Make a Bootable Partition on an External Hard Drive Windows 10

I recently got my hands on a pretty nice m.2 USB c enclosure and I want to use it as a multi-bootable drive for different operating systems (partition for win10 and Linux flavors). I created some NTFS partitions, but when I open Rufus it looks at the entire drive and not the partitions I created. Any advice?

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Melissa Lee· Answered on Jul 20, 2023

There is a built-in feature in Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro that enables you to create an imaged version of Windows on external hard drives. However, there are many limitations. Check them below.

Requirements for USB Drives:

  • Offer high random read/write speeds
  • Has been tuned to boot and run on Windows 7 and later

If your device meets the requirements, you can follow the steps below to make a bootable partition on an external hard drive on Windows 10.

Step 1. Download the installation ISO file from Microsoft and connect the hard drive to your computer.

Step 2. Go to Control Panel and find Windows To Go on your computer. Choose the external hard drive and click Next.

Step 3. Click Add search location to search for the ISO file and select the ISO file to make the external hard drive bootable.

Step 4. If you want to use BitLocker, make sure you won't forget the password. Then, click Create to confirm. Lastly, wait for the process to finish.

Related article: How to Make External Hard Drive Bootable in Windows 10/Windows 11

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