Windows 10: VM running from portable drive

Discus and support VM running from portable drive in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; Just for fun, I wanted to see if I could run a VM from a portable drive with a "Windows To Go" install on it. So this is what I did: I have an M.2 NVMe... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by NavyLCDR, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. NavyLCDR Win User

    VM running from portable drive


    Just for fun, I wanted to see if I could run a VM from a portable drive with a "Windows To Go" install on it. So this is what I did:
    I have an M.2 NVMe SSD drive in a USB-C enclosure. I partitioned the drive as MBR, created a 100 MB FAT32 partition on it marked as active, followed by an NTFS partition filling the rest of the drive. Apply a Windows 10 image to the NTFS partition using DSM (I chose Windows 10 Pro but any edition of Windows 10 should work). Then used the bcdboot command to write the boot files for both UEFI and BIOS to the FAT32 partition. This drive is now bootable on both UEFI and legacy BIOS computers, and I can boot directly into it and run it from the USB SSD.

    Then I ran the diskpart offline disk command on the drive to take it offline.

    Then create your standard Generation 2 (probably Generation 1 would work too) VM in Hyper-V, but when it asks for a Virtual Hard Drive, select the option to add one later. After the VM is created, go back to settings for it, and select the SCSI controller and add a hard disk to it - this is where you can now select your USB drive as long as it is offline in Windows. Go up to the firmware settings and move the new hard drive entry to the top of the list. Turn off all checkpoints. VIOLA, the VM will boot from and use the Windows installed to the SSD, without any .vhdx file at all!

    I can't think of any real use for this, but a neat experiment, IMHO.

    :)
     
    NavyLCDR, Aug 2, 2020
    #1
  2. Fafhrd Win User

    Run disk from portable disk drive

    Didn't really give a lot of information to the OP.

    "RESETTING" is a loaded word with Windows versions 8 - 10 and refers to a Windows recovery function with potentially unfortunate consequences for the unaware.

    The STEP 4: instructions are a little more complete, but omit an important step. The drive with disk inserted must be connected to the laptop before restarting the laptop. Then, if the USB and DVD drivers are loaded at boot time, the DVD may be available for use.
     
    Fafhrd, Aug 2, 2020
    #2
  3. Pozzie Win User
    Folder contents disappear from portable hard drive

    Hi

    I am transferring files from a couple of computers (-all WIN 10, 1803 build) to a portable NTFS hard drive. I have regularly done this before, so its not new and I have not had issues.

    But on 2 recent occasions, after a cut and paste from an internal computer hard drive, a duplicate folder has appeared in the hard portable drive, and the contents of the original folder on that portable hard drive have disappeared: the message is the "folder
    is empty". However, when I right click and open "properties" of that original folder, the number of files and the data is definitely not zero and is comparable to all of the prior contents.

    I have read up about NTFS folder/file ownership and permissions and have re-assigned both in case I had stuffed this up at another time (The files were coming from different 'owners'). But no help: I cannot access nor even list the missing files.

    I have run anti-virus : no issues.

    Any suggestions to recover these files would be much appreciated.
     
    Pozzie, Aug 2, 2020
    #3
  4. Geethu B Win User

    VM running from portable drive

    Portable hard drive and windows 10

    Hi,

    Thank you for contacting Microsoft Community. I understand that you have an issue with connecting
    portable hard drive in Windows 10.
    I will surely help you to fix this issue.

    To understand the issue better, I would need more information from your end.


    • Is the hard drive getting detected on the computer?

    • Do you face any issue while using other USB devices?
    This issue could have occurred due to these reasons:

    1. Missing Windows Update.

    2. USB port is damaged.

    3. Damaged hardware.

    Try the steps listed here:

    Method 1:

    I suggest you to run hardware troubleshooter and check if it helps.

    a) Press Windows Key.

    b) Type Troubleshooting in the search box and hit
    Enter.

    c) Click on Hardware and sound.

    d) Click on Hardware and device and follow the on-screen instructions.

    Method 2:

    If the issue persists, I suggest you to install all the available Windows Updates and also latest chipset driver from the computer manufacturer website. You may also try connecting the hard drive to a different USB port.

    Hope this information helps. Reply to the post with an updated status of the issue so that we can assist you further.
     
    Geethu B, Aug 2, 2020
    #4
Thema:

VM running from portable drive

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