Windows to go -- so easy to create now

jimbo45

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Hi folks --
For testing all these builds etc - if you have any spare old USB3 HDD's / SSD's etc - I suggest you use latest version of Rufus to create WindowstoGo systems of W11 builds etc -- great way of testing on REAL hardware without hosing up your current system.

Rufus does it really simply for new installs -- even from WITHIN VM's == you just need RUFUS, the iso of the windows build you want to install and a USB device

Then simply from within Rufus select advanced - show USB disks, the select iso and "Windows To Go" for type of Windows install

Screenshot_20210921_141038.png

When it finishes just boot the device and it will finish setting up windows -- great testing tool if you have some spare drives -- easy to move to different machines as well !!!. You can re-size partitions etc afterwards if you only want to use small partitions.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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galileo

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When you reboot, how are you selecting the boot drive?
 

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Winuser

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I think I'll give it a try when I have some free time. I'll use EasyBCD to setup a dual boot.
 

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Hopachi

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When you reboot, how are you selecting the boot drive?
BIOS/UEFI boot selection menu. Before your main-os boot loader.
It says it's a USB connected HDD/SSD drive. Works the same way as a flash stick booting though better for 'to go' read/write setups.
Some of these drives will be detected as SATA on the boot menu since those are mostly USB to SATA controllers.
 

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Ed Tittel

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Great suggestion, @jimbo45. I'm definitely going to try this out. Getting ready to rebuild my production desktop with Ryzen 5800X, B550 mobo, 64GB RAM and PCIe x4 SSD. This way, I can try Win11 out on the hardware, while still keeping my production environment intact. Good stuff!
--Ed--
 

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jimbo45

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Great suggestion, @jimbo45. I'm definitely going to try this out. Getting ready to rebuild my production desktop with Ryzen 5800X, B550 mobo, 64GB RAM and PCIe x4 SSD. This way, I can try Win11 out on the hardware, while still keeping my production environment intact. Good stuff!
--Ed--
Hi there

Tested - works with latest W11 builds -- get iso's via UUPDUMP, and also W2K19 and W2K22 servers.
Not sure though on "Secure boot" -- UEFI is no problem but I haven't been able to test this with sec boot = although presumably if that's enabled in the Real BIOS the Windows install should take care of it !!!

I've also around 5 or 6 spare older 128 GB SSD's that I would otherwise have junked - makes great testing scenarios -- otherwise I would have just thrown those away. On USB3->SATA response is perfectly good.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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GaryW

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Hi there

Tested - works with latest W11 builds -- get iso's via UUPDUMP, and also W2K19 and W2K22 servers.
Not sure though on "Secure boot" -- UEFI is no problem but I haven't been able to test this with sec boot = although presumably if that's enabled in the Real BIOS the Windows install should take care of it !!!

I've also around 5 or 6 spare older 128 GB SSD's that I would otherwise have junked - makes great testing scenarios -- otherwise I would have just thrown those away. On USB3->SATA response is perfectly good.

Cheers
jimbo
I just tried it out. Much easier than any other method I've used previously, especially the command line!
 

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Stigg

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Hi folks --
For testing all these builds etc - if you have any spare old USB3 HDD's / SSD's etc - I suggest you use latest version of Rufus to create WindowstoGo systems of W11 builds etc -- great way of testing on REAL hardware without hosing up your current system.
Why wouldn't you use a UFD for Windows To Go?
 

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Ed Tittel

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NVMe (M.2) or mSATA SSDs are faster than spinning media, and ditto for flash media. The fastest USB peripheral you can run these days is a PCIe x3 or better NVMe in a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 or USB-C enclosure. It runs at least an order of magnitude faster than the fastest UFD. If that doesn't matter to you, UFD is fine. But if speed counts, it's the only way to go.
HTH,
--Ed--

PS: I've tried numerous NVMe enclosures and can provide input on which ones are worth buying and which ones have disappointed me. PM me if you're interested in that info...
 

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barman58

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Rather than use the BIOS to access the WtG install, there is an entry in the old control Panel (Windows 10) in the Hardware and Sound section (not sure if it even exists in W11)

This allows your next boot to be from the Windows to Go USB connection

Screenshot 2021-10-11 073756.png

A little more elegant ;)
 

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z3r010

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Rather than use the BIOS to access the WtG install, there is an entry in the old control Panel (Windows 10) in the Hardware and Sound section (not sure if it even exists in W11)

Yep, it's still there.

1633934757876.png
 

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jimbo45

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Hi folks

Good info -- however I'm actually finding now that using physical Virtual "VHDX" drives (Not Virtual Machines) is often a simpler and more flexible way if you say want to test several Windows versions. You don't need to dedicate a whole external device -- you just need to ensure that the virtual disk file you create for the relevant Windows install is large enough. The only downside is that at boot you will get presented with a boot menu asking you to choose what system you want to boot. A 512GB external SSD is a great place to store about 5 or 6 different Windows versions while the unused space can be used for something else e.g a LINUX OS or just data ehich is acessible to any of the Windows systems.

Simply create a VHDX file for each windows system -- use Disk mgmt (right mouse click on the Windows icon) -- make sure you choose fixed size, attach the VHDX and clone the system / install system.

After cloning / install boot up a winpe disk, and install the bootloader. If it's all done on the external drive your internal "C" drive will not be touched - however in this case you will then need to use the BIOS to select boot from external drive. You can also change the bootr entries menu to more memorable names with bcdedit.

Both approaches have their merit -- I used to use WintoGo but find especially with larger external SSD's the "VHDX" physical disk apprach is better -- YMMV of course. !! --Remember also that the Windows systems need to be activated -- but having different builds of say W10 won't normally affect activation.

Cheers
jimbo




Cheers
 

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