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
  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
  3. Pozzie Win User
    Folder contents disappear from portable hard drive


    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
  4. Geethu B Win User

    VM running from portable drive

    Portable hard drive and windows 10


    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

    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

VM running from portable drive

  1. VM running from portable drive - Similar Threads - running portable drive

  2. portable hard drive to USB

    in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware
    portable hard drive to USB: I have a portable hard drive and I am using a USB sync and charge cable. It lights up and flashes but doesn't show in File Explorer. It shows in Devices and printers but can't access it. Tried each USB port and on 2 laptops. Any advice please...
  3. portable drive

    in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware
    portable drive: portable hard drive not recognize after windows 10 update
  4. Driver for Iomega portable drive

    in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware
    Driver for Iomega portable drive: With a Windows 10 update I'm no longer able to access my Iomega Portable backup. It won't boot up. Can you tell me how to fix this?
  5. usb portable diskette drive

    in Windows 10 Network and Sharing
    usb portable diskette drive: I would like to know why I am not able to load the driver for the usb portable diskette drive. I have Windows 10."
  6. portable hard drive concern

    in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware
    portable hard drive concern: Hi, I've got a number of portable hard drives but they are often not really portable, I only use them home but from time to time, especially for the Seagate one, where it didn't come with rubber pads at the bottom, from time to time, I could accidentally move it a little bit...
  7. VM - run on SSD or Spinner?

    in Windows 10 Virtualization
    VM - run on SSD or Spinner?: Hello, Have a laptop with both SSD and HDD and will be running at least a couple of VMs simultaneously most of the time. Was wondering if for optimal performance - SSD life + Performance of VMs - should it matter if I run these VMs on SSD? or should I run them in...
  8. Run a VM win10 for gaming?

    in Windows 10 Virtualization
    Run a VM win10 for gaming?: Is there a way to run win10 for gaming in a VM? I almsot want to run win10 VM in win7 or 8.1 or a sparsely updated win10... 71906
  9. QUESTION: Efficacy of Running Portable Apps on Internal Hard Drive ?

    in Windows 10 Software and Apps
    QUESTION: Efficacy of Running Portable Apps on Internal Hard Drive ?: Q. Which features are available in the Sandboxie paid version? Sandboxie - FAQ Licensing Two features: 1. "Force" programs: Automatically run programs under Sandboxie even when they are not started directly through Sandboxie. Programs can be "forced" by name...
  10. Run disk from portable disk drive

    in Windows 10 Support
    Run disk from portable disk drive: Hi all, I've purchased a new laptop which has no disk drive, so, i brought a portable one...I'm now trying to install my Adobe mastersuite via my disk using the disk drive but I can't find how to run the disk!! It's all plugged in and makes the usual sounds etc so it...