Western Digital reveals Windows 8-based portable hard drives

Windows To Go is one of the more interesting features found in the enterprise version of Windows 8. First revealed over a year ago, Windows To Go will allow people to copy their entire Windows 8 installation onto a USB drive. The drive can then be plugged in to any PC which will allow its users access to his or her full Windows 8 setup while on the go.

Today, hard drive maker Western Digital announced it would launch new portable hard drives that are designed specifically for the Windows To Go setup. The company's press release states that the My Passport Enterprise products will have 500 GB of storage space. It adds:

The capacity and portability allows users to easily carry all their data and settings so they can quickly boot and run their personalized Windows 8 system on any compatible PC in the office, at home or on the go. Additionally, setup is fast and easy with the WD Compass utility included with My Passport Enterprise.

The My Passport Enterprise hard drive will go on sale on Friday, the same day as the Windows 8 launch, for $119.99.

Source: Western Digital press release | Image via Western Digital

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But what makes this product special. MS said it would run off of ANY USB drive not just a USB HHD. so what is different about this product.

Ah I see. So these drives are to be only used with windows 8. They per the link you showed are not hot swappable like normal usb drives.

I think it would be better to have certified USB thumb drive. much more portable and easier for mobile offices.

jasondefaoite said,

Actually no, they didn't. When I last checked this a few weeks back, there were only two USB 3 sticks which were WTG certified.

http://technet.microsoft.com/e...jj592680.aspx#wtg_faq_usbvs

moloko said,
Ah I see. So these drives are to be only used with windows 8. They per the link you showed are not hot swappable like normal usb drives.

I think it would be better to have certified USB thumb drive. much more portable and easier for mobile offices.


This drive is small enough though. And requires no power supply of any sort. Plug away and you're up and running. Easy enough IMO.

Hey, that's a nifty feature - I didn't know Win8 had such capabilities. Apparently it's only officially in Win8 Enterprise, but we all know how "exclusive" features from various editions of Windows actually are.

Kaidiir said,
Hey, that's a nifty feature - I didn't know Win8 had such capabilities. Apparently it's only officially in Win8 Enterprise, but we all know how "exclusive" features from various editions of Windows actually are.

Windows 8 Enterprise is the only edition that will support it and no there are no hacks as of now to extract the Win to go software!

Doesn't do much good for the Microsoft Surface RT since it's only has a USB2 port.
Not sure whether the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 PRO is USB3 or not though.
Not much point in using USB2 that's for sure, I know I wouldn't use anything less than USB3 on my Ultrabook.

LUTZIFER said,
Doesn't do much good for the Microsoft Surface RT since it's only has a USB2 port.
Not sure whether the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 PRO is USB3 or not though.
Not much point in using USB2 that's for sure, I know I wouldn't use anything less than USB3 on my Ultrabook.

Doesn't matter, Windows 8 Pro doesn't have "Windows to Go" only Enterprise does.

LUTZIFER said,
Doesn't do much good for the Microsoft Surface RT since it's only has a USB2 port.
Not sure whether the Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 PRO is USB3 or not though.
Not much point in using USB2 that's for sure, I know I wouldn't use anything less than USB3 on my Ultrabook.

a) no ARM chip support > USB 2 atm
b) for plugging in 99% of peripherals USB 2.0 will suffice

Surface pro does have a 3.0 because it has an x86 processor thus allowing it to.

As xendrome said, you will need an Enterprise edition to use Windows to Go anyway.

WelshBluebird said,
So what differences are there between this hard drive and a normal one they sell? Apart from probably a stupid price markup.

It will contain the software necessary to create the Win-To-Go app.

I assume this is USB 3? Because if ain't, you will be sitting at your computer waiting a long while. SSD would have been preferable.

Mr. Dee said,
I assume this is USB 3? Because if ain't, you will be sitting at your computer waiting a long while. SSD would have been preferable.

Agree with the USB 3, but for the SSD part - so every time you want to move from computer to computer, you are going to open the case, detach a SSD, open the other computer case (when you may not have access to it) connect the SSD drive, and start the computer? There is no need to Win To Go if that is how you plan on doing it.

nohone said,

Agree with the USB 3, but for the SSD part - so every time you want to move from computer to computer, you are going to open the case, detach a SSD, open the other computer case (when you may not have access to it) connect the SSD drive, and start the computer? There is no need to Win To Go if that is how you plan on doing it.

