Run Windows 8/8.1 on a USB stick!

Hey guys,

So, it’s been ages since I last published an article or a tutorial. Well…I’m kind of lazy, and I’ve been quite busy with IB recently.

Anyways, today I will show you how you can create a Windows 8/8.1 installation that is able to be booted from a USB! I mentioned about this already back in March, but here is the tutorial, based on my own experience!

What you need:

  • A USB drive, probably a USB hard drive with at least 16-20GB of storage, although more is better, especially for Windows 8.1 since you can use the Windows Store on Windows 8.1.
  • A copy of Windows 8 or 8.1 Enterprise installation media (get it from your company, or google it yourself).
  • An existing installation of Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, either on a real machine or in a virtual machine.

Steps:

  1. Boot up your Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise installation, either on a real PC or in a virtual machine.
  2. Insert your Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise installation media. If doing this on a virtual machine, go to settings or similar for your VM software, and make sure that the iso file for the Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise is attached and connected to the VM.
  3. Go to control panel, the easiest way to do this is to press Windows key+R, and type control into the run box and press enter or click OK.
  4. Find an item that says something like ‘Windows To Go’.
  5. Open it, and then follow the on-screen instruction, and insert your USB drive. Note if doing this on a VM, make sure that the drive you’re going to install Windows 8/8.1 To Go is selected and connected to the VM!
  6. Select your Enterprise image to use; usually there will be only 1. Note before you proceed, make sure that you back up all essential data on the USB drive as they will be wiped out!
  7. Wait for the wizard to complete copying files to the USB drive.
  8. Once done, try booting it. I highly recommend that you boot it on a real machine, not a VM! Also make sure that your machine can boot from a USB! Check with your machine’s manufacturer for help.
  9. Install apps, customize, and do whatever you want with your newly-created portable Windows 8/8.1!

And there you have it! A portable Windows 8/8.1 that you can carry around! You can even use this as an emergency OS, in case your main one becomes inoperable!

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