How to Put Windows 8 on USB Flash Drive with Command Prompt?

December 23, 2014

How to put Windows 8 on a USB drive with Command Prompt? Win 8 Enterprise gives its users a new option to boot Windows 8 from a USB drive on any computer. If you don

Windows 8 Enterprise Edition has a new feature that enables the users to run Windows 8 from a USB drive, and that is the magical Windows To Go (Tips: if you are using Windows 8 Enterprise, it is able to put Windows 8 on USB with Windows To Go Creator). With this new feature, one can use their own Windows 8 on any devices where they go. However, only Windows 8 Enterprise Edition offers its users a Windows To Go Creator Wizard to put Windows 8 on a USB drive. For those who do not have Win 8 Enterprise Edition, they can still create a Windows To Go workspace via using the Command Prompt.

Before You Start

  • 1. This method is only available on Windows 8, 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 clients.
  • 2. Please make sure that there's at least one primary partition on the USB drive, and it also must be an active partition with NTFS file system.
  • 3. The capacity of the USB drive better be larger than 16GB.
  • 4. For best results, use a Windows To Go certified 3.0 USB drive.

Step1. In this example, C drive is the system drive. E drive is the USB drive and the Windows 8 image is mounted to F drive.

Put Win8 on USB Drive

Step2. Press Win+R then enter "CMD" to launch the Command Prompt. In the pop-up window, input "diskpart" and press the Enter button.

Launch Command Prompt

Step3. Enter "disk list", thus we can see all the drives on this computer. And here in the picture below, Disk 1 is the destination USB drive.

Windows To Go Command Line

Step4. Input the command lines in the picture below to format the USB drive and activate the partition. Then assign the drive letter as E.

Win8 To Go Command Prompt

Step5. Use the Dism.exe to release the install.wim file from drive F and transfer it to drive E, please input the command line below.

Create Windows To Go USB

Step6. Enter "bcdboot e:\windows /s e: /f ALL" to make the USB drive bootable. Thus you've successfully put the Windows 8 image on the USB drive. You can run your Windows 8 on any computer from this USB drive now!