How to Create a Bootable USB Windows To Go Installation for Windows 10

Home > Blogs > Windows 10 > How to Create a Bootable USB Windows To Go Installation for Windows 10

How to Create a Bootable USB Windows To Go Installation for Windows 10

Like This Blog 1Mike Danseglio
Added by March 21, 2016

I am a huge Windows 10 fan. I’ve had great success with deployment and configuration so far. Most of the functionality I want from both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is in there, along with lots of new features and improvements.

For instructor-led Windows 10 training, see our complete class schedule

Windows 8 introduced the concept of Windows To Go, a feature that installs and runs the operating system entire on a USB stick. This makes Windows fully portable including configuration, applications, and local storage. It runs super quick and works on most modern PCs. Windows 10 still supports Windows To Go and improves performance even further. I tend to use Windows To Go when I need a portable application installation, especially when travelling.

Here’s how I build my Windows To Go stick with Windows 10.

First, I gather the necessary supplies. These are:

  • A working PC running Windows 7 or later. I build the image from a current PC.
  • A blank USB stick. It must be 8GB or larger, preferably 16GB or larger for local storage, and should be USB 3.
  • The original installation ISO from Microsoft. I use MSDN to download an ISO directly from Microsoft to avoid malware that might be introduced by third parties.
  • Rufus. It’s a fantastic little (< 1MB) utility for formatting and imaging bootable USB sticks. I always grab the most current version directly from the author’s site Rufus- Create bootable USB drives the easy way.
You may also like:  Where did BIOS [UEFI] Setup Go in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10?

Before mucking with the software I insert the USB stick in the PC and make sure it is recognized. I also remove any other USB or removable media to prevent mishaps.

Next, I fire up Rufus.

001-Bootable-USB-Windows-To-Go-Installation-for-Win-10

Rufus automatically recognizes the USB drive. Then I click the icon to the right of the Create a bootable disk using option. This opens a file browse window. I browse to the Windows 10 ISO that I downloaded from MSDN and click OK.

Most important is that I click the Windows To Go option as shown here.

002-RuFus-Bootable-USB-Windows-To-Go-Installation-for-Win-10

Now all I need to do is click Start. Rufus automatically formats the USB stick as bootable and copies the Windows 10 files into the proper locations.

After about 5 minutes Rufus announces that it’s finished. Now that USB stick can be used as a boot device (on any PC that boots to USB) to run a full copy of Windows 10.

Enjoy!

Mike Danseglio – CISSP, MCSE, and CEH

You may also like:  Windows 10 - Deployment Wipe-and-Load, In-Place and Provisioning

Mike Danseglio teaches IT Security Training, Windows, System Center and Windows Server 2012 classes at Interface Technical Training. His classes are available in Phoenix, AZ and online with RemoteLive™.

Videos You May Like

Windows 10 Features and Navigation – December 1, 2015

0 25 1

In this video, Windows Instructor Steve Fullmer presents the navigation and some of the new features associated with Windows 10 including Sysinternals Tools for Windows Client, Windows core concepts, exploring Process Explorer as well as some of the features that are not yet ready for prime time but will be released shortly in the future with Windows 10.

How to clone a Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 Domain Controller

0 302 2

One of the coolest new features in Window Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is the ability to clone a Domain Controller. In the past, if we had virtualized Domain Controllers and we actually took a snapshot of it and then rolled back to that snapshot, it would break the logon service on that … Continue reading How to clone a Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 Domain Controller

Detailed Forensic Investigation of Malware Infections – April 21, 2015

2 137 1

In this IT Security training video, Security expert Mike Danseglio (CISSP / CEH) will perform several malware investigations including rootkits, botnets, viruses, and browser toolbars.

Write a Comment

See what people are saying...

  1. Ludwig

    Hey Mike,

    I downloaded Windows on my Imac (late 2012), but in Rufus no – Windows to go – option showed up. What could be the problem/solution?

    Kind Regards,

    Ludwig

Share your thoughts...

Please fill out the comment form below to post a reply.