You may be familiar with the concept of live USB. This is usually common with Linux distributions, where the entire operating system can run with almost full functionality from a USB storage media like a flash drive. Similarly, for Windows, there is Windows To Go, which creates a live installation of Windows on a USB storage device. However, this is not available easily, it is possible only with certain editions of Windows, and it requires certified hardware. A third party software, WinToUSB overcomes all these hurdles and allows anyone with even a little technical know how to create live USB installations. You can use pretty much any commonly available Windows installation and use any USB flash drive or external hard drive to create a live installation of Windows that you can take anywhere with you. You can also install any softwares on your flash drive which will run with your Windows To Go environment, but compatibility is not guaranteed with every software. Hence, you must test to ensure that the application that you need works properly.
The WinToUSB is a free program with a paid premium option. The free version covers most of the features most people would want. Only features that would be useful in an enterprise scenario are missing from the free version. This program lets you use Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 of any edition except Enterprise edition to create a Windows To Go setup. You can download the latest ISO for Windows 10 directly from Microsoft website and use that. The interface is a simple and easy to use wizard style, so anyone can use it without the need for technical skills. You can use ISO files or installation DVD to create a live installation. In the wizard, select the appropriate image location. You can create MBR or GPT drive as needed. On the next step, the program creates the Windows To Go environment.
When you install this USB storage device on a new computer, it will fetch and install the required drivers. Internet connection is recommended so that Windows can get drivers online if needed. It is also recommended that you use a storage device with fairly high performance or else your Windows will be sluggish to respond. It is an essential tool for handling alternative workplace scenarios. Your files are always on your storage device. Also, if you use BitLocker, the password never enters the host machines TPM.
|WinToUSB 6.2 Sep 27, 2021||1. Added support for the latest version of Windows 11 insider preview 2. Fix other minor bugs|
|WinToUSB 6.1 Jul 8, 2021||1. Added support for Windows 11 2. Fixed bug: The internal disks cannot be offline after booting from the cloned Windows 3. Fixed bug: Failed to format USB flash drive in some cases 4. Updated Italian translation|
|WinToUSB 6.0 Mar 24, 2021||1. Add support for encrypting Windows To Go drive with BitLocker 2. Improved the algorithm for checking file system errors 3. Improved the algorithm for formatting USB drive 4. Fix other minor bugs|
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