When need to make a portable Windows 8 workspace?
If you are always on the business trip, perhaps you are in the need of using your familiar Windows 8 operating system without having to install it on a computer. Then you might need a Windows 8 portable workspace creator, with which you can make a copy of Windows 8 and take it anywhere, to use on any computer you want.
In other words, with the portable Windows 8 workspace, you don’t need to install it again on any other computer. All you need to do is to insert the bootable drive in the computer, boot the computer and work in your very own Windows 8 OS.
Make a portable Win 8 USB drive with native "Windows To GO" feature
If you are running with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Enterprise version, you can use the “Windows To Go” feature developed by Microsoft. It lets you install a portable version of Windows 8 Enterprise on a “certified” flash drive. Below is the instruction:
To complete the operation, you’ll need:
①A USB drive that has been certified by Microsoft as compatible, with minimum 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) of memory (32 GB recommended).
②Your Windows 8 installation disc or ISO image.
③Windows 8 Enterprise installed on your computer.
④Back up the USB drive in advance because the process will format the drive.
Step 1. Download the Windows 8 or 8.1 Enterprise ISO image ISO file from the Microsoft official site and mount it on Windows 8 by double-clicking it in File Explorer. Or you can insert the physical Windows 8 installation disc (if available) into your computer. Open the disc drive in Windows Explorer and enter the “sources” directory. Locate the “install.wim” file — that’s at X:\sources\install.wim, where X is the drive letter of the disc.
Step 2. Connect the certified USB flash drive to your computer with Windows 8 Enterprise installed.
Step 3. Press Windows + W keys, type ”Windows To Go” in search box, and then press Enter key to launch “Create a Windows To Go Workplace” .
Step 4. Select the USB drive you inserted to create Windows 8 To Go and then click ”Next” .
Step 5. Pick the previously extracted install.wim files below. Click ”Add search location” to browse the folder where the files extracted from install.wim file is saved. Select the folder and click "Open" button to load the image. And click “Next” to continue.
Step 6. In this window, you can enter a password to protect your portable Windows 8 workspace with BitLocker encryption and click “Next” button to proceed. Or you can simply click ”Skip” button to proceed to the next step.
Step 7. Click ”Create” button to begin creating your Windows To Go drive.
Step 8. When asked “Do you want to automatically boot from it when you restart your PC?”, you can select “Yes” to automatically boot from it and test it.
Best Windows 8 portable workspace creator
As mentioned above, making a portable Windows8 workspace with Win To Go just works on Windows 8 Enterprise version, and it requires a certified flash drive. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the Enterprise edition of Windows 8, nor a certified flash drive. So, you might need a more powerful Windows 8 portable workspace creator.
Here we would like to recommend a tool called AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional that can essentially do the same thing, no matter what version of Windows 8/8.1/7/10 you have. Besides, it does not require a certified USB drive. Moreover, it allows you to create a portable Windows 7/8/10 USB drive with the current operating system. Namely, you don’t have to prepare the corresponding Windows ISO files or installation disc.
You can download the free demo version and see how it works.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Click “All Tools” > “Windows To Go Creator”.
Step 2. In the pop-out window, choose “Create Windows ToGo for personal computer” and click “Next”.
Note: if you want to run Windows from USB on Mac, you can click “Create Windows ToGo for Mac computer”.
Step 3. Select “Create Windows ToGo with system disc/iso”. Choose the Windows ISO files and click “Next”.
Step 4. Choose the inserted USB drive and click “Proceed”. Then wait for the process to be done.
Note: if the Windows ISO files are not available, you can choose “Create Windows ToGo with current system” in step 3. Then choose the USB drive, click “Proceed” to start the process.
After you’ve finished the process, you can take the USB drive and test it on another computer to see if the process finished successfully. But you should note the computer must be configured in BIOS previously to boot from USB because the USB is usually of MBR partition style.
In this post, we share two Windows 8 portable workspace creators: Windows native “Windows To Go” and “Windows To Go Creator” from AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Apparently, the latter is much better. No matter which version of Windows 8/8.1 you are running, or whether you have ISO files, you can make it done easily.
Apart from allowing you to create a portable Windows 8 workspace, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also enables you to migrate OS to SSD, recover lost partitions, allocate free space from one partition to another, etc. For Windows Server users, there is AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.