

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Posted

[quote name='THE_OBSERVER' timestamp='1362566995' post='595560978']
Wow this is great, can i ask why people would want server 2012 running on this?
[/quote]

portable server install for security and rapid deployment.

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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1362790656' post='595567148']
portable server install for security and rapid deployment.
[/quote]

That makes no sense what so ever. A server is typically a static entity on a network, you just threw out a bunch of generic terms with no real explanation or real world usage scenario.

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Posted

Boot from USB>have instant server that's pre-configured. No need to install. How hard is that to understand?

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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1362791262' post='595567166']
Boot from USB>have instant server that's pre-configured. No need to install. How hard is that to understand?
[/quote]

Because if you want to do it right you should take the time and create an image of a pre-configured server.... You're just asking for trouble for doing W2G on a Server

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Posted

What's so bad about having a portable server install? Nothing. Everyone has different specifications for thier uses. No need to bash anyone elses's specifications.

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Posted

Less then 30 minutes depending on your hardware, really? So, why does GImageX say it's going to take nearly 248 minutes
to complete? This is on a Core i3 based laptop with 4GB RAM installed. Less than 30 minutes is a nonsense, unless you do
this on a very high spec system with at least 10 quad core CPU's and over 32GB of enterprise grade RAM installed!

[img]http://djgm1974.kitamuracomputers.net/images/GImageX--247-mins-to-go--WTF.png[/img]

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Posted

[quote name='DJGM' timestamp='1363553115' post='595582834']
Less then 30 minutes depending on your hardware, really? So, why does GImageX say it's going to take nearly 248 minutes
to complete? This is on a Core i3 based laptop with 4GB RAM installed. Less than 30 minutes is a nonsense, unless you do
this on a very high spec system with at least 10 quad core CPU's and over 32GB of enterprise grade RAM installed!

[img]http://djgm1974.kitamuracomputers.net/images/GImageX--247-mins-to-go--WTF.png[/img]
[/quote]

You're putting temporary files on the installation target. Maybe that's why?

EDIT: The tutorial doesn't mention setting the temp location, I guess.

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Posted

Either you've got a slow USB host device or USB port (1.0 or 1.1).
As said you should NOT be using the USB drive as the image creation medium, it'll constantly being doing small writes which WILL degrade the USB much quicker.

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Posted

Excellent tutorial!

One question though, and this might seem na

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Posted

[quote name='Smiler Martin Hudgeon' timestamp='1367433427' post='595667682']
Excellent tutorial!

One question though, and this might seem na

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