Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 to go - on a USB stick

  1. #1


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    Windows 8 to go - on a USB stick


    After several failed attempts I have finally managed to get Windows 8 on a USB stick - and it runs, though slowly. At first I had followed several guides from the web, but none of those worked for a variety of reasons. So I made my own concoction and finally got it to work.

    The only mistake I made was to use a USB2 stick with 30/15MB R/W speeds. That is just too slow. I have now ordered a fast USB3 stick and will see whether that will make a difference - it should.

    If some of you are interested in the setup procedure (it is a bit involved), let me know. But you should have a fast 16GB USB stick. Then I make a tutorial about 'my' procedure. At least I know now that this is working.

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  2. #2


    Sydney Australia
    Posts : 2,941
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    We have a thread HERE
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  3. #3


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Quote Originally Posted by Kodi View Post
    We have a thread HERE
    I know. I had also looked at that.
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  4. #4


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


    Hi there
    When you try and install a product like Office how does one get round the "Activation Prompt" when you boot your USB stick on to a different machine.

    I've got Office 2010 (legit with a MAK key) but ist still prompts when I put the USB stick in to a new machine -- and prompts again when I put the stick back into the original Machine.

    No prob currently -- but unles MS can issue some "Portable products" the usefulness of the "Windows to Go" will be drastically reduced -.

    I'm currently also using a bootable Linux distro with W8 as a VM on it. This is genuinely portable as I don't have to re-activate various products --the VM "hardware" is constant.

    I'd still like to use the Windows to go Natively as the overhead of a VM on a USB stick is not negligable.

    Sandisk USB sticks seem nice and fast for the Windows to go stuff even if they are slightly more expensive. a USB3 version would be even better.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 165
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I have now ordered a fast USB3 stick and will see whether that will make a difference - it should.
    What speed did you ordered ?

    I have two USB 3.0 sticks:
    16 Gb with 80/20 MB R/W speed
    Windows 8 to go installation time: 50 min.
    Windows 8 speed: Good

    32 Gb with 70/30 MB R/W speed
    Windows 8 to go installation time: 135 min.
    Windows 8 speed: Very slow

    Remark: Both sticks show at USB 2.0 ports 30/20 MB R/W speed
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  6. #6


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I ordered this USB3 stick Newegg.com - Lexar JumpDrive Triton 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model LJDNV16GCRBNA We'll see how this works. Should be here the end of the week.

    Jimbo, what stick are yoiu using and how is the performance. With my USB2 stick it is just too slow. But although it is specified at 30/15, the measurements are a lot slower and especially the 4K nums are dismal. So it is no fun.

    Click image for larger version
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  7. #7


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    I have no plans at all to use this, but I am very curious to know how the heck does Windows boot and work in this "to go" scenario without the proper drivers for the specific machine that the USB stick is plugged into? People have problems finding drivers for a normal Windows setup, so it has me wondering. Anyone know?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    GMan, I think it is the beauty of the WAIK - at least in my scenario. I had no trouble moving it from my Dell desktop to my Toshiba laptop. SIW2 would probably know the details.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 165
    Windows 8


    Here I have two USB 3.0 sticks. And even if "Crystal Disk Mark" shows nearly same values they are totally different in speed with "Windows 8 to go".

    With the "A-Data" I can't work with "Windows 8 to go": Most times I have lags of 1 to 5 minutes before "Windows 8 to go" reacts on a mouse click.

    That’s because the "A-Data" stick has a performance gap with 4 and 8 kb blocks.

    With the "Extrememory" stick I can work very well with "Windows 8 to go" - and that even the "Extrememory" has slower transmission rates with other block sizes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Extrememory-A-Data-C.png   Extrememory-A-Data.png  
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  10. #10


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


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I ordered this USB3 stick Newegg.com - Lexar JumpDrive Triton 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model LJDNV16GCRBNA We'll see how this works. Should be here the end of the week.

    Jimbo, what stick are yoiu using and how is the performance. With my USB2 stick it is just too slow. But although it is specified at 30/15, the measurements are a lot slower and especially the 4K nums are dismal. So it is no fun.

    Click image for larger version
    Hi there
    A SANDISK Cruzer 32GB stick -- works fine.

    Mind you the HOST machine also has an SSD so that might make a difference when accessing "Normal Windows" disks.
    My Host machines also have 4,8 and 16GB memory so once the OS is loaded the uSB doesn't have to be accessed very much.

    You Could speed it up by assigning the paging file on to a "proper" disk after the initial boot.

    I'm certainly not disappointed with the performance at all -- although running Photoshop took a while to load !!!
    processors are i5 / i7 so basic machines are quite fast anyway.

    I'll have a go on a Netbook tonight --but even my netbook has 4GB RAM --RAM is cheap enough so why stint to 1 GB in a machine --even older DDR2 RAM modules are available in SINGLE units of 4GB so even a single slot machine will allow you to have 4GB RAM.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8 to go - on a USB stick
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