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Windows 8's Portable Workspace: run Windows off a USB device

By Emil ยท 10 replies
Apr 15, 2011
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  1. Windows 8 build 7850, the first leaked Windows 8 build, may be old (it was compiled on September 22, 2010) as it's from Milestone 1, but it actually does contain something we haven't seen before. There are a number of references to a brand new feature in Windows called Portable Workspaces, discovered by users on the My Digital Life forums (via

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,145   +1,221

    I wonder how windows product keys would work. Do you think it would be a feature built in to install it on the jump drive or if you would have to buy a whole other copy?
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,549   +235

    Insteresting, maybe like a "one workspace per license" type of thing?
  4. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,549   +235

    You can do this with linux.. windows seems like it's trying to catch up! hahaha. If this is in fact what I am lead to believe... how would you ever boot on different equipment? or perhaps I am missing the point?
  5. Cota

    Cota TS Enthusiast Posts: 513   +8

    You could actually do this since windows XP, but it did needed some common scene, wich is lacky on "standard" users.
  6. Perhaps it's more likely that this will work like a roaming profile, and only on machines running Windows 8? So it's not the actual installation you're carrying, just your data, programs and registry...

    I may be talking outta my @ss though...
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,159   +829

    Portable Workspace and Portable Windows seems like 2 totally different things, so yes Guest you might not be talking out of your @ss. Specially if it is aimed at enterprise users one can asume that it is that "taking your WORKSPACE" and use it on another machine probably working with windows 8.
  8. bakape

    bakape TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    This doesn't appear to be a squash.fs -like implementation, so don't expect to use it on flash sticks or anything which pays attention to write cycles. No live boot for Windows. :D
    As for external HDDs, Linux did it first, MS's proprietary organ did not want. :p
  9. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 833   +411

    I think that by "workspace" it means you keep all of your settings (theme, views, etc.) programs, and system files that are not included in the original install of windows (drivers, dll, changed/new registry entries). This means that it will not work without a copy of windows 8 installed on the machine you are using, but it is basically like your own copy of windows 8. It keeps licensing under control by making sure you have a copy of windows 8 yourself (or at least the computer you are using does) and would allow anyone to use any windows 8 computer as if it were your own.
  10. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    This does actually sound like the most plausible explanation. From what I've heard, simple USB-drives lack an internal registry. Meaning that installing full programs on them will be impossible unless a USB-drive with a registry comes along. I don't even know if it's even possible to "fake" a registry on non-registry USB-drives...

    If it would simply save the settings, like all examples already mentioned, then it's basically avoiding any jurisdictional trouble. Thus Win7Dev's idea that the machine basically turns into your own Win. when inserting a "workplace" drive, seems to be the most plausible.
  11. I made a video demoing this portable workspaces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDb9JCv3NlA

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