Windows To Go with Windows 8

Windows 8 is getting closer release. One of the new cool features I look forward to is Windows To Go. It is Windows 8 installed on a usb stick and works as a live-usb installation. This can be used to test Windows 8 in your environment without messing up your installation. But it has much more potential than that.

Microsoft have built-in several security features in Windows To Go. When you boot from your usb, Windows 8 can’t access any of your computers internal harddrives. If the usb stick with Windows To Go is removed, there is a 60 seconds time limit to reinsert the usb stick or your computer will freeze. The Windows To Go usb can also be encrypted with bitlocker encryption.

Imagine the possibilites. You create a corporate Windows 8 image as Windows To Go. VPN access to corporate network with token authentication is included in the image. This image may be used for temporary employees or consultants who don’t have a dedicated computer or office. When they are finished working on that project, their usb computer is returned and recycled. Windows To Go may also be used as a corporate travel pc that you may access from any computer.

How to create a Windows To Go image.

Prerequisites

  • 32 GB usb stick or larger. usb drive may also be used.
  • A computer running Windows 8 for building the image.
  • Windows 8 installation media or a prestaged Windows 8 image.
  • imagex.exe from Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit.

Prepare the usb stick.

  1. Start a command prompt with administrative privileges.
  2. Plug in your usb stick and start diskpart by typing “diskpart.exe” and hit enter.
  3. Type “list disk” and hit enter. You should see your usb stick on this list.
  4. Type “select disk #” where # is the number of your usb stick and hit enter.
  5. Type “create primary partition” and hit enter. This creates the primary partition on the usb stick.
  6. Type “format fs=ntfs” and hit enter to format the usb stick with ntfs file system.
  7. Type “active” and hit enter to mark the partition as active.
  8. Type “exit” to exit diskpart.

Deploying the image

  1. Copy the install.wim file from your Windows 8 installation media or your prestaged image to the same directory as imagex.exe
  2. imagex.exe /apply install.wim 1 d:\ where d:\ is the driveletter of your usb stick.

Your Windows 8 To Go is now ready on the usb.

 

Anders Rødland

Anders Rødland started his IT career in 2006. My main focus is MS Configuration Manager and client management, and I currently hold active 15 Microsoft certifications. Certified on Windows Server, Windows Client, SQL, Exchange and System Center Configuration Manager. Anders Rødland also holds an ITIL Foundation certification. This is my private blog and do not represent my employer. I use this to share information that I find useful. Sharing is caring.