Windows To Go Info and Creating a Windows To Go on a removable USB drive
Windows 8 Enterprise Edition Preview (build 8400 - only available to SA customers on volume licence download centre) and later has 'Windows To Go' (formally known as portable workspace creator) in the control panel.
WindowsToGo creation in the Enterprise preview has has two main hardware requirements:
* 32GB memory stick
* USB RMB marked as 'Fixed'
Forfill these two requirements and its very simple to create a Windows To Go stick.
It's not as easy as it sounds because at the time of typing there is only 1 USB3 stick that reports itself as fixed; the Kingston USB3 DT Ultimate with part number KW-U4132-1FA (in Europe). I'm guessing the official WindowsToGo drives will be more expensive than usual, the current beta kingston one is around twice the price of its bitflipped USB3 counterpart. This stick is listed as only for testing and the part number is due to change in October when the model is finalised and Windows 8 released.
Normal Kingston DT Ultimates G2's are marked as removable drives and cannot be changed, even with the available manufactures tools.
You can plug in USB caddies with 2.5/3.5 HDs and these will detect as fixed drive properly. USB2 drives reported as fixed or can have the RMB are available. The speed difference of USB3 is well work the extra if you have USB3 ports on your PCs, its actually usable.
WindowsToGo (Control Panel Application) will not allow Windows8 to be installed onto a 'removable' USB 2/3 drive, but it is possible to get it working correctly:
Things you need:
* Modified (for generic use) CFAdisk 32bit Driver
* Windows 8 Enterprise Edition Preview or Enterprise RTM iso/disk/wim
* 32GB memory stick (I used Kingston DT Ultimate GT2, USB3 with non changable RMB marked as removable)
Other things I've used:
* Windows 7 Ultimate laptop
* VMware Workstation 8
1: Install Windows 8 Enterprise Edition into a Virtual Machine, I used VMware Workstation 8
2: Copy the usb filter driver files; CFAdisk.inf and cfadisk.sys to the VM.
3: Plug in the USB stick into a USB2 port and let the Win8VM detect the disk.
4: Open diskmanager, right click on the USB disk, driver, update driver, browse, let me pick, have disk then locate your cfadisk driver ignoring the driver signing.
5: Copy your install.wim into the Win8VM
6: In your Win8VM, open the control panel and run Windows To Go
7: Having installed CFAdisk in the VM your drive should be detected, if not remove and plug back in. Click Next.
8: Now select your location of your modified install.wim image. Skip bitlocker drive encryption for now. Create the drive.
9: After its created do not restart, but quit the Windows To Go creator.
10: Go back into disk manager in the Win8VM and you'll see your USB partitioned into 350mb and 'the rest'. Right click on the 350mb partition and delete it. You want to keep this 350m space blank for now.
11: Mark 'the rest' partition as 'áctive'
12: Right Click on 'the rest' partition, change drive letter and give it a drive letter (e.g. E:\)
13: In the Win8VM open an admin command prompt and run: bcdboot e:\windows /s e: /f all
14: Shutdown your VM and get your host PC to boot from USB
15: Let Windows8 on USB boot and do the basic Windows 8 setup.
16: Copy the usb filter driver files; CFAdisk.inf and cfadisk.sys to your WTG drive.
17: Open diskmanager, right click on the WTG disk, driver, update driver, browse, let me pick, have disk then locate your cfadisk driver ignoring the driver signing.
18: After booting Windows8 on USB open diskmanager, right click on the WTG disk, driver, update driver, browse, let me pick, have disk then locate your cfadisk driver ignoring the driver signing.
19: Reboot the Windows8 USB drive, the Windows8 USB drive should be detected as Basic now.
20: Right click on the C drive and enable bitlocker, do the whole drive. This will recreate the 350mb partition, encrypt your data, remain bootable and retain the cfadisk filter driver for your stick. Let it reboot when it needs to. Job done.
Although you can finish at point 15, windowsupdate does not work on a removable drive. It is important to get your USB drive Windows8 listed as fixed so windowsupdates work correctly.
Other methods of creating bootable Windows8 can be done with imagex or other tools. These do detect they are running from USB correctly, the drive can be removed, but they mount local drives by default, WindowsToGo does not. They will also need the drive to be seen as BASIC or will they will fail windows updates.
Above is 32bit only. 64bit requires you to disable driver signing and add a custom 64bit cfadisk driver.
Windows Store does not work on WTG
A KW-U4132-1FA is detected as a fixed drive and "Just Works"