Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to make Portable Windows system (any version)

  1. #11


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
    With all these portable Windows running around, doesn't that run up a huge activation key bill?
    Hi there
    Not really -- since a VIRTUAL MACHINE uses the Virtual hardware these things can be cloned and as they are identical there's no hardware change that requires activation. (It's all "Virtual Hardware").

    That's one of the advantage of Virtual machines -- unless you REALLY need to access the physical hardware the Virtual BIOS manages it all.

    (Note extra addons such as USB devices etc are fine - just install the hardware drivers in the usual way if required -- these won't cause an activation).

    It might be if you run the VM on a host with a hugely different processor you *Could* get asked to re-activate windows --hasn't happened to me yet. I've run my system on Intel 3/5/7 and an AMD Quad processor machine -- no probs although the NVIDIA video driver on the machine with the AMD processor gave some weird effects -- probably because the HOST LINUX had problems with it. No probs on INTEL graphics though.

    Note also this system isn't intended for Hard core gaming -- I simply use it as a decent Windows system when I've got to use a stupid work laptop with hideous versions of OFFICE etc on it . Also makes a great recovery system too. It also allows me to run my own stuff separate from a Works PC - such as things as PHOTOSHOP, NETFLIX, MUSIC /VIDEO STREAMING and SKY GO as well as accessing the work VPN.

    Tip - when building a VM - DON'T ACTIVATE until you've got the configuration you want. With W7 VM's you get 30 days before activation is required. For testing purposes with Windows 8.1 download the TRIAL version of W8.1 enterprise -- then you can mess around before activating your normal RETAIL version !!.


    Problem with Virtualising W8 / W8.1 normal versions is that the key is required at install time - it gets activated at once. That's why I recommend testing with the Enterprise version (Free trial from Ms).

    Cheers
    jimbo

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


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


    Hi there
    I'll try and make a proper tutorial on this - with proper diagrams etc.

    I'll see if it works for THREE common Distros -- OPENSUSE 13.1 (running currently), Debian Wheezy --- had issues compiling VMware but now fixed., and Linux Mate. All these allow the GRUB bootloader to be written to and run totally from an external device so your main Windows HDD boot isn't touched.

    I'm about to test one version on a standard external laptop (2.5 inch) HDD to see what the response time is like -- on an external SSD the system seems just as snappy as running Native (and remember I have to start the VMWARE system AFTER booting the Linux OS.

    (I probably could make a script to bring up the VM automatically but I'm not that expert in Linux scripts. !!!)

    What I'd like to do eventually is bring the VM up automatically in KVM mode -- this would then start the VM straight in full screen with no VMware menu!. This needs vmware WORKSTATION though.

    What?s Cool about the VMware KVM Utility. | VMware Workstation Zealot - VMware Blogs

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Mt. Crumpit cave
    Posts : 108
    Win 7 Ult X64 SP1


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
    With all these portable Windows running around, doesn't that run up a huge activation key bill?
    Hi there
    Not really -- since a VIRTUAL MACHINE uses the Virtual hardware these things can be cloned and as they are identical there's no hardware change that requires activation. (It's all "Virtual Hardware").

    That's one of the advantage of Virtual machines -- unless you REALLY need to access the physical hardware the Virtual BIOS manages it all.

    (Note extra addons such as USB devices etc are fine - just install the hardware drivers in the usual way if required -- these won't cause an activation).

    It might be if you run the VM on a host with a hugely different processor you *Could* get asked to re-activate windows --hasn't happened to me yet. I've run my system on Intel 3/5/7 and an AMD Quad processor machine -- no probs although the NVIDIA video driver on the machine with the AMD processor gave some weird effects -- probably because the HOST LINUX had problems with it. No probs on INTEL graphics though.

    Note also this system isn't intended for Hard core gaming -- I simply use it as a decent Windows system when I've got to use a stupid work laptop with hideous versions of OFFICE etc on it . Also makes a great recovery system too. It also allows me to run my own stuff separate from a Works PC - such as things as PHOTOSHOP, NETFLIX, MUSIC /VIDEO STREAMING and SKY GO as well as accessing the work VPN.

    Tip - when building a VM - DON'T ACTIVATE until you've got the configuration you want. With W7 VM's you get 30 days before activation is required. For testing purposes with Windows 8.1 download the TRIAL version of W8.1 enterprise -- then you can mess around before activating your normal RETAIL version !!.


    Problem with Virtualising W8 / W8.1 normal versions is that the key is required at install time - it gets activated at once. That's why I recommend testing with the Enterprise version (Free trial from Ms).

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Now ya really cornfused me mate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
    Now ya really cornfused me mate.
    Not hard. If you bought a computer with windows installed and haven't bought another license then you do not have a license to run another copy in a VM.

    My situation in fact.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    That's the whole crux of it. For Windows, you need a seperate license to run in virtual. But then you can run it on any machine because VMware or vBox is the system where it is installed.

