Jump to content











Photo

Windows to go - Windows 8 on a stick!


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:53 PM

At last Windows 8 almost fully supports booting the live OS from a USB drive (Flash or HDD).
You can boot it on one system, shut it down and then boot it on another. It will auto-detect hardware. Boot it on the first one again and it will boot up nice and quick as it remembers which drivers to load on a per machine basis.
see here and wiki and see the recorded BUILD presentation here

Now you can take the office computer home on a stick!
Now the school can give Johnny a USB stick with Office and IE9 and the curriculum software apps on it and say - do your homework on this.
It also supports VHD booting, so you could simply copy a VHD onto a stick and hand it out.
In the final release, you can 'clone' your copy onto a USB drive and make a Windows To Go drive using the integral Win 8 app, but I suspect you may need quite a large USB drive to do that.

On a USB 3 Flash drive, the performance is supposed to be almost as good as a fast hard disk - 32GB+ is recommended!

Use the 64-bit 32-bit 2.8GB Developers Preview (image 1 if Desktop version or Image 3 if you have the Server version).

The steps are simple.

1. Format a USB drive as a single NTFS primary partition (if using a flash drive use a fast one of at least 16GB if you just want to try or 32GB or more if you want to play with it a lot!) - I recommend trying a spare USB HDD first just for speed. Format it as NTFS and make it active.

e.g.
DISKPART
LIST DISK
SEL DIS 1 (assuming disk 1 is your USB drive)
ONLINE DISK (in case it is offline)
CLEAN (this will erase your USB drive)
CRE PAR PRI
FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
ASSIGN
ACTIVE
EXIT

Or safer - use RMPrepUSB to format it as NTFS and make it active .


2. Use ImageX to extract the image from the Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO:

syntax: Imagex /apply (DVD):\sources\install.wim 1 (USBDrive):\

e.g.
ImageX /info I:\sources\install.wim
ImageX /apply I:\sources\install.wim 1 G:\


You will need to obtain ImageX from the WAIK or other source as it does not appear to be on the Preview ISO.

3. Make the USB drive bootable :

syntax: BCDBOOT (USBDrive):\Windows /s (USBDrive):

e.g. BCDBOOT G:\Windows /s G:

See here for my quick 'how to'

[Edit] The 64-bit Server versions work (but these are not publicly available) and the 32-bit Desktop version works (publicly available as Developers Preview 32-bit) but I could not get the Desktop 64-bit Developers Preview version to work[/Edit]
  • Nuno Brito likes this

#2 sambul61

sambul61

    Gold Member

  • Advanced user
  • 1568 posts
  •  
    American Samoa

Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:35 PM

So we don't need installing Win 8 to USB from ISO anymore - just use ImageX instead? :) And then use EasyBCD to add booting of some Service ISOs you copied to the Thumb - great!

The only problem is, to boot from a USB Thumb in a public place, one would generally need BIOS password...unless local admins start adapting to new realities.

Is there a way to boot Win 8 VHD from a Bare Metal PC HD instead of an External USB Drive? Any preparation required (excluding Win 7/8 install to the PC)?

#3 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:37 PM

You mean like my tutorial #52?

#4 sambul61

sambul61

    Gold Member

  • Advanced user
  • 1568 posts
  •  
    American Samoa

Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:05 PM

In #52 you referred to a case, when Win 7 or 8 or XP is already installed on a HD, and you additionally install Win 8 onto a VHD mounted on that HD, and then add its boot entry to the drive boot menu. Even if no OS was preliminary installed on the HD, the Win 8 Installer makes the physical drive bootable to that VHD during install.

But... !!! What if Win 8 was applied to a VHD mounted on another PC, and then the VHD was copied from a LAN Server or USB Drive to an empty formatted HD on a Bare Metal PC? How would you make that PC boot Win 8 on that VHD (of course without installing Grub4DOS from your lovely RMPrep) by Windows own means (say after booting from WinPE or another Win 7 PC on LAN)?

#5 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:10 PM

bootmgr loads the VHD. So you would copy over the boot files and edit the BCD (or copy a BCD) to point bootmgr at the VHD file.

