Install Windows 8 on USB Flash Drive with Command Line

With the release of Windows 8 Enterprise edition, Microsoft presented the users a new function that allows them to use their own Window 8 on any devices just by installing it on a Windows 8 To Go USB flash drive. As for the Windows 8 To Go USB flash drive, it could be created in Windows 8 Enterprise edition built-in Windows To Go Creator Center, which also is the easiest and most convenient way. On the other hand, for Win7/8/2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users, they can still install Windows 8 on a USB drive by using the Command Prompt. This method is a little bit complicated comparing with Windows To Go Center. But it’ll be complicated no more after you reading the tutorials in this article.

Requirements on The USB Drive

1. The capacity should be at least 16 GB.
2. USB 3.0
3. NTFS file system

Step1. The system drive in this example is C drive. While the external USB drive is E drive. The Windows 8 image is mounted to F drive.

put win8 on usb drive

Step2. Use Win+R shortcut key to open the Run dialog box. After the windows pops up, enter “CMD” to launch the Command Prompt. In CMD window, input “diskpart”.

launch command prompt

Step3. Input “disk list” and press Enter button, hence all drives of this computer will be listed like in the picture below. This time, Disk 1 is the destination USB drive for WTG.

win to go command line

Step4. Enter the command lines in the picture below. This will format the USB drive and activate the partition. When it’s done, go assign the drive letter as E drive.

win8 to go command prompt

Step5. Open Dism.exe to extract the install.wim file from drive F and move it to E drive, this operation requires the command line below.

create windows to go usb

Step6. Enter the command line ”bcdboot e:windows /s e: /f ALL” to make the USB flash drive bootable. Now, the whole process of setup Windows 8 on a USB drive is over. You can take the USB drive anywhere to enjoy your Windows 8.