Run Windows from USB Disk with WinToUSB

It is common for the Linux operating system to come in the Live boot media (CD, DVD or USB disks). These Live Linux versions can be run without installing anything on the hard disk of a computer, making them great for fixing non-bootable or malware infected computers. But such Live boot flavors are not officially available for many other mainstream operating systems like Windows and Mac. Usually, you have to install Windows to the hard disk before you can use it. But with the help of a freeware tool called WinToUSB, you can install and run Windows right from a USB disk drive – just as you would run a Live Linux version.

WinToUSB works with all the moderns versions of Windows including Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and the 2012 server editions (Windows 10 is not released yet, but it supports the technical preview).


Before you start, you would need a few things apart from the WinToUSB software. First of all you need a USB disk drive with at least 32 GB of disk space so that all the Windows files can be installed there. Then, of course, you need  Windows installation source – an ISO image file or the Windows installation DVD. WinToUSB is also able to create the image from your existing Windows installation but it can take many hours and is therefore not recommended.



After selecting the source for Windows installation files (Windows ISO image, Windows CD/DVD or your existing installation), you can proceed to select the target USB disk drive. It is going to format the USB disk drive that you select for the operation, so be careful to backup all the contents of the target disk before you go ahead.



The whole process of installing Windows on the target USB disk may take many minutes, so you can leave the computer running and do some other work that you have to finish. In about 40 minutes, you can come back and if all goes well, the Live Windows bootable USB disk should be ready. You can use it to boot into Windows on any computer you want if that computer supports booting from the USB disks.


Conclusion: WinToUSB is a great tool for creating Live Windows installations on USB disks so that you can run Windows from the USB disks. It supports all the versions of Windows including Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.

You can download WinToUSB from