    The biggest advantages running it off a stick is that you need not install VMware or vBox on the systems where you want to run the virtual systems and running from the stick under Linux is faster than running under Windows on the host.

    But the whole project is a lot of fun and you can always run other Linux distros in virtual. Then you have no licensing problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Mt. Crumpit cave
    Posts : 108
    Win 7 Ult X64 SP1


    So....I think the answer to my question is, yes, a Windows running in a VM does need a license.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


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


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    That's the whole crux of it. For Windows, you need a seperate license to run in virtual. But then you can run it on any machine because VMware or vBox is the system where it is installed.

    The biggest advantages running it off a stick is that you need not install VMware or vBox on the systems where you want to run the virtual systems and running from the stick under Linux is faster than running under Windows on the host.

    But the whole project is a lot of fun and you can always run other Linux distros in virtual. Then you have no licensing problem.

    Hi there

    Running a Virtual machine on Windows or almost ANY common flavour of Linux (Debian based stuff - Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu etc / RPM based stuff sych as FEDORA, OPENSUSE etc) won't require any re-activation in most cases -- you can store your VM on a separate disk if you want and run it on ANY HOST where the vmware software is installed.

    The SAME VM is IDENTICAL whether Windows or Linux reads it - the VM is compatible between the two systems. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RE-INSTALL YOUR VM IF YOU SWITCH BETWEEN LINUX AND WINDOWS. Just read the same vmx file when you open vmware workstation or player.

    The only (minor) fifference is that some Linux distros will disable the 3D graphics (not permanently) - a very minor problem. Works fine with INTEL graphics, and Linux mint on the Host and W7 / W8 VM's though.

    You need an INITIAL Windows license of course to create the original VM -- if you got a retail copy of Windows - re-activate by phone - just tell Ms you are installing on a new machine (Not OEM copies though).

    Of course having the Linux distro WITH Vmware installed on your removable device as has been pointed out means the VM software doesn't have to be installed on the HDD of the Host laptop (or whatever) but the whole thing including the VM's run from the external device not touching the HDD of the host machine.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


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


    Hi there

    Important addition to creating Portable Linux systems when using UEFI enabled machines.

    If you are using a UEFI computer -- select the NON UEFI boot from the boot menu when you first load the Live distro which is what we will be using for the install -- you'll probably see two options in the BIOS boot menu such as USB DISK - name UEFI and another one USB DISK - Name with no UEFI indicator. Choose the one WITHOUT the UEFI indicator.

    Also ensure your target external HDD / SSD is MBR formatted (not GPT).

    If you don't do this you won't get any choice where to install the bootloader -- the bootloader will choose GRUB2-EFI and you can't chose where it goes (goes on the INTERNAL boot HDD which is what you don't want).

    Now you can select GRUB2 options and choose install grub loader to root (/) partition. Choose all the options shown in the diagrams and ensure that the boot disk order is in the order YOU want with your external HDD/SSD FIRST in the list. Check it carefully or the system won't boot.

    I haven't found a way yet of creating an external portable UEFI system -- you can create it but I haven't been able to get the UEFI GRUB boot loader to work on external HDD''s -- I suspect that as each UEFI system is different the boot has to come from the INSTALLED (internal HDD) drive. Running a NON UEFI system makes it generic -- boots on any machine (so long as the hardware isn't too horrendously different). Enable your machine in the BIOS to be able to boot from Legacy devices (Non UEFI) too,

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
How to make Portable Windows system (any version)
Related Threads
I have searched through forums, but could not find the solution to my problem: I have a notebook ASUS with Windows 8 preinstalled. Yesterday I was doing some housecleaning jobs with some freeware tool (don't remember the name). Afterwards I have not been able to boot into Windows. CURRENT...
Hi there just for the fun of it I installed Visual Studio (PRO) 2013 Previewon the Windows to Go 8.1 system I'd just made. Works fine for the limited bit of messing around I've done with it Incidentally I'm going to UNINSTALL it and install Visual Studio 2013 EXPRESS instead -- it's much more...
Hi I need to replace a file in windows\system32\en-us and it gives me a deny file to be copied how can I do this so I can copy a file or replace a file. thanks sorry how to gain access.
Hi there. I know Ms employees read these Forums from time to time so what seems to me a sensible suggestion: If Ms is looking for a bit of extra revenue why not make Windows to Go as a chargeable feature in W8 Pro. I know many external free lance consultants who would find this feature...
So when I was using Windows Vista I used Acronis True Image, when windows 7 came along I use macrium reflect, now I am using windows 8. What are you guys using now? I don't know what to try or use this time. I have three hard drives one for my OS, one for media+installation of programs and lastly...
Read more at: Windows 8 System Builder Version May Come Cheap | PCWorld
Hi there all try this tiny webcam app if you are having trouble getting a webcam to work on your laptop (Internal USB based ones). Usually the built in ones have trouble working in newer versions of Windows. It's a Portable app so nothing to install -- can run it off your usb stick if you want....
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook