What's a recommended USB drive for a dedicated Windows 10 boot device?

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  1. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 3,844
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2
       #21

    I think everyone is a bit confused here, @cytherian wants W10 on a USB stick. Correct me if I`m wrong @cytherian

    Not a W10 installer.

    As per reply #5

    If this is the case then I`d go with a 32GB, 16GB would cut it too close.
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  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,073
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #22

    cytherian said:
    So an installation USB drive would be the intent.
    I take "an installation USB drive" to mean an installer. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Megahertz said:
    Yes, "Live Linux" is an "installed" Linux ISO on a USB
    I used USB Image Writer to write the ISO onto my Linux Live device. No installation was needed.
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  3. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 3,844
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2
       #23

    cytherian said:
    Sorry for not being more specific.
    Ideally I'd like to have a full Windows 10 installation, but I expect that would require a separate full license as OEM is for only 1 computer at a time. So an installation USB drive would be the intent.
    Ya he changes from this to that in 2 sentences in Reply #5

    But I believe he was trying to do the former, Have a complete W10 OS on a USB stick.
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  4. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,198
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.928 (x64) [21H1]
       #24

    Corsair Voyager GTX is as fast as a 2.5" SSD, if anyone cares.

    Amazon.com





    What's a recommended USB drive for a dedicated Windows 10 boot device?-image1.png
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  5. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 317
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #25

    jimbo45 said:
    @cytherian,
    Easily do-able -- if the Windows system was made on the same computer as your current one then it would have a digital license. I use an external SSD for a full Windows system

    However another option might be to create a virtual drive on to your device and boot from it :
    You can install the VHDX to a device already running other operating system installations, or as the only operating system on a device.
    1) Create a VHDX from diskpart. ...
    2) Apply a Windows image to the VHD. ...
    3) Detach the VHD, copy it to a new device, and attach it (optional) ...
    4) Add a boot entry.
    How to boot your PC from a VHD. Today we are going to talk about… | by David Linton | Tech Jobs Academy | Medium
    This should eliminate the Activation problem.
    Thanks, jimbo! Looks intriguing.
    I use a Fedora 33 KDE live distro as an emergency tool for fixing things. - Even when cloning windows (or other) discs I use the dd command. Any Live distro is OK - loads out there so take your choice --I'd recommend one with a GUI though.
    GPARTED is also a very useful partition manager - if it's not on the live distro install it with the relevant package manager -- on a live distro you can install things (remember though not much space so you can't install a lot) but they all get wiped again on the next re-boot. If you have problems with Windows files install ntfs-3g package for read/write to ntfs -- usually its installed by default. GPARTED has a similar GUI to current Windows partition managers and no nags etc about "Going PRO" for "Extra features" etc.
    Did you choose Fedora 33 KDE live distro over others for certain reasons, like amount of space required and available tools?
    Are there some good free Linux based tools that can be used for doing NTFS file system diagnostic & repair work? I was thinking that after selecting some I could store them on the Live Distro USB drive and install them fresh after booting whenever I needed to do some emergency work.

    AddRAM said:
    Ya he changes from this to that in 2 sentences in Reply #5But I believe he was trying to do the former, Have a complete W10 OS on a USB stick.
    Yes, my original intent was to be able to have a full Windows 10 installation on a USB drive, such that I could boot from that if the instance of Windows 10 on my primary drive ever suffered a system fault. But with licensing it seemed that wouldn't be feasible, and so I then thought about alternatives, like either a bootable USB drive for doing an installation repair, or perhaps a Linux boot for diagnostic work. It sounds from what @jimbo45 said that it is possible to have a full Windows system running on an external SSD using the Windows license from the same machine.No harm in having multiple pathways.Ideally, I'd like to have 3 bootable USB devices:1. Full windows system on USB drive2. Linux ISO (which I understand is non-persistent)3. VM running Linux or Windows, with persistent capability
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  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,073
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #26

    Consider using a bootable Windows PE USB device, which does not require a license.
    Many members use the following although I don't use it anymore.
    Win10XPE - Build Your Own Rescue Media
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  7. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 317
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #27

    Ghot said:
    Corsair Voyager GTX is as fast as a 2.5" SSD, if anyone cares.
    Funny you should mention this. I actually own the 256Gb version of this USB drive. It's superb! I ran a USBDeview speed test on it--super fast, just like an installed 2.5" SSD. I use this for file transfers between my archive storage and laptops.
    I almost bought the SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO USB, that boasts of read speeds up to 430mbps... but it's not a true solid state drive like the Corsair GTX and has no SMART data reading support. I'm glad I spent a little more for the GTX (nabbed mine for $72 in Dec 2019).
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  8. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,198
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.928 (x64) [21H1]
       #28

    cytherian said:
    Funny you should mention this. I actually own the 256Gb version of this USB drive. It's superb! I ran a USBDeview speed test on it--super fast, just like an installed 2.5" SSD. I use this for file transfers between my archive storage and laptops.
    I almost bought the SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO USB, that boasts of read speeds up to 430mbps... but it's not a true solid state drive like the Corsair GTX and has no SMART data reading support. I'm glad I spent a little more for the GTX (nabbed mine for $72 in Dec 2019).


    Nice.
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  9. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,073
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #29

    [Official] Best Free Windows To Go Creator Wizard Helps Create Portable Windows 10/8/7!

    Install and run a fully-functional Windows on external hard drive, USB flash drive or Thunderbolt drive.
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  10. cytherian's Avatar
    Posts : 317
    Windows 10 v. 20H2, Build 19042.867
    Thread Starter
       #30

    Matthew Wai said:
    [Official] Best Free Windows To Go Creator Wizard Helps Create Portable Windows 10/8/7!
    Install and run a fully-functional Windows on external hard drive, USB flash drive or Thunderbolt drive.
    Looks interesting. I'd not heard of Hasleo software before. Would be nice if they had more current positive reviews (their quotes shown are from 2017).

    I rechecked my C:\Windows folder and it's showing as 615Gb. I'm presuming that a live image of Windows installed on USB must be some scaled down version, omitting non-essential files.
    Last edited by cytherian; 1 Week Ago at 15:36.
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