How to clone Windows 8 to an external hard drive as portable Windows 8?

Updated on April 24, 2020 by Admin to Clone Windows to USB Drive

In our company, we use the Windows 8 operating system for office. We are planning on cloning Windows 8 installation to an external hard drive (each device would be married to a PC). The plan is really for emergency backup, if the PC hard drive fails or some other issue comes up, the worker would be able to continue to work from the Portable Windows 8 on the external hard drive. Is there any way we can achieve this?

Windows 8 is the first version of Windows that supports Windows To Go feature, Windows To Go allow us to install enterprise edition of Windows 8 to a Windows To Go Certified Drive and run Windows from this drive. However, by default, we can only create Windows To Go USB drive from an Windows 8 installation ISO file and cannot clone the existing Windows 8 installation to a USB drive by using the official Windows To Go Creator. Is there any way to clone existing Windows 8 installation to an external hard drive as portable Windows 8? The answer is yes, WinToUSB can help you achieve this goal. Here we will show you how to clone Windows 8 installation to an external hard drive as portable Windows 8 step-by-step with the help of WinToUSB.

 

Tutorial to clone Windows 8 to an external hard drive as portable Windows 8 wtih WinToUSB.

Step 1. Connect the destination external hard drive or flash drive to the computer with an installed copy of WinToUSB, then run WinToUSB.

Step 2. Click the System Clone Icon button, then click "Next".

Physical To USB icon

Step 3. Select the external hard drive in the drop-down list. If your external hard drive is not correctly recognized by WinToUSB, you need to click the Refresh Icon button for the program to recognize the external hard drive.

select external hard drive

Step 4. A pop-up will appear asking you if you want to format it to continue, select the partition scheme you want to use and click "Yes" to format it. If you choose "Keep the existing partition scheme", you need to manually prepare the partitions on the USB drive before this step, and here is the user guide on how to manually prepare partitions for Windows To Go.

Step 5. Select the boot partition and system partition from the partition list, the selected partitions will be marked as red, then click "Next".

clone Windows 8 select system and boot partition

Step 6. After clicking "Next", a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to build a WinPE image to continue, click "Yes". Please note that the paid versions support hot cloning, so you can complete the clone operation without creating WinPE and restarting your computer.

need to build winpe

Step 7. WinToUSB begins building WinPE, this may take several minutes, so please be patient..

creating winpe

Step 8. After successfully builded the WinPE image, WinToUSB will prompt you to reboot the computer, click "Yes" button to allow WinToUSB to reboot your computer.

reboot computer

Step 9. It takes some time to clone. After the clone is successfully completed, restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from your external hard drive.

change BIOS to boot from USB

 

Follow these simple steps, you can make an exact copy of your Windows 8 to an external hard drive as portable Windows 8, including operating system, installed applications and system settings. In addition, you can also use WinToUSB to create portable Windows 10.