How to Run a Portable Version of Windows from a USB Drive?

April 1, 2017

Here provides you the very best way to run a portable version of Windows from a USB drive. The Windows to Go Creator of AOMEI Partition Assistant should be help a lot.

Why you want to run a portable version of Windows from a USB drive?

When you are on a business trip, you may want to go with light pack. However, you have to take with your heavy laptop because you want to use you own operating system for work. While if you have a portable version of Windows from a USB drive, then, you can run a portable version of your own operating system from the USB drive on any computer in anywhere.

Windows to Go in Windows

If you want to run a portable version of Windows from a USB drive, you can transfer your OS to the USB drive. Windows 8 and Windows 10 provides you a great tool Windows to Go, which can help you transfer your Windows to USB drive so that you can bring your own device to work more convenient. But it is only existing in the Enterprise edition, and you must use Microsoft-certificated USB drive, which should be at least 32GB. What if you are not using the Windows 8 Enterprise or Windows 10 Enterprise? What if your USB drive isn’t Microsoft-certificated?

Transfer Windows to USB drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant

Windows to Go in Windows 8/10 Enterprise edition has many limitations. But fortunately, here you can use a third party software to transfer Windows to USB drive without the limitations of Windows to Go.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a great powerful partition manager that has a great tool Windows to Go Creator, which can help you create Windows to Go USB drive for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10, no matter it is Enterprise edition or not, no matter the USB drive is Microsoft-certificated or not. The next content is for you to make portable version of Windows 10 with USB drive.

Before you do, here you need to prepare for it:

  • A 32GB or larger USB drive (13GB USB drive is OK for Windows 8). AOMEI Partition Assistant supports both USB 3.0 (recommended) and USB 2.0 port.

  • A Windows 10 ISO/ESD file or installation disc. If you have an installation disc, you can insert it to your computer. While if you have Windows ISO/ESD file, you can extract it to a proper place with WinRAR or WinZIP, or mount it as virtual drive by using third-party ISO mounting or burning software such as DAEMON Tools Lite.

After the preparation, you can start to create Windows to Go USB drive in the following steps.

Step1. Connect your USB drive to your computer via the USB port. And make sure your computer can detect it. Then, free download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install and launch it. Click the Windows to Go Creator at the left side to open the wizard.

Windows to Go Creator

Step2. In the Windows to Go Creator wizard, click Refresh to select your USB drive. Then, click Browse to find the Windows 10 installation file (named install.wim or install.esd).

Proceed

Step3.Then, you can click Proceed to execute the task. Wait till the progress finished.

Note:

This program will delete all data on this USB drive and format it. If you had stored important data on the USB drive, backup them up with AOMEI Backupper first.

Now, you already have a Windows to Go USB drive, and you can plug in this portable USB drive into any computer, and enter into BIOS to change the firmware boot order to USB first so that you can run a portable version of Windows from USB drive. For other Windows operating system, you can use the Partition Copy wizard to copy system partition to the USB drive so that it can boot from the USB drive after copy. Besides, you can also make a bootable USB drive with this free partition manager. What’s more, AOMEI also provide you more advanced features, and you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to get more.