Really impossible? Install Windows TO an usb device

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by netlords, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. netlords

    netlords MDL Novice

    Jun 20, 2012
    Hi there,

    I have to test quite a number of returned computer.
    For data security reasons (what else ^^) there are no hard drives in this systems.

    The easiest solution for me would be if i can install windows to an usb device (stick or hard drive) and boot from this device. But - this seems to be blocked by ms.

    How to defeat ms at this point?

    One thing seems to be a marker Bit on the USB drives - they are marked as removable, so windows cant be installed on this. How can i change this bit or how can i force windows to ignore this bit?

  2. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
    install Windows 10 Enterprise and type "windows to go" and it will create it for you on a USB3 device cable of exactly what you want. No need to defeat MS, they offer a solution to this.

    also capable of this is Windows 8.1 Enterprise.
  3. cocachris89

    cocachris89 MDL Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    If the computers are all the same make/model, you should be able to use one hdd to install windows onto and then just switch it out to another computer without any problems.

    Otherwise Windows To Go would be the best situation. Get yourself a decent usb 3 drive with 32GB+ storage.
  4. coromonadalix

    coromonadalix MDL Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Windows to go from 8.1 or win 10 is the solution, tried and working on gigabyte ga-z68 and asus z87 mobo (not every mobo's are usb boot ... especilally old ones, and you may face hw compatibilities ???)
  5. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    Get yourself Linux based test program...
  6. netlords

    netlords MDL Novice

    Jun 20, 2012
    linux? i would love to!! but...

    however - the enterprise version looks very promising.

    thx for the hint
  7. crackerbox

    crackerbox MDL Novice

    Feb 5, 2009
    You don't even need the Enterprise version of 8 or 10... check out WinToUSB. It will allow you to create a bootable Windows installation from the Win 10 (or Win 8) iso, or it can clone a fully configured install of Windows to a USB drive.

    I have personally had great success with Windows 10 Pro (Activated on physical hardware via Windows 7 Pro -> Win 10 upgrade) Cloned to a Usb drive with WinToUSB. My install boots via uefi and stays activated on different hardware. Creating a WinToUSB clone from an activated Win10 virtual machine will only remain activated when booted in a virtual environment. Attempting to boot it on physical hardware will cause an unactivated state.

    Here is the basic How To:

    1. Create an Activated Windows 10 Pro installation on physical hardware
    2. Download and install WinToUSB
    3. use diskpart to clean your USB drive
    4. Using diskpart, convert the USB disk to GPT
    5. Diskpart (on USB drive) - sel par 1
    6. Diskpart (on USB drive) - del par override
    7. Diskpart (on USB drive) - cre par efi size=100 offset=1
    8. Diskpart (on USB drive) - format quick fs=fat32 label="System"
    9. Diskpart (on USB drive) - cre par msr size=128 offset=103424
    10. Diskpart (on USB drive) - cre par pri
    11. Diskpart (on USB drive) - format quick fs=ntfs label="OS"
    12. Run WinToUSB, choose "Clone" option
    13. Allow it to create WinPE
    14. Select the USB Disk
    15. Select your Boot and System partitions
    16. It will then boot into PE and clone the system onto the USB, after its done, the USB will be uefi bootable
  8. Soulfate

    Soulfate MDL Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    With WinNTSetup software, it's easy to install Windows 8/8.1/10 everywhere (without using the MS setup), even on USB drive or SD cards.
    "Windows-to-go core" is on every Windows editions, but as the hardware will ever change by changing computers, it's better to activate it with KMS because the retail license could be deactivated.

    Be aware that when you boot your "portable" Windows on unknow system, Windows needs to reconfigure itself and it takes some time (~2-5 minutes, maybe more), but Windows needs to do it only one time. Next boot will be faster.

    PS : I use everydays a "portable" Windows 8.1 installation on an USB3 drive. It's fun to run my OS everywhere.