Windows 8–Windows To GO

One of the new and coolest features of Windows 8 for me is the Windows To Go (Portable Workspace). Windows To Go enable you to run Windows from a USB drive. I am not talking about Installing Windows from a USB drive rather, booting and running Windows off the USB drive Smile how cool is that?

This can be like running a managed desktop on an unmanaged client, to explain a bit more on that, imagine you have your personal notebook (unmanaged client), which is not part of your companies directory server or doesn’t have any policies of your enterprise. If you require to run your office desktop on your personal computer, you can simply do it without formatting or installing anything. You have to capture your enterprise image to a USB drive and boot your personal computer from the USB and you have a managed desktop.

Below are the steps to enable Windows To Go on a USB storage.

Requirements: 32 GB USB Drive, your Windows 8 customized WIM or the WIM which can be found in the Windows 8 Beta ISO (\sources\install.wim), ImageX.exe utility (which is inside WAIK http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=10333)

The USB stick has to be prepared first before we proceed with Windows 8 Installation

Plug in the USB to your computer and note the assigned drive letter

  • Open up CMD with Administrative privilege
  • Type Diskpart and hit enter
  • Type List Disk (this will show the attached hard drives and the USB drives) hit enter
  • Type Select Disk 1 (disk 1 is my USB drive) hit enter
  • Type Clean (this will clean the disk) and hit enter
  • Type Create Partition Primary (This will create a partition on your USB Drive) and hit enter
  • Type format fs=ntfs quick (this will format your USB drive) and hit enter
  • Type Active (this will activate the partition) and hit enter
  • Type Exit (to exit Diskpart) and hit enter

1

2

By now you should have the Windows 8 image created. This can be a custom image (image that you can create by configuring a reference pc with windows 8 and capture the image using ImageX) or you can use the Image (.wim) file which comes along with the Windows 8 Beta ISO (You can find it in \sources\install.wim)

I will be using INSTALL.WIM for this testing purpose and I have copied both the WIM file and the IMAGEX.EXE tool to my I:\ drive  

Navigate to I:\ in command prompt and type imagex.exe /apply install.wim 1 h:\

(H:\ is my USB Drive where I will be deploying the image)

3 

The image is applied successfully (might take some time)

4

Once done with the image, you will have to set the boot configuration details

bcdboot.exe H:\windows /s H:

5

That’s about it and now you are ready to go with Windows To Go. You can plug this USB drive on any computer and boot from it and you will have Windows 8 (it can be a MAC or a Linux as well), only thing is that the host computer should be able to boot from a USB. Windows To Go will not modify any of the Host machine files or details.

click  Windows To Go – Overview for more information

Advertisements

Installing Active Directory on Windows Server 8 Beta

After installing Windows server 8 in my lab environment, I wanted to check on whether there are any changes to the Active Directory implementation comparatively to its previous versions.

I tried running DCPROMO and boom got the following message

aa 

It says the ADDS installation wizard is relocated in the server manager.

After I got the above message I opened up the server manager, The loading of the server manager was different and it looked nice

Servermanager

There you go, a look at the new server manager in Windows Server 8

ServerManager2 

After clicking the Add roles and features, the before you begin screen prompted, click next

1

Since I do not have a group of servers and only one server, I went with option 1 and clicked next

2

Next was to select the server and click next

3

Select the role of ADDS and click next

4

Click next

5

Introduction to ADDS, click next

6

View the confirmation and click on install

7

Installation begins

8

Installation completed, but configuration required by clicking on the hyperlink or

9

click the notification

10

Since this is my test lab and the first domain of a new forest I selected “Add a new forest” option and typed the domain name, click next

11

Select the forest and domain functional role (note the default role selected), give the DSRM password, select the DNS option and since this is my first DC it automatically becomes a GC

12

An error, because the authoritative DNS for my domain cannot be found, but this can be fixed after the DNS is installed for my domain which will be done during this installation

13

NetBIOS name is being resolved

14

The default installation paths

15

Review your selection (note that you have an option to view the powershell script)

16

The prerequisite check is being done and successful

17

Installation begins and proceeds

18

Installation is done and server restarts

19

Windows restarts and logs on to the domain

20

Active Directory users and Computers snap in

21

The DNS management console

22

Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview Step by Step

Now that I have downloaded the ISO for Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I started to install it on a Acer Iconia Tab W500 and the installation went smoothly. Performance wise this is great, all the apps are working (some new apps comparatively to the developer preview), touch is awesome so smooth and similar to Windows Phone 7.5 touch experience. No drivers were needed at all.

The following are the steps

1

I booted from a USB drive

2

Select the necessary options and click Next

3

Click Install Now

4

Installation Setup is Starting

5

Product Key to be entered (which is DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J)

6

Accept the Licensing terms

7

select the type of installation (Custom to do a fresh installation)

8

Create, Select and Format the partition and click Next

9-a

Installation Starts and Setup Restarts

10

New – Set the Background color using the slider

Give your computer a name and click Next

11

I selected the Express Settings

12

You can either use a Live account (.NET passport) or click next to create a local account

13

Click on Local Account (this is to create the local account)

14

Fill the details

15

Setup is Finalizing your settings

16

Automatically logs in after you enter the password

17

Installation Done

Now its all about Customizing, said that I miss the Start Button!!

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Ok Folks, it’s the 29th of February 2012 and another milestone has been met by Microsoft. The next version of Microsoft Client Operating System Windows 8 reaches the Consumer Preview Stage.

The Microsoft Springboard Site has the the links to download the binaries of Windows 8 Consumer Preview as well as vast amount of other resources containing information related Microsoft Windows 8.

The Springboard site can be accessed http://technet.microsoft.com/windows/windows-8 for all these information as well as the DOWNLOAD for FREE.

Enjoy Downloading and Using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Build.