By Emily / Last Updated October 29, 2019

Reasons to copy Windows from laptop to pen drive

If you copy OS from laptop to pen drive, flash drive, or other portable USB drives in a correct way, you can get a portable Windows environment. Then you will be able to carry the live Windows system anywhere and use it on any computer you want. Besides, you can also use it as an emergency bootable disk to boot up your computer again when your computer suddenly crashes due to system hard drive failure.

Best way to copy operating system to USB drive

How to copy OS from laptop to pendrive and use it as portable Windows? The Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education/Enterprise/Pro have a feature named "Windows To Go", with which you can copy Windows ISO image to a certified USB. Unfortunately, most of us don't use the Enterprise edition of Windows 8, Enterprise and Pro edition of Windows 10, nor have a certified flash drive. What's more, some users are using Windows 7.

However, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional offers an option called "Windows to Go Creator" that can do the same thing as the “Windows To Go” no matter what version of Windows OS you are running. It does not require a certified USB drive, either. In other words, it can create a portable Windows USB drive from any version of Windows 10/8/7 and on any type of USB drive. Moreover, it supports making portable Windows USB with current system in case that Windows ISO image files are not available.

How to copy OS from laptop to pen drive step by step?

In this section, we would like show you how AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional works when it comes to copying Windows operating system from laptop to pen drive. If you want to make a portable Windows Server USB, try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Before proceed:

  • Back up everything important on the target pen drive first of all since this process will delete all contents on the drive.

  • Connect the pen drive you plan to use to the laptop and make sure it is detected.

  • You can download the Professional Demo version and have a try first.

If you have Windows ISO files

If the Windows ISO files are available in your computer, you can follow this guide to copy OS to pen drive.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro on your laptop, click "All Tools" and then "Windows To Go Creator".

Win To Go Creator

Step 2. Select the first method "Create Windows To Go with system disc/ISO" and click "Next".

Create Win To Go With Windows Files

Step 3. In this window, choose the target pendrive first, and then click "Browse" to select Windows ISO files. Then hit on "OK" to continue.

Choose Windows Files

Step 4. At last, click "Proceed" to start copying operating system to selected pendrive.


If you do not have Windows ISO files

When you don't have Windows ISO file and don't want to download one, you can choose the second method "Create Windows To Go with current system" in above step 2, and then do as below.

Attention: this method is actually migrating the entire OS partition to the pendrive, so please ensure the drive has enough space to hold all data from that partition.

Step 1. After you choose the second method, you will access the next window where you can check your current OS information.

Current OS Information

Step 2. Now, select a USB drive from the list, if your pendrive does not appear, click "Refresh" and try again. Then click "Proceed".

Choose USB Drive

Step 3. Finally, the program will restart into WinPE mode to complete this task.

Create Winpe Environment

After copying operating system from laptop to USB drive via those two methods, you can plug this bootable drive into another computer, restart PC and enter BIOS to set the computer to boot from the bootable drive. Save changes and your system will boot from the USB drive then.


This is how to copy OS from laptop to pen drive under different situations. Choose a proper method according to your requirements. Apart from copying operating system to USB drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional even allows you to clone an entire system disk to SSD/HDD.