In our previous article, we let you know about the release of Rufus 2.0 version. One of the new features available in Rufus 2.0 and above versions is the ability to create Windows To Go drives in a few mouse clicks.
As all Windows 8 and Windows 10 users likely know, Windows To Go feature was first introduced with Windows 8 although there were third-party solutions to install Windows 7 to USB drive even before the release of Windows 8. For those who haven’t heard about Windows To Go before, the feature allows you to install and run Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 from a USB drive.
Although the official Windows To Go creator present only in the Enterprise edition, there are third-party tools out there to install any edition of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 to a USB drive.
Now that the popular Rufus tool supports creating Windows To Go drive, in this guide, we will show how you can use the Rufus to create Windows To Go drive with just a few mouse clicks.
Things to remember while preparing Windows To Go drive
# The Windows To Go feature of Rufus is available only when you are running the software on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 versions. Which means that you need a PC running Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 in order to prepare Windows To Go drive using Rufus.
# The size of the USB drive that you want to use as Windows To Go drive must be at least 16 GB. We recommend you use a USB drive with capacity of 32GB though.
# We recommend you use a Windows To Go certified USB drive for optimal performance. Normal USB flash drives are not ideal for installing Windows, meaning that the Windows OS installed on your normal USB flash drive will be very slow compared to the one installed on certified drives.
# All editions of Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 are supported by Rufus.
Preparing Windows To Go with Rufus
Follow the given below instructions to create your Windows To Go drive using Rufus software.
Step 1: The first step is to visit this page of Rufus and download the latest available version of the software. When you are on the download page, please click on the normal Rufus instead of the portable version.
Step 2: Connect your USB flash drive that you want to use as Windows To Go drive and backup all data from the drive to any other location as the drive needs to erased completely, and all data will be deleted while doing so.
Step 3: Launch Rufus software on a PC running Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10.
Step 4: Select your USB drive from the Device drop-down menu.
Step 5: Next, select the partition scheme from the available three options. If you’re going to use the Windows To Go drive with MBR partition scheme, select “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computer”.
Select the GPT partition scheme for UEFI only if you’re sure about it.
Step 6: Select the File system as NTFS as FAT32 can’t be used to create Windows To Go. You can safely skip the Cluster size section.
Step 7: Click the browse icon next to Create a bootable disk using the option to browse to your Windows ISO file and then select the same.
Step 8: Select Windows To Go option before clicking the Start button. You’ll see the following dialog if your USB drive has Removable attribute.
You can skip the warning and click Yes but the performance of your Windows To Go drive might not be as good as Windows To Go certified drives.
Next, you’ll see “Your USB drive will be erased” warning. Click OK button to begin installing Windows.
The software might take up to a couple of hours to prepare the Windows to Go drive. On our test PC running Windows 10, Rufus took over 90 minutes to prepare Windows To Go drive of Windows 10.
Once the job is done, you’ll see Ready message. You can now restart your computer to test your newly prepared Windows To Go drive. Good luck!
Do let us know if you have any difficulties in following the guide or experiencing any issues by leaving comments.
Our how to use Rufus to download Windows 10 ISO guide might also interest you.