[Solved] How to install or clone Windows Server to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server?

Updated on May 12, 2022 by Admin to Portable Windows Creator

For some special reasons, we may want to run Windows Server from an external hard drive. This tutorial will show you how to install or clone Windows Server to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server, mainly including the following aspects:

Overview of Windows Server

Windows Server is a group of operating systems designed by Microsoft that supports enterprise-level management, data storage, database applications, and communications, this means that Windows Server is used in enterprise environments in almost all cases. Each Windows server edition corresponds to a desktop edition of Windows, for example, Windows Server 2008 is the server edition of Windows Vista. Because Windows Server and Windows Desktop share a code base, many of the same functions can be performed on both. You can download and install programs such as browsers and picture editors on Windows Server. Windows Server also includes many of the Windows infrastructure programs, such as Notepad. Compared with desktop operating systems, Windows server operating systems have the following characteristics:

✦ 1. Windows Server supports more memory
✦ 2. Windows Server uses cpu more efficiently
✦ 3. Allow more network connections
✦ 4. Background tasks and services take precedence

So far, Windows Server has released the following versions:

Version Codename Kernel version number Release date
Windows Server 2000 NT5.0 Server NT 5.0 2000-02-17
Windows Server 2003 Whistler Server, .NET Server NT 5.2 2003-04-24
Windows Server 2003 R2 Release 2 NT 5.2 2005-12-06
Windows Server 2008 Longhorn Server NT 6.0 2008-02-27
Windows Server 2008 R2 Server 7 NT 6.1 2009-10-22
Windows Server 2012 Server 8 NT 6.2 2012-09-04
Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Blue NT 6.3 2013-10-17
Windows Server 2016 Threshold Server, Redstone Server NT 10.0 2016-10-13
Windows Server 2019 Redstone Server NT 10.0 2018-11-13
Windows Server 2019 Sun Vallery Server NT 10.0 2021-11-5

What is Windows Server To Go (portable Windows Server)?

Windows To Go (WTG) refers to installing Windows to a USB drive and then running Windows from the USB drive, also commonly known as Portable Windows. After installing Windows to a USB drive you can take the USB drive anywhere and start Windows installed on the USB drive on any computer, so Windows Server To Go refers to installing Windows Server to a USB drive and then booting Windows Server from the USB drive.

However, when we try to install Windows Server to a USB drive, we will find that Microsoft does not allow us to install Windows Server to a USB drive. Is there a way to install Windows to an external disk drive? The answer is yes. This tutorial will show you how to use Hasleo WinToUSB to install or clone Windows Server to an external hard drive and then run Windows Server from the external hard drive.

 

Tutorial to install Windows Server to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server.

Step 1. Download, install and run WinToUSB, click the ISO Icon button, then click the Browse Icon button and select the Windows Server installation ISO file from the open dialog box.

Step 2. WinToUSB scans for and lists installable operating systems in the Windows installation ISO. Please select the edition of Windows you want to install, then click "Next".

select Windows Server edition

Step 3. Select the external hard drive in the drop-down list. If the 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. After you select the external hard drive, 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 external hard drive before this step, and here is the user guide on how to manually prepare partitions for Windows To Go.

Format the external hard drive

Step 5. After clicking "Yes", WinToUSB begins formatting. Please wait until that format operation is complete.

Step 6. After successfully formated the external hard drive, select the installation mode, then click "Next".

select partition

Step 7. After clicking "Next", WinToUSB begins installing Windows to the external hard drive.

installing Windows Server to external hard drive

Step 8. It takes some time to install. After installation restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from your external hard drive.

change BIOS to boot from Thunderbolt

Step 9. Windows normal installation starts up and you have to complete all the installation steps. After that, you can install programs, copy files, etc.

Windows normal installation

 

Tutorial to clone Windows Server to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server.

Step 1. Download, install and run WinToUSB on the Windows Server OS you want to clone, click the System Clone Icon button, then click "Next".

select clone Windows Server

Step 2. 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 3. 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 external hard drive before this step, and here is the user guide on how to manually prepare partitions for Windows To Go. Please note that the "Keep the existing partition scheme" option is valid only for an external disk.

select partition scheme for Windows To Go

Step 4. Select the boot partition and system partition from the partition list, the selected partitions will be marked as red, then click "Next".

select system and boot partition

Step 5. After clicking "Next", WinToUSB begins cloning Windows to the external hard drive.

clone Windows to USB

Step 7. 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

 

Conclusion

This tutorial introduces you to Windows To Go and explains in detail how to install or clone Windows Server operating system to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server. Follow these simple steps, you can install Windows Server to an external hard drive and then run Windows form the external hard drive.

As a professional Portable Windows Creator, you can not only install or clone Windows Server to an external hard drive as portable Windows Server with Hasleo WinToUSB, but also use it to help you install or clone Windows desktop operating system to an external hard drive as portable Windows.