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What is Windows To Go?

Posted on 2014-09-13
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Last Modified: 2014-09-17
Can any body explain it simply?
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Question by:hassanayoub85
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37 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Gabriel Clifton
ID: 40321262
Windows to go is like Linux live, Windows on disk.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40321288
Good, and can does it save data on windowa, or after shutdown all data are gone?
Another thing, can i do sync of xhanges between desktop home wineows and windows on the go؟
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40321316
It is a Windows installation on a USB stick which you can use in different PC's, and it is fully functional. But it only comes with the enterprise version of Windows 8.x.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Jagarm
ID: 40321371
Hi hassanayoub85,

Please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/devices/windowstogo.aspx and you will get more information.

There are certain USBs which Windows To go can be stored on

Regards
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40321472
Okay, I read that,
but lets say i have windows in home, and windows in work.
And i set up this stick. when i go work and do my work, then go back home, can i resume my work, an sync changes with my home pc?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40321549
You can store the data on the stick, so you wouldn't need to do any syncing.

But Windows 8.x by default uses m$ user accounts linked to m$ hotmail and the OneDrive cloud storage. With such accounts the data stored in your profile is automatically synced with OneDrive and available over all Windows 8.x devices that use that same account. But that has nothing to do with Windows to Go.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40322110
Hi.
"can does it save data on windowa, or after shutdown all data are gone?" - It's a portable windows that saves changes and doesn't discard anything when unplugged. Like you were already told, you can save your data on the USB drive so it's available anywhere you plug that usb drive.
It works with nearly any usb drive but Microsoft recommends certain devices and I have seen big differences in performance. I can recommend the Kingston data traveler drives. Very fast, even on USB2.0 it's nice to use.
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40322182
Local disks are not accessible, all read/writes go to the USB stick.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40322202
Local disks are not accessible by default, but can be made accessible in disk management.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40323631
Ok good info fom you all.
Last 2 things:
1- I have a hard drive 2 TTB, when I installed Windows-To-Go, it installed in whole harddrive. can I Install it in a particular partition, to use other partition for data?
2- When using Windows-To-Go version, I can access the local harddrive, can i access the windows-to-go data from a host pc?
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40323673
1. If you just want to use a partition why did you not just install Windows?
2. not recommended. but possible.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40323881
1. In diskmanagement you can shrink the volume, then add a new partition in the freed up space.

2. Can be done, but why? Just boot that PC directly from Windows to go and you have your data.
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40324004
1 see Rindi
2 sure, in diskmanagement, set the other drive to "online" and add a drive letter.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40324028
David Johnson, CD, MVP:
1- I have 2 TB harddisk, so i want to isntall windows to go on a 100GB, and use the rest as dta backup, got my point?
2- How to do that and access windows to go data from host?

rindi:
1- If I shrink it from diskmanagement, the partition will not be shown on my host pc.
2- How to be done?

McKnife:
2- I am not able to see the whole hard drive in my host pc to set it to online!!!
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40324043
1. I have just shrunk a Windows to go partition directly from within Windows to go. But I don't know if you can reduce it's size that much.  Windows diskmanagement is a bit limited at the amount of the reduction. So if you can't shrink the partition by that much, you'll need to use a 3rd party utility.

2. The same way as McKnife mentioned, but while booted into the Windows to Go disk. Set the PC's internal disk to online, assign a drive letter, and copy...
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40324064
rindi:
1- If you shrink the HDD from inside windows to go drive, it is shriked successfully, however, if you unplug the drive, and pulg it into already running windows pc, you cant see the shrinked partition.
2- Same scenario, I am on a indows host pc, then i lugged the windows to go drive, so I cant boot it up, i am already on windows host pc, so, how to access the data on the windws to go drive?
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40324091
2 open disk management. There, you will see "the other" hard drive, no matter if 2go is booted or the static system. There you set it to "online", there you assign a drive letter.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40324786
2- Nothing related to the external hard drive is shown in diskmanagement!!!!
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40324793
Then open device manager to see if it shows up in the drives section. It has to, otherwise it is not rpoperly connected/recognized at the hardware level.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40324795
It is found in the device manager, and it is booting normally to windows to go!!!
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40324817
What is found? The very drive that you don't see in disk management?
If so, are we talking about the same disk management? I meant diskmgmt.msc, open that one.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40324889
The whole idea behind Windows to go is that you can boot up into your Windows environment directly even when using a foreign PC, by just using your USB stick or disk, you don't have to carry your PC or laptop around with you. It isn't the idea of Windows to go to transfer data between to go and the native OS on the PC, that would usually be a huge security issue and something every company wants to avoid at all costs. As this is only available with Windows 8.x Enterprise, which can only be acquired in Volume Licenses for companies, it is targeted only for companies, and therefore any access to the local PC's disks (or vice versa, if you booted from the local disk's OS) is disabled by default.

But via diskmanagement I can assign drive letters to the to go disk, as well as from the to go disk to the local disks, provided you have the password to the administrator's accounts.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40327757
McKnife: Yes, diskmgmt.msc, and nothing found there, but the windows to go boot normally when restarting the system.
rindi:I got it, but the to go usb drive is not shown in disk management to be able to access it!!!!
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40327806
As I said: then it seems, as if the drive is not found at the hardware layer already. So please check if the BIOS sees it.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40327861
Dear, if the bios dont see it, so how come it is booting normally to windows to go?
And why it was working perfectly before converting it to windows to go?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40327943
Did you by any chance enable encryption when you setup Windows to Go? That's what I could imagine that could cause this. I am at the moment playing around with Windows to Go, and I can see the disk when bootet from the PC's OS. Have you checked whether it can be seen on another PC, maybe also another OS (Windows 7)?
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40328005
Oh dear. I am not talking about the to go hardware but the built-in drive. If to go's device manager does not see that drive, I recommend to go to the bios and see if it's still recognized. Of course you can stop that if the hard drive installation (not the to go one, but the built-in one) still boots.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40328061
rindi: Yes, ive enabled bitlocker while creating it.
McKnife: the to go works perfectly, abdd can see local hdd. I want the reverse, i want to access to-go's drive from host.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40328104
I don't think you can do that with encryption on.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40328122
How to turn it off?
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 40328214
In Control Panel, Bitlocker drive encryption, you can turn it on and off. But I don't think this will help in your case. You probably rather will have to install Windows to Go again, but this time select not to encrypt the disk.
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

by:
McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 40328215
Don't.
Encryption is not your problem. If the Togo drive does not show in device management, encryption is nit even touched. Don't know what us going on...if I were to support your machine at work, now I would check all that's been said with my own eyes, because it works for me even with bitlocker on all systems including Togo.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40328222
So,why my ToGo drive works perfectly and oad perfectly on 2 machines, but, it is not shown in winxp, seven, or 8 host PCs!?
As I need to format the hard drive, to use it as data backup!!!
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40328306
I donno how and why, but it is now working, and can see it and manage it form host!!!
I just updated windows 8 and removed hyperv, and it worked. lol.
thanks alot guys
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40328345
Why just a "C" grade? Your Question was what is Windows to Go, and that was answered perfectly.
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Author Comment

by:hassanayoub85
ID: 40328376
You are right I am sorry, how to change it?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40328462
Use the "Request Attention" button in the Question.
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