How to make a "WTG" drive for 8GB USB

Ryan ODonnell

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Feb 14, 2014
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Hey guys this is a tutorial on how to set up a Windows to Go (a live Windows 8 boot) USB using any version of Windows provided you have a copy of Windows 8.

Things you will need:
  • A USB or external HDD with 8GB of space (You will only have around 2.4GB free)
  • A copy of a Windows 8 disc or ISO (Any version is fine including upgrade ones). The 90 day evaluation copies from the Microsoft website even work, including Windows Technical Preview.
  • Just over an hour of your time depending on your hardware (mine took 88 minutes, 11 seconds)

Instructions:
  • Locate your Windows 8 disc or ISO and mount it
  • Navigate to \sources and copy the install.wim file to your desktop
  • Insert your USB or HDD and format the partition as NTFS with the default allocation
  • Download GImageX from Softpedia (GImageX Free Download - Softpedia) and extract it
  • Run the x86 or x64 version depending on the version of Windows you are using
  • Navigate to the "Apply" tab
  • In the source section enter or browse for the location of the install.wim we copied earlier
  • In the destination section enter or browse for the location of the device you want to use for Windows to Go
  • Leave the checkboxes unchecked and hit apply
  • Navigate to your Windows to Go disk and go to \Windows\System32

Open up CMD from this location (or change directory to the above folder) and enter

bcdboot.exe X:\Windows /s X: /f ALL

Replace "X:\" with your Windows to Go drive letter

Congratulations! Your Windows to Go device is now ready and all you will have to do is boot from the USB at startup then run through the one time configuration settings!

If you have any problem feel free to comment below and PM me!
 

Ryan ODonnell

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Please also be aware that it will take around 30minutes additional time to set up Windows To Go on your USB drive for first boot. Also, it is also worth noting again that the method I have suggested works with any version of Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

I might try with Windows 7 as it also has a install.wim, but always worth a try, a portable, full Windows 7 experience! :wink:
 

Ryan ODonnell

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Update: I haven't been on this thread for a while, but I can confirm this does work with Windows 7 with any edition excluding Starter and Home Basic.
 

monkeybrainz

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Hello Ryan,
I followed your steps to install Win 10 on a USB but I got stuck on the final step:

"Open up CMD from this location (or change directory to the above folder) and enter
bcdboot.exe X:\Windows /s X: /f ALL
Replace "X:\" with your Windows to Go drive letter"

I keep getting the following error:
"The program can't start because api-ms-win-core-heap-l2-1-0.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem." (Please note that this is not "api-ms-win-core-heap-l1-2-0.dll," not a typo.)

I have reinstalled it on a different USB and am still getting the same error. I also checked in the Sources forlder of the ISO and did not find it there although other .dll files are there. Googling this .dll file did not come up with any results. Please help.
 
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Arseth

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hey i've experienced the same issue! but probably is due the OS Win10 try with Win7 - 8 and probably you'll not need any new .dll
 

ordinec7

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I had same error with api-ms-win-core-heap-l2-1-0.dll while installing Windows 10 on Windows 7 computer. To solve i connected my drive to Win10 pc and ran bcdboot command there.
 

Daniel Tran3

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I got stuck on the final step.
Used "bcdboot.exe X:\Windows /s X: /f ALL(changed with my usb drive letter, which has WTG)
It says, "Failure when attempting to copy boot files"
What should I do now?
 

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