Windows 10: WinToGo Free Version for W10 Pro Solved

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  1.    20 Apr 2017 #51

    cereberus said: View Post
    Then you do not understand how windows caches writing for usb drives. If it waited until all data was written before doing next activity, it would slow down the drive performance. So if you eject drive before the write cache is clear, it can fail to write data and that data is lost. Drives can get corrupted if critical data. The option is there to ensure the write cache is cleared.
    However, some modern flash drives are very fast, making this less of an issue than historically. Nine+ times out of ten, removing it will not be a problem but Sod's Law says the one time it is supercritical to you is the one time it will fail on you.
    I do understand how they work but if one is so uninformed on their use they shouldn't be using be using WTG anyway.

    On another note. The general usefulness of WTG is being hampered by security concerns. I have an upcoming appointment with a Merrill Lynch financial planner and just found out that they don't allow USB drives on corporate computers. So what institutions would allow WTG to be used on "their" PC's?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    20 Apr 2017 #52

    wptski said: View Post
    I do understand how they work but if one is so uninformed on their use they shouldn't be using be using WTG anyway.

    On another note. The general usefulness of WTG is being hampered by security concerns. I have an upcoming appointment with a Merrill Lynch financial planner and just found out that they don't allow USB drives on corporate computers. So what institutions would allow WTG to be used on "their" PC's?
    As far as I know, the original intent of Windows To Go (official version) was so employees could take their work environment Home. The IT pro would setup the WTG drive with that persons work user account, and set it up to connect to the company network. That's why you are officially limited to Enterprise installs. Instead of carrying a laptop home they just use the WTG thumb drive on their Home PC. The local drives are hidden so no harm is done to their personal PC. Unplug the drive and they have their Home OS back. The IT pro would also dictate whether it could be run on company computers. Most corporations don't want outsiders messing with company PC's. Unless setup for that purpose.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    20 Apr 2017 #53

    alphanumeric said: View Post
    As far as I know, the original intent of Windows To Go (official version) was so employees could take their work environment Home. The IT pro would setup the WTG drive with that persons work user account, and set it up to connect to the company network. That's why you are officially limited to Enterprise installs. Instead of carrying a laptop home they just use the WTG thumb drive on their Home PC. The local drives are hidden so no harm is done to their personal PC. Unplug the drive and they have their Home OS back. The IT pro would also dictate whether it could be run on company computers. Most corporations don't want outsiders messing with company PC's. Unless setup for that purpose.
    Exactly.

    Minor point - WTG is now in PRO but not sure when it slipped in as a feature.
    Last edited by cereberus; 20 Apr 2017 at 20:41.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 1,829
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       21 Apr 2017 #54

    Portable Windows, AKA Windows to Go on a USB drive first became available in Windows 7 Embedded Standard (on MDL I pushed for a subforum back in 2011!) and I posted a basic tutorial thread there on Portable WES7 on SD card | My Digital Life Forums back in August 2011 as a curiosity. It probably also works with a standard Windows 7 installation - I don't know if anybody tried to do it. WES7 had the write filters in the feature packages to protect the portable storage from data corruption.

    The original intention, I think was to show that it was possible to have a portable Windows, because every Linux version (nearly) had a live CD, and could be used to service any PC, at least with basic fixes, such as retrieving files from locked-up systems. Windows setup disks could do no better than sometimes fix the OS they installed, and odd CDs like Hirens and Bart's PE at least gave an impression of a Windows system and could effectively run some Dos, NT & Windows utilities. No one at Microsoft, with the exception of the Embedded development group, wanted to provide a portable Windows toolkit, because of the danger it may have caused to Mainstream Windows.

    Then, again, with Windows 8, all it required was a sufficiently sized and fast USB device, Imagex.exe, a windows image source file, and a few commands from the cmd console. I still have a Windows 8 CP on a 16GB Sandisk Cruser Blade (somewhere) that works fine on anything I stick it into! Except that it times out after a couple of hours because it is expired. On Eightforums there were tutorials and discussion threads that ran and ran...

    Windows 8 Forums - Search Results for Windows To Go

    Here's Wolfgang's (@whs@eightforums) excellent tutorial, still worth a read if you are interested in WTG:

    Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

    (How is Wolfgang recently - does anyone know?)

    Take note of his drive benchmarking, it's important if you want a usable WTG.

    See the link below for all WAIK tool versions since Vista to the Windows 10 ADK

    Get WAIK Tools w/o loading the huge ISO's.