Ever hear of e-SATA?

nohone said,

Agree with the USB 3, but for the SSD part - so every time you want to move from computer to computer, you are going to open the case, detach a SSD, open the other computer case (when you may not have access to it) connect the SSD drive, and start the computer? There is no need to Win To Go if that is how you plan on doing it.

Even without e-SATA, you can put an SSD in an external enclosure in exactly the same way you can a hard drive. Sure, with USB you won't get anywhere close to the full speed but you'll still benefit a lot from the fast random access.

Slugsie said,

Ever hear of e-SATA?

SSD is a drive type, eSATA is the connector. If you are putting a SSD into an external case and connecting through eSATA, then yes, it should work. Also, it is not going to be an SSD, not when it is 500GB and cost only $119.

nohone said,

SSD is a drive type, eSATA is the connector. If you are putting a SSD into an external case and connecting through eSATA, then yes, it should work. Also, it is not going to be an SSD, not when it is 500GB and cost only $119.

Your comment still didn't make any sense, you spoke of an SSD as though it has some special connector and the case has to be opened to use it.. it's too late now to back out of that comment..

In context of what is being discussed here, the only difference between and SSD and traditional HDD is the SSD is memory and the HDD has physical platters... other then that they will work the same in this type of application of putting them into an external housing.

xendrome said,

Your comment still didn't make any sense, you spoke of an SSD as though it has some special connector and the case has to be opened to use it.. it's too late now to back out of that comment..

In context of what is being discussed here, the only difference between and SSD and traditional HDD is the SSD is memory and the HDD has physical platters... other then that they will work the same in this type of application of putting them into an external housing.

I know the difference between SSD and HDD. But as per the original comment, he is comparing a drive type and a connector type. If the comment was comparing eSATA vs. USB 3, or an SSD connected through eSATA to USB 3, then there would be no disagreement. But the comment was comparing the speed of a connector and the speed of a drive type, a drive that is usually connected through a SATA cable inside of a computer. There was no mention of eSATA in the original comment, it was added later by other commenters.

Mr. Dee said,
I assume this is USB 3? Because if ain't, you will be sitting at your computer waiting a long while. SSD would have been preferable.

USB2 is fast enough to run an operating system.

nohone said,

I know the difference between SSD and HDD. But as per the original comment, he is comparing a drive type and a connector type. If the comment was comparing eSATA vs. USB 3, or an SSD connected through eSATA to USB 3, then there would be no disagreement. But the comment was comparing the speed of a connector and the speed of a drive type, a drive that is usually connected through a SATA cable inside of a computer. There was no mention of eSATA in the original comment, it was added later by other commenters.

ooooh, ok. This whole time, I thought you thought that SSDs had to be inside the case lol. Mr. Dee wasn't comparing USB3 to SSDs. He was saying that he hoped it had USB3 and (completely separately) stating that it would have been nicer if they'd used an SSD instead of HDD for this drive. I see where the confusion came in though.

nohone said,

Agree with the USB 3, but for the SSD part - so every time you want to move from computer to computer, you are going to open the case, detach a SSD, open the other computer case (when you may not have access to it) connect the SSD drive, and start the computer? There is no need to Win To Go if that is how you plan on doing it.

...are you being serious? Why would someone have to take it out of the computer and put it in another one, if it's an external drive?? lol

nohone said,

I know the difference between SSD and HDD. But as per the original comment, he is comparing a drive type and a connector type. If the comment was comparing eSATA vs. USB 3, or an SSD connected through eSATA to USB 3, then there would be no disagreement. But the comment was comparing the speed of a connector and the speed of a drive type, a drive that is usually connected through a SATA cable inside of a computer. There was no mention of eSATA in the original comment, it was added later by other commenters.

He wasn't comparing an SSD to eSATA. You mentioned USB3, and the only logical thing he could make from your odd comment was that you thought an SSD cannot, or is not worth, connecting via USB3. If you didn't say things that don't make sense, then you wouldn't have to worry about replies that are based on you not making sense.