Convert Physical Disk to Windows to Go by VHD, Boot Error

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  1. Ryu
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       #1

    Convert Physical Disk to Windows to Go by VHD, Boot Error


    Hey guys, I'm stuck in this dilemma and I would appreciate any help that would come.
    I'm sorry, I though that maybe since my problem is about Virtual Hard Disks then maybe this is the right section...
    Correct me if I'm wrong :)
    So here's the thing,

    1. I have Windows 10 Pro, activated thanks to my activated windows 8.1 pro which I just updated. basically buying a new Win10 cd key is a no-go for me since Microsoft offers a free upgrade.

    2. I tried to do a clean install of windows 8.1 on a vhd in a USB. then from my Windows 8.1 to go, I tried to upgrade it to Windows 10 and got the following error:
    a.) Windows cannot be installed in a Virtual Disk.
    b.) Windows cannot be installed in a Windows to Go Drive.
    So it seems that the only way to go is to convert my physical disk to a vhd and turn it into windows to go which I did using the diskpart procedure I fished out of the internet.

    Create vdisk file=D:\Win2Go.vhd maximum=59000 I was going to install it in a 64 GB Flashdrive
    Select vdisk file=D:\Win2Go
    attach vdisk
    detail vdisk
    convert mbr
    create partition primary1
    format fs=ntfs label='Win2Go" quick
    Assign letter=L

    And so I have a 64GB (almost) blank VHD. Now Using AOMEI Partition Assistant, I copied my entire C: Drive to the Virtual Disk. then transferred my VHD to my 64GB Flashdrive.
    then I created boot entries for my Flashdrive using BCDBOOT.

    L:\>Windows\System32> BCDBOOT.EXE L:\Windows /s E: E: is my Flashdrive drive letter
    and it says that boot files have been updated.

    PROBLEM: When I boot from the Flasdrive, Windows Boot Loader is seen (the one with the windows logo and circling little circles XD) but then I always get the "INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE" error!

    I tried updating the boot files of the VHD itself using BCDBOOT. I also tried to fixMBR, fixboot and rebuildbcd...
    Error still exists. What am I doing wrong? Sorry for the lengthy details, I'm still trying this stuff out :) thanks in advanced for the reply.
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  2. Ryu
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #2

    Well with a little bit more of nosing around, I found this great program that lets me convert my physical machine into a Windows-to-go drive. Its WinToUSB.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 107
    Win 7 Ultimate
       #3

    Ryu said:
    Well with a little bit more of nosing around, I found this great program that lets me convert my physical machine into a Windows-to-go drive. Its WinToUSB.
    Please do share how you used WinToUSB to convert a physical Drive + Partition Install to a WTG on VHD? Please share steps.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 11,173
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #4

    Hi there

    That's a WINPE image -- I don't think that's what the OP wanted -- I think he wanted something that replicated Windows to Go -- a 100% Windows system.

    Winpe is a bit of a cludge --it's useable as a recovery tool (although I prefer running a Windows VM from a bootable Linux system) - but in no way would you use it as a regular Windows system.

    (If you want WINPE systems there's zillions of ways to make those).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 TH2 Lastest Build
       #5

    actually this topic helped me about other things so thank you
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 107
    Win 7 Ultimate
       #6

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there

    That's a WINPE image -- I don't think that's what the OP wanted -- I think he wanted something that replicated Windows to Go -- a 100% Windows system.

    Winpe is a bit of a cludge --it's useable as a recovery tool (although I prefer running a Windows VM from a bootable Linux system) - but in no way would you use it as a regular Windows system.

    (If you want WINPE systems there's zillions of ways to make those).

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Jimbo - How do / did you do that? Please detail it from the current context for use as a Recovery Tool.

    ege914 said:
    actually this topic helped me about other things so thank you
    Ege - Please do share what things you were able to do based on this topic?
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 13,566
    Windows10
       #7

    An easy way to create a vhd from a physical OS is to use Macrium Reflect Free to create image of a physical OS, then use its "image to vhd" functionality.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 11,173
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #8

    xbliss said:
    Jimbo - How do / did you do that? Please detail it from the current context for use as a Recovery Tool.



    Ege - Please do share what things you were able to do based on this topic?
    Hi there

    1) Download the Media creation tool from the Ms site and create an ISO.

    2) download Best Windows To Go Creator to create bootable Windows 10/8.1/8/7 USB drive!

    3) IMPORTANT : Run the wintousb tool ON THE MACHINE YOUR ACTIVATED W10 system is running on. Point to the ISO image you created from the Ms media creation tool and use preferably an external SSD as the target for your Windows system.

    4) Should take about 30 mins to run

    5) Now boot from external SSD -- You've got nice activated W10 to Go !!!!.

    6) Add programs / drivers for your choice. It's standard Windows so you don't need to fiddle around with the PE environment to add programs and features.

    Note : USB3 will give better performance but USB2 is OK. If using an SSD or old laptop HDD for example use SATA-->USB2 (or better USB3) connector --cost only a few USD.

    Doing it this way rather than using a VHD means that you don't need to have ANY working HDD's in the host machine. With a VHD you need at least a minimal OS to mount the VHD.

    This Windows to Go is a full 100% working Windows system. !!! Ideal for an old SSD - it fits nicely on to an old 120GB SSD if you have one of those with plenty of spare storage space. Performance is just fine too --even when connected to a USB2 port.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 107
    Win 7 Ultimate
       #9

    @jimbo - This is what I was asking about actually -

    (although I prefer running a Windows VM from a bootable Linux system)
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 13,566
    Windows10
       #10

    With a little bit of work, you can go one stage futher and install multiple versions of OS eg 10 pro, 7 ultimate, 8.1 core etc.

    Thanks to NavyLCDR for the tip (cannot find link immediately). He did it for a legacy bios install, and I refined it very slighty for a UEFI install (but all credit goes to NavyLCDR).

    As an aside, if you activate your installation with a valid full retail key rather than using a digital licence, you can legally move usb drive to another pc.

    Wintousb is quite clever - if you boot from drive on another pc, it reinstalls drivers (works well for 8/10 but a bit hit or miss for 7).

    If you do not use a retail key, you have to activate on each new pc in normal ways.
      My Computer


 

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