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Solved Booting and Running Windows 8 from USB drive via GRUB


jimbo45

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#1
Hi there
As Windows to Go is only available for ENTERPRISE versions and booting from a VHD requires there to be an OS already installed on the physical machine I was wondering if we could "Borrow" a trick from Linux.

Is it possible to install a Mini GRUB boot loader on a partition on an external HDD and on a second partition boot a Windows system.

Note here -- I want a RUNNING WINDOWS SYSTEM -- not an install / recovery / "Win PE" type system -- but a full Windows system that will work even if there is NO usable INTERNAL HDD drive in the computer.

Googling shows quite a few ways of either creating an INSTALL disk (HDD) or booting a VHD neither of which are what I want.

Using GRUB and booting an external HDD in theory should work -- and this should "almost replicate" a Windows to Go system.

Anybody tried this and got it working.

(I've had an external USB Linux system with VMware player installed -- that method works but the Windows system is quite slow even on an external USB3 drive -- running a Windows system natively should be a lot better).

I've actually got a spare SSD which I want to use for this -- I replace a 128 GB drive with a new Samsung 256 GB drive as I got a great bargain on it -- 99 GBP LESS 20% VAT which I got back at customs at the airport.

I'll use the SATA==>USB3 connector for connecting to the PC.


(Another possibility might be to get the Linux boot loader to load a Windows VHD from the external drive as well -- but I want the Windows system to work even if there is NO INTERNAL HDD in the computer).

Cheers
jimbo
 

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jimbo45

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#3
Hi there
Thanks for taking the trouble to reply -- always appreciate that even though I might often appear to be cynical -- I'm quite harmless really !!.

Anyway that method uses vmware player which does work -- however I want to see if I can actually run NATIVE Windows from a USB rather than a VM (booting a VHD from a USB partition is also fine provided it's a native boot from GRUB).

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

Brink

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mvp
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#4

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
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    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
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jimbo45

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#5

My Computer

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  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

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mvp
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#6
Great news. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Nugroho

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25
#7
Hi,
Great! Welcome to the club.
I have been running Win XP, Win 7, and now Win 8 from USB HDD.
If your USB greater than 128Gb, may be some day when data getting bigger, you experience same problem with me like what I post last week.

No worries, just need defrag.

Cheers.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 8
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    EliteBook 8560p

fafhrd

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Portsmouth Hants

Posts
772
#8
So a Windows -To-Go Workspace is not just available for Enterprise, but for Windows 8 Pro too, as it was for the preview versions, as long as the full windows image is applied to the USB drive? Are there no activation problems if the system hardware changes?
 

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    HP COMPAQ Presario CQ57
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    AMD E- 300 APU with Radion HD Graphics 1.30GHz
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    inbuilt
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    4GB
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    Upgraded with no issues to 8.0 and to 8.1

Brink

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mvp
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#9
So a Windows -To-Go Workspace is not just available for Enterprise, but for Windows 8 Pro too, as it was for the preview versions, as long as the full windows image is applied to the USB drive? Are there no activation problems if the system hardware changes?

Well, technically it's only Window 8 Enterprise that you can do "Windows To Go" natively.
Otherwise, you'll have to do the workaround to create a "Windows To Go" workspace.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Nugroho

Member
Member
Posts
25
#10
I run Windows from USB but not Windows To Go. I cannot find back the article on internet. I remember I create VM that write directly to physical disc that pointing to USB disc. Install Windows as usual. Boot Windows on VM and tweak registry to load USB driver during "pre-boot". Then it ready to boot Windows from USB. The first start up will found many new hardware because not in VM anymore.

To install Windows XP on USB is much easier because only need to edit 4 .inf files from installation CD to load usb driver during "boot bus extender".
Install Windows XP on a USB Flash Drive

So a Windows -To-Go Workspace is not just available for Enterprise, but for Windows 8 Pro too, as it was for the preview versions, as long as the full windows image is applied to the USB drive? Are there no activation problems if the system hardware changes?

Well, technically it's only Window 8 Enterprise that you can do "Windows To Go" natively.
Otherwise, you'll have to do the workaround to create a "Windows To Go" workspace.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    EliteBook 8560p

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