    There is no longer the need to download the entire Windows AIK or Deployment ISO to get the MS wimfile tool Imagex.exe, see link above, but there is an opensource version (\bin\wimlib-imagex.exe) on every ESDtoISO or UUPtoISO download from Kari's Tutorials on Tenforums. It has a slightly simpler syntax than the MS tool:

    Wimlib-imagex apply d:\sources\install.wim 1 t:

    when applying the first indexed image from the mounted ISO in Drive D: to the target volume t:

    The wimlib project repository can be found here:

    wimlib - Main page

    Nothing much has changed with Windows 10 except it is even bigger. Which means you will need even more patience.

    The problem with uncertified USB flash memory drives is the read speeds may be fairly fast, but write speeds tend to be very much slower - which affects installation, which may take hours, but is more forgiving on actually running the portable installations. The write filters hold much data off the drive sometimes enabling reasonable operating speeds, so even moderately featured USB drives, such as Sandisk Cruser can run Portable Windows 8 with reasonable speed, still slower than a hard disk, though but just workable. But they really can't cope with Windows 10. You also need to get the Pagefile off the USB and the hiberfile by turning hibernation off.

    It's still miles better to use an external USB or E-SATA hard drive or SSD.

    You can still apply the Install.wim or esd image to a single formatted NTFS volume on the USB flash drive and then use BCDboot to write the Boot files to the same drive. There is no need for Fat32 or ExFat. A 16 GB drive is just enough for an x86 pro installation, especially when pagefiles and hiberfile have been removed. You can set up a pagefile later, although the Wiseguys might sort out a 1 GB ramdrive for it.

    Once rebooted from the drive, after starting services, and getting devices ready, and then getting ready, it will eventually go through the OOBE with Cortana talking you through, although she gets ahead of the speed you can get to the screens for your responses most of the time. Then once at the start screen and the final snagging, and a couple of reboots to get everything bedded in, it's activated on the machine's digital license - or not, because you are running on an non-Windows 10 Pro machine, it doesn't matter. It is totally promiscuous, and will pick up licenses where available and stay unlicensed elsewhere. It will run through the starting services, and getting devices ready, and then getting ready on each new machine it visits, but should retain the memory of settings of previously visited hardware, and start up faster.

    Here's one I made today running 15063.168 on the Dell laptop:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	6 
Size:	160.1 KB 
ID:	131277

    In a short while I have it running on the desktop, Fingers crossed,
    As a final aside, Windows 10 and 8 can be moved around from computer to computer on their hard disks, and will normally automatically find the correct updates and drivers without too much problem. With Windows 10 there is the virtue that if the machine you move the drive to will automatically confer its digital license, if it has one, via the Microsoft activation servers under the current state of play, and especially if a Microsoft Account is being used.


    Funnily enough, the last Windows 8.1 Macrium Image that I transferred to a different machine, also with a Microsoft Account logon immediately activated on the new hardware, when booted up. Not even remotely similar hardware - AMD/ATI Laptop to Intel/Nvidia Desktop - go figure that?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    21 Apr 2017 #55

    cereberus said: View Post
    Exactly.

    Minor point - WTG is now in PRO but not sure when it slipped in as a feature.
    I had to go have a look to confirm that. It is there now in Pro. Also not sure when it was added, I've been running the Education version for a while now. I bet it still will only let you create an enterprise WTG drive though. Will confirm it myself at some point. I don't have time at the moment though.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Apr 2017 #56

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    Portable Windows, AKA Windows to Go on a USB drive first became available in Windows 7 Embedded Standard (on MDL I pushed for a subforum back in 2011!) and I posted a basic tutorial thread there on Portable WES7 on SD card | My Digital Life Forums back in August 2011 as a curiosity. It probably also works with a standard Windows 7 installation - I don't know if anybody tried to do it. WES7 had the write filters in the feature packages to protect the portable storage from data corruption.

    The original intention, I think was to show that it was possible to have a portable Windows, because every Linux version (nearly) had a live CD, and could be used to service any PC, at least with basic fixes, such as retrieving files from locked-up systems. Windows setup disks could do no better than sometimes fix the OS they installed, and odd CDs like Hirens and Bart's PE at least gave an impression of a Windows system and could effectively run some Dos, NT & Windows utilities. No one at Microsoft, with the exception of the Embedded development group, wanted to provide a portable Windows toolkit, because of the danger it may have caused to Mainstream Windows.

    Then, again, with Windows 8, all it required was a sufficiently sized and fast USB device, Imagex.exe, a windows image source file, and a few commands from the cmd console. I still have a Windows 8 CP on a 16GB Sandisk Cruser Blade (somewhere) that works fine on anything I stick it into! Except that it times out after a couple of hours because it is expired. On Eightforums there were tutorials and discussion threads that ran and ran...

    Windows 8 Forums - Search Results for Windows To Go

    Here's Wolfgang's (@whs@eightforums) excellent tutorial, still worth a read if you are interested in WTG:

    Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

    (How is Wolfgang recently - does anyone know?)

