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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    What you should know about Windows to Go


    Field Notes

    What you should know about Windows to Go


    By Tracey Capen

    Windows to Go is a version of the OS that can be booted from USB devices. It's designed as an enterprise tool, but it showed up in Win10 Pro Version 1607.

    Also, Windows BitLocker is an easy tool for encrypting vulnerable flash drives and other removable storage.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/what-you-should-know-about-windows-to-go/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
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    Bitlocker, pro's and con's

    Tracey,
    I have used Truecrypt for many years to encrypt system drives, notebook drives, etc.
    then, it faded out, and windows 10 arrived, and i upgraaded two machines to PRO. AND, to bitlocker.
    Bitlocker, used over past 1 1/2 years approx, (had insider edition also), and it has been VERY reliable for encryption of the system drives.
    as I have financial (and used to have medical) data, and have notebook, it is very secure to have this encrypted.
    if we travel, I ahve no problem to have my financial data, etc, on this machine.
    and , in a hotel, I can use the cell phone for wireless hot spot if I'm worried about public network.

    CAVEAT -
    make sure you hve IMAGE backups (I use Paragon Hard Disk Suite 2015), and the IMAGE, made from within the encrypted drive, becomes UNENCRYPTED, to allow for easy emergency restore to a new hard drive in event of disaster.
    UNENCRYPTED backups are stored in safe, for security. AND, you can copy the UNENCRYPTED backups to a "bitlocker external drive", for further security
    How much security you want is up to you

    CON's of bitlocker
    being that the drive is encrypted, it b ecomes more difficult (impossible i think) to use the windows recovery disks, etc, so if there is a true windows disaster, then you have to be able to solve it from within the mounted windows operating system, OR reload from a previous image , keep it unencrypted, fix the windows issue, then re-encrypt it

    This is why I keep my DATA on a D: drive (encrypted itself also), so that if the C: operating system drive needs re-imaged, I don't have to dig up the bckup of my data

    anyway, hopefully this is of help to others considering bitlocker.
    nick

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    In the article you mention using BitLocker to encrypt flash drives and saving the recovery key to your Microsoft account. That seemed like a quick and easy thing to do, so I gave it a try and encrypted a flash drive. I then unplugged it from one machine and plugged it into another. Windows immediately recognized it as being encrypted with BitLocker and asked me for the password. I then asked it to get the recovery key from my Microsoft account, but it wasn't there. I went back to the original machine, where I had told it to automatically mount the drive and indeed the drive quickly and automatically mounted. Again I told BitLocker to save the recovery key to my Microsoft account and again it claimed to have done so. And again, it wasn't there. I was finally able to mount the drive on the second machine by typing in the 48 digit recovery code by hand.

    Then I repeated the process with a second flash drive and everything worked flawlessly. I now have the recovery key for one drive in my Microsoft account and a second drive where BitLocker consistently and silently fails to save the key (but it will auto mount on one machine). So if you do choose to save your recovery keys in your Microsoft account it may be worthwhile to also utilize a secondary recovery key backup method.
    - Greg

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    i store recovery keys themselves, separately, i don't trust microsoft, i don't ttrust the cloud, to hold these keys.
    for some of teh portable removables, i use a simple password, simple phrase (amonkeycrumbled, for example), nonsensical, but easy to reembember, or else store it in KeePass password program.
    but the recovery key is stored in some of my backups

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Windows To Go ?

    Since I am not an enterprise, nor am I likely to become one, I can't quite follow why Windows To Go is showing up on all Win10Pro computers. Isn't that the sort of thing that should be an add on for those who can actually use it?

    What am I missing here?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    I had high hopes for Windows To Go, early on. Unfortunately Microsoft has kept a tight lid on this technology, only allowing it to be used on Enterprise versions of Windows.

    My initial use cases were:

    1). As a portable OS for travelling. I don't like using public computers for secure messaging and there are no more public computers than those in the typical internet café. I rarely travel with a computer (note that I refer to pleasure travel here, not business) and so that tends to send me to hotel computers or internet cafés. The need for secure messaging isn't frequent but having a portable OS on a USB key or DVD would be neat and it wouldn't take much space in my luggage.

    2). As a bootable toolkit at work. Yes you can make a recovery CD/USB, but I'm not comfortable that is a completely generalized recovery toolset. The best utility packages with a bootable OS that I'm aware of, use Linux as the base OS. It would be nice to have a Windows bootable OS that is vendor supported and that you can add favourite troubleshooting programs to.

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