The official “Windows To Go” feature from Microsoft is only for Windows Enterprise
or Education and requires a certified USB flash drive (which are expensive).
The other alternative requires:
- The Rufus freeware
- A Windows ISO
I describe below the procedure using Rufus.
An alternative product is
that you may try if the installation as done by Rufus has problems.
A write-up of the process using FlashBoot can be found in the ghacks article
How to create a running copy of Windows on USB Flash Drives.
Create and use the USB with Rufus as follows:
In Rufus, select the USB device you want to install Windows on in the Device box
Click Select and point at the Windows ISO to install
Click on the “Image option” box and select “Windows To Go”
Click “Partition Scheme” and select “MBR”
Click “Target System” and select BIOS or UEFI.
Click the “Start” button for Rufus to format the drive and install Windows
Wait for the process to complete and then safely remove the USB drive from the PC
Leave the USB connected to the computer
Restart the computer and enter BIOS
Set the PC to boot from the portable USB by changing the boot order
Save BIOS changes and check that the boot from the USB does succeed
- Starting with Windows version 1809 the USB needs to be formatted as type NTFS
and not FAT32, since the file is larger than 4 GB
- Booting from “Windows To Go” or the Rufus-generated boot USB will require
answering some dialogs, so is never as quick as from hard disk.
For more information see
How (and Why) to Run Portable Versions of Windows.