Here's a neat idea, it's a great way to see how any PC will handle Win 8. You do need to have a legitimate product key and it would be impractical to imagine you can use this to have the OS on all your PC's. You would need a USB 3 setup to have it run at decent speed.
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You can already do that, even though its 'unofficial'. You can run WinXP/Win7 quite easily from a USB stick and plenty of people have created very cut down version of Windows just for that purpose. Mainly for booting into and repairing otherwise unbootable useless without formatting systems
It can also be done 'officially' via Win7, but not as good as a custom releases
They are out there, just try looking for :
'win7 portable usb' or 'winxp pro portable usb'
Yeah....been using Win7-pe on a bootable usb 2.0 thumbrive for a few years now. I've got a few good programs installed on it. I mostly use it to create and restore drive images and such. Very good tool to have.............Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........
There is also USB versions that run 100% genuine Win7 installs. Not BartPE, so run and install pretty much anything without hunting for BartPE support. I have a few portable apps that don't have any BartPE support due to how they write their temp files. I use ThinApp or track down 'unofficial' portable apps. Still doesn't help if you have a non-booting system to repair for friends though
i'm looking for this for xp, but the last time i looked, it was too difficult and scarey to take on by myself. i have enough problems with xp on my desktop. my netbook is fine, i have that imaged, but i'm stuck with useb 1 for writing and restoring the images...same for my desktop. but, can you actually buy these premade somehow ? the steps involved for the latest methods still looks like too much work. i'm bound to screw it up, not to mention, is for win7.
And this is the point of this post, the solution in the link makes it trivial to do.