Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 - Wil EXternal Drive in Docking Station boot?

  1. #11


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by caperjack View Post
    but the OP wants to use a clone of his setup on a external drive permanently ,and leave his original drive as a go to if needed .
    Yes, I digressed a bit, sorry. My original post with the links was just to show that there was a little more to it that just cloning the drive and trying to boot from it. My hope is that something in the tutorial will show the OP how to get it to work. To be honest, I've only glanced at it myself. I have a working official WTG drive.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Instead of worrying about boot from USB the OP may be better off just using a drive tray for the internal drive. My friend on the other forum who is enamored of docking stations keeps backup clone drives in a drawer. He claims he boots out of drive failures in 15 miinutes or less. I believe him. At least for MBR based systems. I doubt he has migrated to W8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    The drive tray should work, that puts the drive back to being internal and not external going though the USB adapter. One way is free, if you can get it to work, the other isn't. It doesn't hurt to have options though, so it was s a good idea to mention it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    France
    Posts : 52
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    Thanks guys for your help. I was hoping that I could boot from the drive as a standby, but maybe not.

    I think I will just make a weekly copy of my OS Drive to this old drive, and then if my OS Drive has a problem, I can just put the old drive back into the tower and boot that way.

    If anyone else has any thoughts though, I would happily try anything!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Hafnarfjrur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    "Windows to GO" is the official way of doing what you are trying to do.
    Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk
    Windows To Go - Create in Windows 8 Enterprise
    Hi there

    Windows to GO is only for ENTERPRISE version -- there isn't any way to make OTHER VERSIONS of WINDOWS boot NATIVELY from an external USB drive -- this discussion often comes up but usually it's solutions like mounting VHD's (Virtual Hard drives) or whatever which require the BOOT device in the computer to be working.

    The best way of making a REAL totally portable bootable USB system where you can boot even if the internal HDD is totally gone is to create a small Linux system, start up VMWARE's VMPLAYER and boot up a Windows Virtual machine -- this will run 100% from the external HDD and be totally portable.

    Here's a link to my thread on creating this type of stuff.

    How to make Portable Windows system (any version)

    On the Linux / Windows Virtual Machine you can say install backup images of your internal "C" drive - which you could restore or copy to another HDD if you were replacing your internal HDD.


    But NOBODY AFAIK (apart from the Windows to Go feature in Enterprise) has been able to create a BOOTABLE RUNNING NATIVE Windows system that runs 100% from the EXTERNAL HDD - even if there is NO Internal HDD in the computer.

    (An direct external e_sata connection might however work as this is connected directly to the MOBO so Windows will think it's an internal HDD -- but for USB drives -- no go I'm afraid --if you've done it please post --remember it must also work even if there is NO internal HDD in the computer).

    I haven't got a computer with an e-sata external connection - but if someone has - can you see if a Windows disk will boot from this -- note a proper Windows system not the Install system which has no problem running from external devices).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Excellent idea Jimbo ... I note these cards are quite inexpensive as well...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    "Windows to GO" is the official way of doing what you are trying to do.
    Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk
    Windows To Go - Create in Windows 8 Enterprise
    Hi there

    Windows to GO is only for ENTERPRISE version -- there isn't any way to make OTHER VERSIONS of WINDOWS boot NATIVELY from an external USB drive -- this discussion often comes up but usually it's solutions like mounting VHD's (Virtual Hard drives) or whatever which require the BOOT device in the computer to be working.

    The best way of making a REAL totally portable bootable USB system where you can boot even if the internal HDD is totally gone is to create a small Linux system, start up VMWARE's VMPLAYER and boot up a Windows Virtual machine -- this will run 100% from the external HDD and be totally portable.

    Here's a link to my thread on creating this type of stuff.

    How to make Portable Windows system (any version)

    On the Linux / Windows Virtual Machine you can say install backup images of your internal "C" drive - which you could restore or copy to another HDD if you were replacing your internal HDD.


    But NOBODY AFAIK (apart from the Windows to Go feature in Enterprise) has been able to create a BOOTABLE RUNNING NATIVE Windows system that runs 100% from the EXTERNAL HDD - even if there is NO Internal HDD in the computer.

    (An direct external e_sata connection might however work as this is connected directly to the MOBO so Windows will think it's an internal HDD -- but for USB drives -- no go I'm afraid --if you've done it please post --remember it must also work even if there is NO internal HDD in the computer).

    I haven't got a computer with an e-sata external connection - but if someone has - can you see if a Windows disk will boot from this -- note a proper Windows system not the Install system which has no problem running from external devices).

    Cheers
    jimbo
    The first link I posted, the tutorial by WHS, seems to indicate otherwise, that it is doable. Mind you I personally haven't tried it. Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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