Windows To Go USB Drive – A Revolution and Revelation

By · Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Windows 8 USB flash driveWindows To Go is an enterprise feature of Windows 8 that lets users boot a full Windows 8 image on chosen computers through a USB stick. And no, it’s not just a visualized Windows 8 version; it is Windows 8 for real.

It was back in September 2011 when the whole idea of Windows To Go first came out. Though the buzz wasn’t that boisterous back then, it was in the recent TechEd 2012 in Orlando, Florida when all heads turned to Microsoft and everyone became eager to get to know what this unique feature is all about.

One of the best optional features of a Windows To Go USB drive is that it can be encrypted using BitLocker so you can ensure that your data is safe and secure even when your USB stick gets lost or stolen. Unfortunately, though, it can only work on PCs running Windows 7 or higher so you’d have to shift PCs or laptops if you’re using Vista.

Since it is designed to provide maximum mobility for its users, companies who hire freelancers and contractors will find an ideal technology in Windows To Go USB. Through the USB, they can give their part-time employees access to the company’s desktop while also ensuring limited access to programs or software that are for the exclusive use of full-time employees only.

How To Run Windows 8 To Go

To boot the device from a Windows 8 PC, go to the start menu and look for “Windows to Go start-up options” then select “Yes, to boot from Windows To Go when it is present.”

On the other hand, to boot from a Windows 7-ran PC, go to the firmware/BIOS set up utility. Ensure that boot from USB is enabled before changing the boot order to “boot from USB drives”. Both in Window 7 and 8, if your keyboard allows you to do so, another way to boot is by pressing your one-time boot key (often F12).

Now, just some quick reminders for Windows To Go USB drive users:

  • Make sure you only run the device on Windows 7 or Windows 8 (Not XP nor Vista)
  • Make sure you have shut down your PC before booting the Windows To Go USB
  • Make sure that you have completely shut down the PC or laptop before you remove the Windows To Go USB from the port.
  • Make sure you insert the USB directly to the PC or laptop and not through a USB hub.
  • If you accidentally pull out the USB device from the port, make sure you put it back within the next 60 seconds to return to where you left off, or else you’ll have to start over.

The coming fall may just be the end of all our waiting as Windows said it will finally be releasing the Windows 8 Enterprise, together with a tool that will help create and set out Windows To Go USB flash drives. At the TechEd 2012, they gave out some samples through Kingston DT Ultimate devices to fortunate visitors who are lucky to test drive it.

Don’t forget to check Microsoft’s site for a download. How will Windows 8 To Go on USB impact you?

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