Creating Windows 8 To Go on USB

Another cool features in Windows 8 is the “Windows To Go”. This feature allows you to run Windows directly from your USB Drive (thumbdrive or portable hard disk). Here are the steps to create the Windows 8 To Go.

Requirements (Download Links at the end of the post)

  • Running Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Windows 8 DVD ISO
  • Install-WindowsImage PowerShell Script
  • USB Drive (Microsoft officially recommend minimum size 32GB)

Open PowerShell by typing it on the Start Menu:

Ensure your USB Drive connected. In this case my USB Drive is assigned as G. Please check yours.
Run ‘diskpart’ as shown below:

Sample command as follows:
> list disk
> select disk 1
> list partition
> select partition 1
> format fs=ntfs quick
> active
*disk 1 and partition 1 depends on your system
*if your partition is not a ‘primary partition’ use command ‘delete partition’ and ‘create partition primary’

Ensure the Windows 8 DVD ISO is being mounted and take note the drive letter assigned. In my case, it is assigned as F. You can use DAEMON Tools Lite to mount the ISO image.

Run the Install-WindowsImage script in the PowerShell window.

*** NOTE ***
Note: Some machine prohibits the PowerShell’s script execution. In order to enable the script execution, enter the following command:
> Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
more info, refer to

In this case, the script was downloaded into C:. Firstly, we check how many configuration there are in the DVD Installer
> .Installer-WindowsImage.ps1 -WIM F:sourcesinstall.wim

Then, the command below is the install the image into USB Drive. In this case, DVD ISO mounted as F and USB Drive as G
> .Installer-WindowsImage.ps1 -WIM F:sourcesinstall.wim -Apply -Index 1 -Destination G:

Install boot into USB Drive as shown above. Again, in this case USB Drive is assigned as G.
The command:
> bcdboot.exe G:Windows /s G:

Success! At this point, you just need to connect your USB Drive to any machine and ensure to select boot with USB Storage.

So far, my Windows To Go USB has been tested on 4 different machines. Every time you connect to a different machine, it will take a while to prepare the device (maybe installing the proper driver). After that it runs normally. The performance is quite good!

On the debate, whether it is able to run on 16GB USB Drive, I would say it is likely to run. However, just take note that after installation completed, 5GB has been occupied. After the first run, 9GB has been occupied (could be due to the Virtual Memory Image file). So if you would like to install some apps, 16GB gonna be barely enough.

Last but not least, the Download Links:

:: aerobrainTech ::

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