How to run Windows 8 from USB drive

You may want to know how to install and run Windows 8 from USB drive if you travel on a frequent basis but you don’t want to carry a laptop with you.

Or even if you regularly work with computers which are constantly missing apps and programs you need. When running Windows on a flash drive, you have all your software preferences with you without the need of carrying a computer.

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With the launch of MS Windows 8, Microsoft offered a new feature called “Windows To Go”. This particular feature is only available on Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise Edition. “Windows To Go” allows you to install a working copy of Windows 8/8.1 in your portable hard drive or USB disk.

The only downside of this useful feature is that Windows will – obviously – run slower on a thumb drive. To avoid some deep performance issues, it is advisable to use a USB 3.0 port.

Run windows 8 from USB flash drive

For obtaining a portable copy of Windows 8/8.1 version on your USB disk, there are two pre-requisites that you need to fulfill:

  • Obtain a “Windows To Go” certified USB disk
  • Purchase the Enterprise Edition of Windows 8/8.1

Afterward, the process is simple, and Microsoft has a detailed guide available on the complete procedure.
There is another easy way to install and run Windows 8 from USB flash drive, and as it works on all Windows 8/8.1 versions, we will teach it in an easy-to-understand and straightforward manner.

A step-by-step guide to install and run Windows 8 from USB flash drive:

  • Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition. It was previously known as Home Edition.
  • Insert the DVD containing Windows 8/8.1 in your drive. Alternatively, you can also use an image file (.iso). However, you need to use a Virtual Drive Manager such as Alcohol Portable or Daemon Tools Lite to mount the image. Regrettably, the software does not have the provision to create a bootable Windows 8/8.1 copy directly from an image.
  • Plug the USB drive in your computer. Make sure your flash drive does not have any data, and it has a capacity of at least 8 – 16 GB.
  • Now, run AOMEI and click the Windows To Go Creator link.
  • Check the selected drive on your computer. Make sure that you have selected the correct USB drive.
  • The software will automatically detect the installation files required. If it is unable to locate the file for some reason, browse your computer and give the path to the file titled “install.wm” present in the “sources” folder.
  • Click “Proceed” and the software will start the installation process. Depending on your USB drive, it will take some time, and then the installation will complete.
  • Now you can run Windows 8 from USB flash drive by simply plugging it in your computer.

Wrap Up

We hope our article has been useful. Following the steps mentioned above will help you to install and run Windows 8 from USB flash drive without much effort.

However, bear in mind that when you run Windows from USB hard drive it won’t run quite as fast from a USB drive as it would from a regular hard drive or SSD. But the best of ii is that you’ll have all the apps and settings you want ready for use.

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