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How do I boot from USB which has a WIM cloned file on made from another SSD drive

I have two computers A and B with identical hardware but Computer B died.

I can successfully boot Computer A from Computer B's SSD drive when it is connected to a usb port via a docking station on Computer A and I boot from USB.  Computer A then behaved as if it was computer B

On Computer A I created a clone of the SSD drive removed from Computer B to a usb stick which is more practical to carry around compared to a ssd drive. 

I want to be able to plug this usb stick drive into Computer A and boot from it so it behaves as if it was Computer B as I successfully did with the SSD drive

The usb stick contains a WIM file and Computer A will not boot from it. I am using a professional version of Backupper

Do I need to extract the files from the .WIM file so that Computer A automatically boots from the USB or do something else?

I used 7 Zip to look at the files in the WIM file on the usb stick and it does not contain all of the files which were originally on Computer B's SSD drive ( I thought cloning copied ALL files?) so I guess it will not behave in the same way as the SSD drive.

Please help thank you 



  • @Mancunian, "I can successfully boot Computer A from Computer B's SSD drive when it is connected to a usb port via a docking station on Computer A and I boot from USB."---Could you take a screenshot of Windows Disk Management so that we check the disks?
    What clone did you use? Disk Clone? If you do the clone successfully, the cloned drive should have the same partitions as the source drive. Please also connect the cloned USB and take the screenshot of Windows Disk Management so that we check the disks?
  • edited August 2023
    Thank you very much for your help.

    1.  I used "Disk Clone" - source was an external SSD drive connected to PC and destination was a USB stick connected to the same PC.

    2.  Backupper could not assign drive letter so I did that myself

    3. I attach screen shot of Windows Disk Management:

    disk 0 = PC own ssd
    disk 1 = USB containing wim file and cloned data
    disk 3 = ssd which was cloned connected to PC in usb slot from docking station

    Disk 3 boots up from a usb port no problem but Disk 1 does not boot up from usb port at all (should it do so after clone process or is further work required to extract files or something from WIM file??)

    Here are the files and directories in the source SSD drive

    and here are the files and directories in WindowsRE\Winre.win in the destination usb (viewed using 7zip but I did not extract them). 

    Note it appears not all files have been cloned when comparing this with the files on the source ssd?  I thought the clone copied ALL files?

  • edited August 2023
    1) If your goal is to boot a Windows from a portable disk several times, the best way to do that is use a program to create a WindowsToGo that is specifically designed perform that task.
    2) If your goal is to merely boot to a .WIM file for technical reasons, and you do not want a good WinToGo USB that you can carry around, then you could try Ventoy, it has a .WIM boot feature that I have used many times.
    3) Windows 8 has been discontinued, please switch to Windows 10.
    Personal WindowsToGo
    Hasleo WinToUSB - Personal WindowsToGo
    Ventoy - Best Bootable USB Creator
    Ventoy WIM Boot plugin

  • Thank you very much for your reply and useful links - I will definitely check those out.

    I guess there is one very simple question here:

    If i can boot my computer using an external ssd drive from a different computer why/how can I not clone that same ssd drive to a usb stick with Bakupper to do exactly the same thing???  

    I suspect that BackUpper does not perform a clone of all files but possibly skips certain system files needed to reboot which have permissions on them which need changing or something.

    It is also still unclear to me how using Backerupper can produce a .wim file which without using other software or performing more work will boot from a usb??

    It all works ok from the external ssd so why cant I use Backupper to do the same with a cloned usb stick i.e an identical copy of the external lssd?

  • edited August 2023
    Hello Mancunian, thank you for repeating the same question you have asked in your post.
    Is the goal behind your question to create a portable USB stick for booting Windows several times, or is your goal to boot from an external drive merely for technical reasons, not for daily use?
  • My goal is to get a usb stick to do exactly the same as what the external ssd drive did by creating an identical copy of the ssd drive

    Then I can boot up from the usb stick and run the original windows  version and use the original files and settings as if the usb stick were the internal ssd of the computer on a daily basis.
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