    Take note of his drive benchmarking, it's important if you want a usable WTG.

    See the link below for all WAIK tool versions since Vista to the Windows 10 ADK

    Get WAIK Tools w/o loading the huge ISO's.

    There is no longer the need to download the entire Windows AIK or Deployment ISO to get the MS wimfile tool Imagex.exe, see link above, but there is an opensource version (\bin\wimlib-imagex.exe) on every ESDtoISO or UUPtoISO download from Kari's Tutorials on Tenforums. It has a slightly simpler syntax than the MS tool:

    Wimlib-imagex apply d:\sources\install.wim 1 t:

    when applying the first indexed image from the mounted ISO in Drive D: to the target volume t:

    The wimlib project repository can be found here:

    wimlib - Main page

    Nothing much has changed with Windows 10 except it is even bigger. Which means you will need even more patience.

    The problem with uncertified USB flash memory drives is the read speeds may be fairly fast, but write speeds tend to be very much slower - which affects installation, which may take hours, but is more forgiving on actually running the portable installations. The write filters hold much data off the drive sometimes enabling reasonable operating speeds, so even moderately featured USB drives, such as Sandisk Cruser can run Portable Windows 8 with reasonable speed, still slower than a hard disk, though but just workable. But they really can't cope with Windows 10. You also need to get the Pagefile off the USB and the hiberfile by turning hibernation off.

    It's still miles better to use an external USB or E-SATA hard drive or SSD.

    You can still apply the Install.wim or esd image to a single formatted NTFS volume on the USB flash drive and then use BCDboot to write the Boot files to the same drive. There is no need for Fat32 or ExFat. A 16 GB drive is just enough for an x86 pro installation, especially when pagefiles and hiberfile have been removed. You can set up a pagefile later, although the Wiseguys might sort out a 1 GB ramdrive for it.

    Once rebooted from the drive, after starting services, and getting devices ready, and then getting ready, it will eventually go through the OOBE with Cortana talking you through, although she gets ahead of the speed you can get to the screens for your responses most of the time. Then once at the start screen and the final snagging, and a couple of reboots to get everything bedded in, it's activated on the machine's digital license - or not, because you are running on an non-Windows 10 Pro machine, it doesn't matter. It is totally promiscuous, and will pick up licenses where available and stay unlicensed elsewhere. It will run through the starting services, and getting devices ready, and then getting ready on each new machine it visits, but should retain the memory of settings of previously visited hardware, and start up faster.

    Here's one I made today running 15063.168 on the Dell laptop:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	6 
Size:	160.1 KB 
ID:	131277

    In a short while I have it running on the desktop, Fingers crossed,
    As a final aside, Windows 10 and 8 can be moved around from computer to computer on their hard disks, and will normally automatically find the correct updates and drivers without too much problem. With Windows 10 there is the virtue that if the machine you move the drive to will automatically confer its digital license, if it has one, via the Microsoft activation servers under the current state of play, and especially if a Microsoft Account is being used.


    Funnily enough, the last Windows 8.1 Macrium Image that I transferred to a different machine, also with a Microsoft Account logon immediately activated on the new hardware, when booted up. Not even remotely similar hardware - AMD/ATI Laptop to Intel/Nvidia Desktop - go figure that?

    This is NOT Windows To Go (MS trademark) which is a very specific system as I explained. People inaccurately use the term to describe Windows installed on a usb drive which is very similar but not identical.

    I would not even bother doing it the way in the tutorials when it is about five mouse clicks using wintousb.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    21 Apr 2017 #57

    Rufus vs WinToUSB, W10 Pro 64-bit v1703, PNY 128GB 3.0 from a legacy 2.0 port.

    Both had issues on the install, Rufus had a sudden reboot and WinToUSB had a System Service Exception on ky.sys file. Installs weren't exactly the same for whatever reason but both got there. Both aren't very fast but WinToUSB is noticeably slower in operation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    22 Apr 2017 #58

    wptski said: View Post
    Rufus vs WinToUSB, W10 Pro 64-bit v1703, PNY 128GB 3.0 from a legacy 2.0 port.

    Both had issues on the install, Rufus had a sudden reboot and WinToUSB had a System Service Exception on ky.sys file. Installs weren't exactly the same for whatever reason but both got there. Both aren't very fast but WinToUSB is noticeably slower in operation.
    Try turning off Defender temporarily whilst using Wintousb.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    22 Apr 2017 #59

    cereberus said: View Post
    Try turning off Defender temporarily whilst using Wintousb.
    Don't use the worthless Defender.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    22 Apr 2017 #60

    wptski said: View Post
    Don't use the worthless Defender.
    You show a real lack of understanding when you say a silly statement like that. Try turning off whatever AV you use.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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