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What Features Are Missing From Windows To Go Workspace?

The main attraction of Windows To Go is allow users to run Windows 8 on an external USB drive. If you’re interested but not sure how to create one, there is a guide in previous post.

Prior to that, let’s see what are the differences between Windows To Go and a conventional installation, with reference to feature overview and FAQ published by TechNet, namely:

1. Host system hard disk is not available for accessing data from Windows To Go workspace (hidden from File Explorer), and vice versa.
The Windows To Go disk has its NO_DEFAULT_DRIVE_LETTER flag turned on to prevent itself accessed by File Explorer of conventionally installed Windows. Besides, it also uses a new SAN Policy 4 (OFFLINE_INTERNAL) to prevent Windows To Go automatically mounting internal disk attached to host computer.

Anyway, you can use diskpart to assign drive letter and mount the hidden disk, at your own risk (risk of volume corruption and data loss).

2. BitLocker cannot make use of Trusted Platform Module (TPM), since Windows To Go disk has to be capable of running on different hardware configuration.

3. Both Windows Store and hibernation function are not enabled by default, but can be turned on by Local Group Policy settings, i.e. “Portable Operating System” and “Store” in this path:
\\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components

4. No support for Windows Recovery environment as well as refresh and reset Windows 8.

5. Windows To Go must be activated and reactivated periodically via Active Directory based volume activation or every 180 days if activated via the Key Management Service server (KMS) on the local network.
Windows To Go cannot be activated using Multiple Activation Key (MAK).

Now, do you think Windows To Go is suitable for your environment?

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