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I want to run Windows on a USB HD. To be clear, I don't want to install Windows from a USB HD, I want to run it there. I found many questions about doing that when search for duplicates, but none about running on the USB HD.

There's some commercial software WinToUSB that lets you do this. While it claims to be free the free version is crippled to the point you can't really use it.

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard says it can do this but doesn't recognise my USB drive. – paj28 Mar 8 '19 at 12:35
  • Rufus is another option but the "Windows To Go" options didn't apear for me – paj28 Mar 8 '19 at 12:43
  • Update: AOMEI now working for me – paj28 Mar 8 '19 at 13:07
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Rufus works pretty fine, you just need to select the proper .ISO file for Windows then the option for Windows To Go option appears.

If you wish to boot the device in Legacy mode, select the “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computer” option. Or, if you wish to boot it in the UEFI mode, select the “GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer”.

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Another good alternative is GImagexenter link description here

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This provides an older way of installing Windows on USB.

With GImageX tool, simply extract the downloaded archive and run the correct version of the program for your computer — the x64 one on a 64-bit version of Windows or the x86 one on a 32-bit version of Windows.

Click the Apply tab in GImageX. In the Source box, browse for the install.wim file you found earlier. In the Destination box, choose the external drive you’ll be installing Windows To Go on. Click the Apply button and GImageX will image the Install.wim file onto the USB drive.

I have used all these methods but personally I prefer using Win To USB, which is by far most straight-forward and easy to execute.

References

  1. How to Create A Windows To Go USB (Guide)
  2. How to Create a Windows To Go USB Drive Without the Enterprise Edition
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