Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How to Run Windows 8 Directly from USB Drive

Windows To Go is a new feature in Windows 8 which allows you to install a portable version of Windows onto a USB drive, so we can run it from any computer we want. All you need is a USB 3.0 device with at least 13GB capacity (it will run on a USB 2.0 memory stick, but slowly), a copy of Windows 8/8.1 ISO image.

Part 1: Create Windows 8 To Go USB Drive 
  1. Download and install the freeware ISO2Disc on your computer.
  2. Plug in your external USB drive on the PC and launch ISO2Disc.

  3. Click on Browse button to select your Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO image. Please note that the program will format your external USB drive and delete its entire data, so it is always recommended taking a backup before you continue.
  4. Click on Burn to USB Flash Drive option and select your USB drive from the device list.
  5. Choose the GPT partition style if you want to create a UEFI bootable drive, or stick with MBR if you need to boot off a computer with a traditional BIOS.
  6. Under the Bootdisk Type, select "Windows to Go (install Windows to USB)".

  7. When you click Start Burn, it begins to install a portable version of Windows to your USB drive. This process can take a very long time if you use a USB 2.0 thumb drive. It's recommended to use an external USB mass storage device and this process can be done within about ten minutes.

Part 2: Boot from Your Portable USB Drive 

After creating, you can the portable version of Windows on whatever computer you want. To do so, just plug in the Windows To Go USB drive and set your USB device as the first bootable media from within the BIOS.

The first time it starts, it'll install the necessary drivers and take a while to boot, after which you can set up your machine just like you would a new Windows 8 PC. That's it!

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