#6 sambul61

sambul61

    Gold Member

  • Advanced user
  • 1568 posts
  •  
    American Samoa

Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:19 PM

What I suggest is to test this approach (which is more frequent in deployment) and write a small Tutorial or add this scenario section to your #52 with particulars (command sequence). :)

#7 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:22 PM

It should be simple enough. I don't have time at the moment but see here

#8 peng

peng
  • Members
  • 2 posts
  •  
    Taiwan

Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:45 AM

Witnessed HDD performance through USB 3.0 interface, i.e. ~100MB/s transfer rate.

Since AMD A75 Hudson D3 introduction, I'm desperately looking for a motherboard that is capable of booting Windows 8 from its USB 3.0. Has anyone succeeded doing it? What motherboard did it?

Thank you. :beer:

Edited by peng, 27 September 2011 - 12:50 AM.


#9 Underling

Underling

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 13 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 27 September 2011 - 01:39 AM

Ok now, I would just like to download the final version of this to put on my usb stick, of course I rmprep the usb before hand but all that other stuff I would not know the slightest to do, or better yet ghost the image on your usb stick and let me download that image and then ghost my usb, that would work.

#10 TheHive

TheHive

    Platinum Member

  • .script developer
  • 4171 posts

Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:33 AM

Thanks Steve.
I enjoyed the detailed info from the video you posted recorded BUILD presentation here .

The fact that you can pull the USB drive out while running the OS and whatever was running stays frozen for a minute or so, will be a great addition. This will save a person that forgets about not just pulling the running OS from USB. Once you put the usb back in the USB port. Whatever you where working on still seems to come back. Seems to be a great way to implement a fail safe for those you go. Oh! Crap I just pulled my USB from the drive. WT@! :superstition: :eek:
  • Nuno Brito likes this

#11 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:00 AM

What is not so great is if you forget to shutdown the OS before moving it to another one. At the moment, as there is no recovery partition, so it just BSOD's and then the whole image is screwed with no way to recover it on any system! What is does mean is that no one should buy a new system unless it has USB 3 ports that support BIOS booting.

#12 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:16 PM

Thanks Steve.
I enjoyed the detailed info from the video you posted recorded BUILD presentation here .

More Videos here

#13 cdob

cdob

    Gold Member

  • Expert
  • 1450 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:28 PM

You will need to obtain ImageX from the WAIK or other source as it does not appear to be on the Preview ISO.

What about \sources\boot.wim\1\tools\AMD64\imagex.exe ?
7-zip 9.20 open the x64 boot.wim, but not the x86 boot.wim.
Work arround: boot a boot.wim and copy files from drive x:
How to open a x86 boot.wim directly to extract imagex.exe?

Windows 7 PowerShell seems to apply wim images too.
http://blogs.msdn.co...iew-64-bit.aspx
Install-WindowsImage PowerShell Script http://go.microsoft..../?LinkId=204240

#14 sambul61

sambul61

    Gold Member

  • Advanced user
  • 1568 posts
  •  
    American Samoa

Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:25 AM

What Windows versions and images have ImageX included in that or another directory inside an installation or PE ISO:

\sources\boot.wim\1\tools\AMD64\imagex.exe

#15 edborg

edborg

    Frequent Member

  • .script developer
  • 387 posts
  •  
    Italy

Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:35 AM

I've installed Windows 8 Developer Preview to an USB HD with fujianabc's automated installer and also with the manual sequence of commands described here.
In both cases the installation goes well and is very quick, but I have an issue at logon.

During installation I'm not asked to set an user name and after a couple of reboots the logon screen only shows the option "other user" which does not accept any user/password combination (not even admin, administrator and/orblank password).
I can't do any debugging, as I'm locked out of Windows.
I have also repeated the installation from scratch to no avail. :-(
Any idea?
edborg

P.S. This doesn't happen on my other installation to internal HD

#16 edborg

edborg

    Frequent Member

  • .script developer
  • 387 posts
  •  
    Italy

Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:21 PM

I answer my own question, just in case somebody incurs in the same issue.

After loading the registry hive to examine its content, that confirmed that no user existed in ProfileList (?!), I reinstalled Windows 8 from scratch, but ended up with the same problem. :-(

I then realised that for an unknown reason every installation had briefly frozen at the time of configuring the regional settings and it had resumed only after pressing ESC, apparently completing with success.
Clearly this had caused the skipping of the step where an user was to be created.

