Windows 8 Can Boot from a USB Flash Drive

When the Windows 8 developer preview launched last week it was well respected by bloggers who think Microsoft is doing a great job with the new operating system. After testing the operating system over the past week or so, some users have found that you can boot a laptop in to Windows 8 from a USB flash drive. We had heard it was installable from a flash drive earlier this week but now have a demo of it booting from a flash drive.

The new feature is part of Windows 8 and is called Windows To Go. What this does is lets you use an 16GB or larger flash drive that is loaded with a Windows 8 disc image. You can then reboot your laptop or PC and have it boot from the USB drive to load up the operating system stored on the flash drive. Windows To Go looks to be quite decent in that you can have all your programs installed and have it configured to work as though it’s loading from a hard drive.

We first saw hints of the Windows To Go functionality in a leaked copy of Windows 8 that was making the rounds earlier this year. While the Portable Workspace Creator doesn’t appear to be part of the Windows 8 Developer Preview that was released to the public recently, it turns out you can still create a bootable Windows 8 USB device with a little elbow grease.

What we don’t know is if Microsoft will continue to allow this or if for now, it’s developers only and will be removed by the time the final version is ready to launch.

Take a look at the video below to see Windows 8 booting from a USB flash drive. Instructions on how to do this can be found over here.


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