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Krister's Blog
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Last Updated:
2016-11-02
Newer version
Multiboot SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Part 1: Install Windows 10 onto a USB-Stick


Two years ago I installed Windows XP onto a SanDisk Cruzer Blade - but it was very, very slow - not worth it! Thought I would make a new attempt with an Extreme USB 3.0 Drive from SanDisk, and this time with Windows 10 Home edition, 64-bit.
View Video 5 min

I downloaded and installed WinToUSB from the Easy UEFI Development Team. Also created an image file from the Windows 10 installation DVD. Started the installer, pointed it to the Windows 10 ISO file, pointed it to the USB flash drive - on a USB 3.0 port of course - and okeyed to format.

Got to the screen to the right. Boot and system partition the same, Drive H: okay. Suggested installation mode to VHDX, whereas Legacy mode was grayed out. The virtual drive alternatives give a closed file structure - the host cannot be mounted, and the host cannot mount the USB drive. I prefer the Legacy mode, which gives an open file structure and with mutual mounting possible. The Easy UEFI Development Team claims that the Legacy mode may not work properly and that the VHD/VHDX mode has the best compatibility, so they have disabled the Legacy mode by default.

To get the Legacy mode I added the line StorageModeLegacy=1 to the H:/Program files/WinToUSB/bin/WinToUSB.ini file, and proceeded with the installation. This was quite similar to a normal Windows 10 installation with a few reboots. On the first boot for a new host, the installer searches and adds new drivers as required.




At first I was unable to mount the three hard disk drives of my host PC, as they were Offline "because of a policy set by an administrator". Right clicking for the context menu of the drive gives the option to choose Online.
Another way (which I haven't tried) is to change the registry:
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\partmgr\Parameters" change the value "SanPolicy" to 1.



Running Windows 10 on this Extreme Drive on my PC (spec) as host, is not slow at all - it is a quite pleasant experience! A couple of months later I installed Windows Anniversary Update onto another fast USB3 flash drive.