I then reinstalled Windos 8 once more, skipping the regional setting configuration, and was prompted for choosing an user name and password.
Problem solved!

edborg

#17 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:58 AM

What regional settings were you choosing and what was your clock set to? It does not do this for UK settings, so it must be something about what you are choosing or what state your system is in...?

#18 edborg

edborg

    Frequent Member

  • .script developer
  • 387 posts
  •  
    Italy

Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:35 AM

I didn't even have the chance to choose a regional setting!
The freezing took place when I clicked on the control which showed English US as default and contained all other languages inside.
Actually, it wasn't a freezing: the many languages inside the control kept on scrolling and none of them could be clicked/entered.
So I had to press ESC to stop the scrolling.
Windows SEEMED to have regained control and the next configuration steps took place, unless (as I realised later) the step where an user name and a password are set was skipped.
I confirmed this by perusing the registry, and that's why at the next logon no user could be accepted.

So I skipped the regional settings step during my subsequent reinstallation and everything went well.

edborg

P.S. The settings have been successfully changed later, after logon.

#19 edborg

edborg

    Frequent Member

  • .script developer
  • 387 posts
  •  
    Italy

Posted 14 October 2011 - 07:51 AM

I am quite sure that the freezing during the initial configuration is a problem of low resolution!

To please tablet users with features that, besides being ugly (imo), are also totally useless for "serious" PC users, Windows 8 requires a minimum resolution of 1024x768.

This should be no problem for not to old laptops/notebooks/netbooks, unless MS "forgot" to include in the Preview release proper drivers for some of them (like my Asus eeePC) and the resolution of what it classifies as "Generic Non-PnP Monitor" is locked to 800x600. :-(
Moreover, it doesn't allow forcing existing drivers for XP and Windows 7!

Therefore, the tiles are locked and the whole Metro GUI is useless.

I really hope this will be solved before final release, or MS will only preinstall their new OS to new PCs.

edborg

P.S. I played a bit with the "fabulous" new Metro GUI on my other working installation, and I'm really not so impressed.

#20 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 15163 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 14 October 2011 - 07:56 AM

Just in case of need:
http://www.ghacks.ne...nable-metro-ui/
http://www.askvg.com...old-start-menu/

:cheers:
Wonko

#21 edborg

edborg

    Frequent Member

  • .script developer
  • 387 posts
  •  
    Italy

Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:35 AM

Yes, it's very useful to get rid of the Metro GUI :-)

I had already done the registry hack manually, just to avoid to download a full Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5.1!

edborg

#22 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 15163 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:56 AM

I had already done the registry hack manually, just to avoid to download a full Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5.1!

Yep, using .Net for such a trifling change to the Registry is an example of "bloat programming" :ph34r:, but the info about the plain Registry key is given also :), aqs well as a few other ways, here:
http://www.askvg.com...eloper-preview/

:cheers:
Wonko

#23 PiousMinion

PiousMinion
  • Members
  • 5 posts
  •  
    United States

Posted 15 October 2011 - 06:44 AM

Is there no way to do the last step inside XP?

Everything worked fine except for bcdboot.
I get: BFSVC: Failed to set element application device. Status = [c00000bb]

I don't have a windows vista,7, or 8 install and I don't have a dvd drive. Would it be possible to load the 7 installer via usb and run the required command on the new (win8togo) usb device?

Other ideas?

#24 steve6375

steve6375

    Platinum Member

  • Developer
  • 7161 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:computers, programming (masm,vb6,C,vbs), photography,TV,films,guitars, www.easy2boot.com
  •  
    United Kingdom

Posted 15 October 2011 - 07:15 AM

You could boot from the Win8 ISO (e.g. put the Win8 installer ISO on a USB pen which has grub4dos installed) and boot to the Win8 installer - then type SHIFT+F10 to get a command console and use BCDBOOT from there.

#25 laddanator

laddanator

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 337 posts
  • Location:Virginia
  • Interests:Writing code and getting stuff to work when no one else can! Wrote a Windows Vista, 7, and 8 legal activation tool in VBscript and compiled it to exe. First project of this undertaking. Working on an AIO legal activation tool that includes XP.
  •  
    United States

Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:14 PM

Just loading Win8 this morning again. Must simpler way. No modding with Friadisk or emulators

http://reboot.pro/14593/page__st__25

Bottom of page.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users