Using the Depreciated "Windows to Go"to Beta Test Windows 11

barman58

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Just a quick run through on using the Windows to Go system for OS testing.

Microsoft developed and included in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and I believe the education version, the functionality to create a "Windows to GO" install on a USB Device.
This was designed for enterprise SysAdmins to create a portable version of window to be used on employees home systems that contained all the company branding and specialist software.

As I was having some issues running the Windows 11 Pre release install on a Hyper-V VM (basically due to my use of 3840x2160 UHD 4K monitors), i decided to try something else and decided Windows to Go would work for me. now that is a major issue to this, Microsoft have depreciated the option, they still support use of the installs on Windows 10 systems but the facility to create these has been removed, ( this is basically due to the issues found by some enterprises in keeping the systems updated.

Luckily the old Stalwart of USB pen drive / external drive management Rufus comes to the rescue as they include the option to create a windows to go install in their standard totally free software.


All you need to use this route to test software, ( or to keep a bootable full copy of Windows or even Your Windows install for emergencies is an ISO of the install and an external USB device of a suitable size.

now the performance of the install will depend on the device you choose to install to and the device you choose to run the install on.

I have had a seamless running on an external M2 NVME usb3 drive but a spare usb Pendrive or spare SSD should give usable results

Rather than go through the step by step there is a Youtube video of the method which is based on a Windows 10 Install , but works for Windows 11 you can use your own ISO for anything that will run on your hardware, and Win11 ISOs from Microsoft or UUDP - Rufus will actually find ISO's for you in the software as you setup.

 

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cereberus

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Actually, it is a bit naughty of Rufus to call it Windows To Go as that is an MS trademark.

True Windows To Go had extra features to stop pc crashing if you accidentally removed the usb drive.

Most implementations are more accurately "Bootable Windows from a usb drive" but if you remove drive pc will crash.

I have heard it alleged that the Rufus implementation will survive a temporary removal of usb drive, but last time I tested it, pc crashed immediately usb drive was removed, but it was a while ago.






PS - minor detail - WTG was a deprecated feature, not depreciated feature.
 

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barman58

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Being as microsoft has depreciated WtG I doubt that they will be worried about the naming rights, thinking about it the very fact that you cannot trademark a current word in common usage could be why Microsoft have never just called the OS "Windows"
 

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    Windows 10 Pro x64 [Latest Release Preview]
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    Chillblast to my design
    CPU
    Ryzen 9 5950X, 4.9GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime X570-Pro Motherboard
    Memory
    64GB DDR4 3200MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    4GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 Ti - HDMI, DP
    Sound Card
    On motherboard Feeding SPDiF 5.1 system
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" UHD 32 Bit HDR Monitor + 43" UHD 4K 32Bit HDR TV
    Screen Resolution
    2 x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    1TB M2 SSD OS, 500GB Fast Access SSD, 2 x 8TB Data + Various Externals from 1TB to 4TB, 10TB NAS
    PSU
    NZXT C750 80 PLUS Gold 750W Modular PSU
    Case
    Chillblast Silent Workstation PC Case - Black
    Cooling
    NZXT Kraken X63 280mm CPU Cooler, Quiet Case fans Fan
    Keyboard
    Wireless Logitec MX Keys + K830 [Depending on where I'm Sat]
    Mouse
    Wireless Logitec - MX Master 3 + M570 Trackball
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    Also run...
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    Samsung Note S20
    Wacom Pro Medium Pen Pad
    Wacom Pro Small Pen Pad
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    Loopdeck+ Graphics Controller
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  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro x64 [Latest release]
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    Dell XPS 17 9700
    CPU
    i7 10750H
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    Stock
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tonez4466

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nice heads up I will try it.
 

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johnlgalt

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Yeah, surprised to see that they deprecated it. They pulled a Google with that particular facet of Windows, for sure.
 

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jimbo45

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Being as microsoft has depreciated WtG I doubt that they will be worried about the naming rights, thinking about it the very fact that you cannot trademark a current word in common usage could be why Microsoft have never just called the OS "Windows"
Hi there

You can also CLONE a running system to a WindowstoGo USB drive or even convert a VM to a Physical WindowstoGo drive too. Use the Dism image facility and then create the boot loader.

If you have some spare external SSD's or NVME's with SATA->USB adapter the performance of these is very good indeed --I've quite a few spare older "Classical" SSD's (not the newer NVME things) which are ideal for this purpose --they can be switched easily between machines too if you want to test different hardware !!!

For clean install the rufus method is quick easy and just about foolproof !!! (It's even decently "User proof" !!).

@cereberus it probably crashed because it needed the paging file which isn't usually stored in RAM. Normally with sufficient RAM a quick accidental removal of the USB the OS should be able to survive although you don't want to be doing any I/O to any connected devices at the time.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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