Windows To Go: Screenshots

Windows To Go: Screenshots

Summary: Windows 8 Enterprise includes the tools needed to make a Windows To Go USB drive. Here's how it's done.


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  • It takes as long to create a Windows To Go USB device as it does to install Windows — so expect to wait fifteen minutes or so (less if you're using a device connected to a USB 3.0 port). Once the process has started there's no need for user intervention, so you can carry on with other tasks.

  • Once the Windows To Go installer has finished running, you'll be given the option of setting your PC to automatically boot from a USB device next time you start — something that's useful if you're going to be using Windows To Go as your default workspace. In practice, however, you're more likely to be using it with a home PC, or on the road.

  • Once booted into Windows To Go, a PC can only work with the file system on the drive — hence the requirement for high-performance USB 3.0 devices. You'll need at least 32GB of storage to ensure there's room for your applications and files — as Windows itself will take over 18GB, with 3GB reserved for system use.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Reviews

Simon Bisson

About Simon Bisson

Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.

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  • Yes.

    This is perfect way to carry Windows with you, and I love this feature.
    Ram U
  • Will Windows To Go keep all your files too

    When you plug the usb into another computer, will that computer have the same settings and files and apps be on that computer as well? Will that computer be exactly the same as your primary one?
    • Yes

      All storage will be through the drive, or through Direct Access, or through SkyDrive/SkyDrive Pro. There is no access to the host PC storage at all.
  • Wheres the do you wish to turn Metro off?

    I don't see the feauture that lets me decide to use the classic windows look as all previous versions did or I could merely download a replacement desktop such as winblinds....
  • A solution in search of a problem

    Portable Apps has been around for years. portableapps(dot)com
  • What A Pity Nobody Will Use It

    This is only available on the Enterprise version of Windows 8. But Windows 8 is not targeted at the Enterprise, but at the consumer market.

    What a complete waste of time.
  • Microsoft Office and file storage

    Could you have Office on the USB drive also, along with Word and Excel user-created files on the USB drive?
    Could this be used in conjunction with a tablet, such as Android, Apple, RIM or Microsoft?
  • I want the Surface

    Just what I need. What price has Microsoft put on the Pro version?
  • installed memory 4GB (3.73 usable)

    screenshot #1 says
    installed memory 4GB (3.73 usable)
    but it also says
    64-bit operating system
    • That test machine is a laptop with integrated Intel graphics

      The available memory is calculated to allow for the memory requirements of the GPU.
  • Memory Availability

    You might find it's that windows is showing you 4gb in gigabytes and the physical memory sizing is calculated in gibibytes. In the same way you'll notice a 1tb hard disk only has ~930gb storage - not because of 'formatting' etc but because there are two number systems used to calculate capacity.

    it's the difference between using decimal expansion and binary.
    People generally use increments of 1000 (10^3) to calculate sizes so 4gb is 4*1000mb.
    If you calculate using binary (as memory and storage addressing will do) then 4gb is 4*1024mb (where 1024=2^10).

    SO.... 4gb in Windows is 4000000000 bytes, or 4*10^9 whereas the memory will be 4gb as 4294967296 bytes, or 4*2^30. If you divide 4000000000 (bytes) by 4294967296 (bytes) you get 3.725 (rounded to 3.73) 'gb'.

    Therefore of the '4gb' of RAM you only have 3.73'gb' addressable as the 4gb is gigabytes and the 3.73gb is gibibytes.

    Mystery Solved :oP

    (There should be some articles online about kibi/mebi/gibi.tebi bytes vs kilo/mega/giga/tera bytes if you need clarification)