Windows To Go compared with normal Windows on a bootable USB?

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by chaoscreater, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. chaoscreater

    chaoscreater MDL Novice

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Hi guys,

    What's the difference between Windows To Go, compared with a Windows 8 installed on a USB?

    Both will obviously need to be booted from the USB at startup, whether you set it in the BIOS or choose it in the boot menu.

    In terms of performance and stability, which one is better?


    I haven't tried Windows To Go yet, but currently I'm running Windows 8 on my external HDD. I used Easeus Todo Backup to make a complete system/partition backup image of my main PC, then restored that backup image to my external HDD. This saves me a lot of time in setting up and installing everything.

    Whereas for Windows To Go, you're essentially installing Windows from scratch, on a USB. So i'm not sure if this is worth trying out if it makes no difference.
     
  2. franz99

    franz99 MDL Novice

    Dec 20, 2011
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    I think that the installation program of Windows 8 does not allow you to install W 8 on a USB connected device.
    So in the fist time to be able install W8 on a USB stick you have to use already a trick.

    On the opposite in W8 Enterprise the Windows To Go creating prograll looks for all the compatibel USB connected devices and tells you if they are suitable for WTGting
     
  3. franz99

    franz99 MDL Novice

    Dec 20, 2011
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    I also think that a WTG USB stick will boot on a other computer and your Windows 8 on this external HDD
    will not boot without problems on a other computer, so it's not a real "mobile Windows"
     
  4. franz99

    franz99 MDL Novice

    Dec 20, 2011
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    #4 franz99, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
    And now an answer coming from Microsoft ...

    “ Differences between Windows to go and a typical installation of Windows “
    h ttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831833.aspx
    h ttp://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh831833.aspx#BKMK_wtgdif

     
  5. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. luky

    luky MDL Addicted

    Dec 21, 2008
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    Windows TO GO USB 2.0 key do not install, why? :rolleyes:
     
  7. chaoscreater

    chaoscreater MDL Novice

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Thanks for your reply guys!

    Ok so I've finally had some time to test out Windows To Go. I was skeptical at first, I didn't think it would run smoothly at all but to my surprise it actually runs really well!

    I'm using AData Classic CH11 750GB external HDD. It supports USB 3.0, however none of my computers or laptops have USB 3.0 ports so the speed/performance is running at USB 2.0. Despite this, it runs REALLY smooth and that's part of the reason why I was so surprised.

    To give you an idea of how well it runs, I can play music, browse internet (with plenty of tabs opened), play videos or movies while using Visual Studio 2012 all at the same time without lag. Occasionally there is a little bit, but I imagine this isn't a big deal if you can use USB 3.0. Also, I've been running it on my HP Pavilion DV2 laptop, which is really crap btw as it only has a single core (AMD Athlon Neo) with 4GB ram. So ya it's very stable for me :)


    Also, there're a few things I want to point out:

    Since Windows To Go is only available with Windows 8 Enterprise, this means there isn't a tool or option to create it if you use the Release Preview (which is what I'm currently using). However, there is a way to create it by following this guide here:

    henkhoogendoorn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/how-to-create-windows-to-go-usb-drive.html

    It's super easy to do, and for those running the 64bit Windows, the 64bit version of the "Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)" won't work. The "imageX" file I extracted doesn't work for some reason but you can download the x86 version in that guide, which worked for me.


    Now, if you guys read the links here:


    There're 2 points that worked for me even though they shouldn't:

    - Internal disks are offline.
    - Store is disabled by default.


    I don't know if it's because I created my Windows To Go using the alternative method mentioned above, but I can see all my hardrive partitions on my laptop, and my laptop can see it as well. I haven't tried it on other computers but I'm guessing the result is the same. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not but it's more convenient for me if I can access files on my workstation PC without being blocked off, since I know only I can access them.

    As for the Store, I can use it just fine and it isn't disabled or anything. I never had to change any settings to use it so I dunno if it's suppose to be like this or not.


    And just to confirm to you all that I AM really running a properly created Windows To Go, one of the features is that if you unplug it by accident and plug it back in, it will continue to run. I tried that and it works, also everytime I login it always prompts me to enter my password, even though I turned off the options to ask for it.


    Anyway sorry for my long post, just wanna share my experiences and thoughts, I recommend for those who use laptops frequently either at work or at UNI to give this a try, because now I have a new way of bring my work to UNI without taking a heavy ass laptop.


    Also, for those of you who have computers that don't support booting from USB in the BIOS, try out this tool called "PLPBT". Do a Google search, there're tons of guides out there and it's super simple to use. Just burn the .iso file to a CD, boot it and it will run the bootloader on the CD, and there you will have the option to boot from USB. This will be useful if your work or UNI PCs don't support USB booting.
     
  8. MrG

    MrG MDL Addicted

    May 31, 2010
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    Can you get windows windows updates (besides defender)?
    How about your performance info, will that run?

    These both failed for me on a falsh drive but the WU works on my external W2G Hdd.