The kicker is the official WTG utility will not use removable media. Those official certified WTG thumb drives have the bit set so they show up as fixed disks. You pay a premium for them too.
Using an SD card sounds interesting. I have a couple of decent Kinston cards and a USB SD Card reader. With the card in and the cap on it just looks like a bigish thumb drive. The largest capacity card I have is 32 GB. It might be just big enough though. I may have a go at using that.
I had to hold the power button down to get out of the lock up. I did get the blue screen with the "Your PC needs to be repaired" or something like that, once. I just powered down again and let it boot up normally and all was fine. I wasn't sure what drive the repair was running from, internal or external. No harm done to any of the installs on my PC's, not that I can tell anyway. I'll play around with this somemore over the weekend and let you guys know what works and what doesn't. I'll have another look at the official tutorial again too. Bye for now.
Ok, I put my Crucial SSD and put it in my external USB 3 enclosure. Then I followed the powershell commands listed in the TechNet article. Windows To Go Step by Step - TechNet Articles - United States (English) - TechNet Wiki I did this all on my desktop PC. When I try to boot from it I get:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows Installation disc an restart your computer
2. Choose your language settings, and the click "Next
3. Click "Repair your computer"
If you do not have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.
Info: An error occured while attempting to read the boot configuration data
Then after a while it reboots automatically.
On my laptop, if I select "UEFI entry for Windows to Go drive" I can boot into it. I think that entry is a left over from the last time I created a WTG drive through an enterprise install. I went though the first time setup etc with no issues. There is also a UEFI CR...(the SSD drive) entry in the boot menu. I tried that first and it started to run but rebooted and then loaded the native OS. No error screen that I could see, just the logo with the circle of balls. I then tried it in my desktop PC again and get the same error I posted above. It comes up very quickly. The black screen with the cursor in the top left corner then the error screen.
I think my next step is to install Enterprise on my laptop and create an official drive with the WTG utility. Then try that drive on both PC's. I likely won't look at this thread again until I'm done.
Last edited by alphanumeric; 10 Jan 2015 at 14:04. Reason: USB should have been UEFI
USB2 is tough. Performance is very acceptable with an external SSD and a fast stick works also once you are past the boot. But I would recommend a fast USB3 stick or a disk via eSata.Via USB2 no thumb drives seem usable to me. I've used a USB2 HDD and it was (just about) OK. I don't own a USB3 stick but it should be better (you would like to think). If I use a decent SD card (on my mac host) it is OKish.
You don't need any caddies -- just remove the laptop HDD and use the SATA==>USB3/2 connectors and connect to a USB2 / USB3 port. --very acceptable performance on either USB2 or USB 3.
I'm not sure about old IDE drives -- they probably would be slow.
There actually doesn't seem to be much difference in performance with a 7200 (SAMSUNG) rpm or 5400 RPM (Seagate / WD) laptop SATA drive when connected to a USB2 / 3 port --the USB interface can't run at the native SATA speed anyway. On a USB3 connector both drives perform much faster than in the USB2 port though.
(Internally when fitted to the laptop the 7200 rpm HDD blows away the 5400rpm drive - but both are real snail pace drives when compared to an SSD. You won't find too many 7200 rpm 2.5 inch laptop drives any more - they do use more power).
The cable you need to use is shown below. Any similar will work --=forget about caddies etc for old laptop HDD's. !!!
Vantec 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2 - Newegg.ca . It will do SATA, IDE and laptop IDE. I use it for recovering files from PC's that won't boot into windows anymore. I already have the enclosures so I use them. I have two of these, Mediasonic HDK-SU3 Aluminum 2.5" Black SATA I/II/III USB 3.0 External Enclosure - Newegg.ca It's just two screws to open it up and swap drives.
I finished installing 8.1 enterprise on my laptop and have made a Windows To Go drive with the above enclosure and a 256 GB Crucial SSD. I haven't booted from it yet. The NFL Football playoff game is soon going to start so I may put it off until tomorrow.
Booted from my WTG drive on my laptop, seems to work Ok. I'm posting this from it. I noticed one thing that may have messed me up earlier. On first boot it does the "Getting devices ready" and eventually reboots. If I'm not watching it then boots into the internal hard drive instead of the windows to go drive. I think that happened when I was testing earlier and I didn't notice. Footballs on now so I think this will be it for tonight.