How to Create Windows To Go with Non-certified USB Flash Drive

Jean updated on Sep 23, 2019 to Todo Backup Resource | How-to Articles

Windows To Go is an enterprise feature of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, by which users can create a bootable USB external hard drive that carries a Windows live system. With a portable Windows To Go USB drive at hand, you don't need to worry about system startup disasters, like a boot failure, malware or virus infection that crashing a system... You can use a Windows To Go USB drive anywhere on any computer! Only meeting the following requirements of installing Windows OS on a certified USB flash drive.

Here's the list of Windows To Go certified USB stick!

  • Imation IronKey™ Workspace W300 / W500 / W700 
  • Kingston DataTraveler Workspace 
  • Spyrus Portable Workplace
  • Spyrus Secure Portable Workplace
  • Spyrus WorkSafe
  • Super Talent RC4/ RC8 
  • WD My Passport Enterprise

So, check first whether you got a supported flash drive. Meanwhile, you must know that those Windows To Go certified drives all start at 32GB of storage space, so it costs much in general.

Can you create Windows To Go with non-certified USB flash drive

Users' attempts to create a Windows To Go workspace on a non-certified USB flash drive would definitely fail, and most of the time accompanied by an error message saying this is a removable drive and isn't compatible with Windows To Go

As a matter of fact, a majority of worldwide users are using popular USB 3.0 flash drives from SanDisk, Kinston, Toshiba or Samsung, and most of which is not Windows To Go supported. To widely assist the non-certified USB owners who are in the demand of installing personized Windows operating system on a portable drive, third-party Windows To Go creator is developed, which puts Windows To Go non-certified USB in use!

Finally, let's create your own Windows To Go on any USB drive!

To make it happen, finding the best USB bootable software shall be perfect. EaseUS Todo Backup, for example, with its system clone feature that supports to image the whole system configuration and files to external storage, the creation of a portable Windows operating system which is so much akin to Windows To Go becomes really easy and relaxed. let's download and install the Windows backup software on a PC and start off.

No matter what brand of USB flash drive you got, even it's not in the list of Microsoft Windows To Go certified USB stick, it can be used with EaseUS Todo Backup. However, you must follow two rules. For a new USB flash drive without anything on it, make sure that the storage space is no less than that of the system partition; while for an old USB drive, there has to be enough unallocated space in front of the existing partitions.

Guide to create Windows To Go with non-certified USB flash drive

USB requirements:

1. Check how much disk space is used for the system C drive. Let's assume 40GB. Then prepare a qualified USB drive, of which the disk capacity must be larger than 40GB.

2. Do you use an empty new USB drive or an old one? Make sure that all the important data has been safely transferred because the system clone will overwrite data on it completely.

3. Correctly connect the USB drive to your machine and make sure that Windows has detected it and assigned a drive letter to it.

Follow the overall process to create a portable Windows USB drive and boot from it:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup. Expand the menu and click "System Clone" in the lower position.

click system clone

Step 2. On the "System clone" window, the software will choose the system partition and boot partition by default. Just Choose the USB drive as the destination disk. 

Click on "Advanced options" and then "Create Portable Windows USB drive". Click "OK".

choose the usb drive to create a portable windows usb drive

Click "Proceed". The software will start immediately cloning the default partitions of your desktop/laptop to the USB drive. After the cloning process is over, you can safely plug the USB drive out.

start to create portable windows usb drive

Step 3. Boot from the USB drive.

  • Connect your portable USB to the computer
  • Restart the computer and press "Del" to enter BIOS
  • Set the PC to boot from the portable USB by changing the boot order in BIOS under the "Boot" tab
  • Save changes and you'll see your system booting up from the USB drive

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose EaseUS Todo Backup?

"The easiest way to protect your data and system files."techradar

"EaseUS Todo Backup Free is one of the most popular free data backup applications available. This software offers a myriad of features and is extremely user-friendly. It provides a full system backup, meaning you can back up your entire operating system."TopTenReviews

"EaseUS ToDo Backup Home is a great backup program, well suited to the home and SMB space."PCWorld

What is the difference between Clone and Backup? In what cases should I use Clone?

Clone will copy one disk to another or one partition to another (unallocated space is also supported). Usually, this option is used to upgrade the current disk by creating an identical copy. Backup will generate a .PBD image file containing the selected files or system that can be restored from the .PBD image if needed.

What is the difference between System Backup and Disk Backup?

System Backup will auto-select the system boot related partition(s) as the backup source to make sure the system image can be restored properly. Disk/Partition Backup will allow you to manually select a whole disk or speficy a certain partition as the backup source. You will get the same backup result as System Backup if you manually select the system and boot partitions with the Disk/Partition Backup option.

As a computer newbie, what features should I use to protect my computer?

You can use System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions, use Disk/Partition backup to back up the data partition and add plans to run an automatic backup. If you use the computer frequently or have software that may cause boot failure of the computer, we would suggest you back up the computer every 1 to 2 days. For other situations, you can backup the computer once a week. In addition, you can schedule File Backup to back up the files which are changed frequently.

What kind of storage service should I use to save my backup images?

EaseUS Todo Backup can save backup images to internal disks, external disks, network drives, or free cloud(Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive) and CD/DVD. It is suggested to save the images to the internal/external/network drives to save time as those kinds of disks have a better read-write speed. It is suggested NOT to save the image on the source disk, because once the disk is damaged, all the files on the disk will become unavailable and you will be unable to restore the image.

As a company network administrator, what features should I use to protect our internal computers?

It is recommended that you use the SQL Backup feature to back up your company's SQL server and Exchange Backup feature to back up the Exchange server. In addition, you can execute System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions on every computer and set a plan to execute the backup once a day or twice a week to ensure that the computer can be restored timely when it has boot issues. File Backup feature can be used to back up important user data. If there are a large quantity of computers, you can purchase EaseUS Backup Center to manage the backups on the client computers centrally.

About EaseUS Todo Backup

Be it a file, system, partition, or disk, EaseUS Todo Backup will help you back up or clone the item and provide you with multiple backup plans.