Windows 8 - Optimized for Businesses Too!

On the Go with Windows To Go

On the Go with Windows To Go

Another feature that is built for the enterprise usage and is more than just making a convenient, portable and bootable Windows device. In fact, it allows enterprises to provide a full corporate work environment that is completely separate from the host machine and is a non-virtualized computing environment - all this bootable off a Windows To Go (WTG) USB drive.

 A truly portable workspace with the limitations of a typical virtualized computing environment.

In a nutshell, Windows To Go is a full Windows installation, allowing you to immerse in the Windows 8 computing environment with the exception of the host's storage drives. Your data and files stay on the WTG USB drive. We have covered WTG in far more detail over here, so we shall discuss the requirements and highlight some of the steps to create a WTG bootable USB drive for your own usage.

Hardware and Software Requirements to Create a WTG USB Drive:-

  • A USB drive, 32GB or larger in capacity
  • Windows 8 Enterprise edition DVD or ISO file
  • A PC operating Windows 8 Enterprise edition
  • 7-Zip or WinZip equivalent software (for extraction of archived files)

As listed above, this function is only available on an Enterprise edition of Windows 8 and it can only be invoked from a system running this OS. In addition to that, you'll need to insert your Windows 8 Enterprise edition installation disc into the drive of your PC. Alternatively, you can mount the ISO image file of the Windows 8 Enterprise edition software. Henceforth, are the steps to create a WTG USB drive:-

At the Modern UI of your PC that is running on Windows 8 Enterprise edition, press the Windows and the W buttons (Win + W). Type 'Windows to Go' in the search textbox. Click the Windows to Go tool.

 Select a suitable USB device that is attached to the PC and click the Next button to proceed.

 Select the image file named install.wim that is located in the 'source' folder of your Windows 8 installation disc. Click Next to proceed.

You can choose to encrypt your Windows 8 workspace with the BitLocker tool for a more secure computing environment. 

 Click Next to create your WTG workspace. Do note that all data on your USB drive will be deleted.

In the final step before the finalization of your WTG USB device, you can choose to boot from this device or opt for more control at the boot options menu at the BIOS level.

Upon booting into the WTG USB device, you would be presented with the Modern UI and it is almost impossible to tell at first glance that you're working off the WTG device.

 The Modern UI in WTG style on a USB disk!