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Monday, June 08, 2015

Windows 8.1 Pro on a USB Drive

Xubuntu and Kodi on i3 NUC was nice. But I often run into issues and is quite time consuming to get things straight (perhaps because I am not a Linux expert too!). Anyway, everything was configured, up and running with Xubuntu 14.10 and the new 15.04 release came and messed things up. The sound doesn't work after the upgrade, I see only a Dummy Output! Searching on forums, I see many people reporting this issue, but no solution than to downgrade. Also had some HDMI sync issue every time I start my home theater receiver (keep the NUC running 24x7) too and was getting tired of linux on NUC! Intel provide very few drivers for linux. So it was time to give Windows a try :-)

Usually windows is very easy to setup, but I had a major challenge! I don't have a hard disk and Windows doesn't support installing to USB drives (or even portable HDD connected via USB). Btw, if you want to create a bootable Windows installer on USB, use the rufus utility and the Windows install ISO. It is like the LiLi for windows :-)

Thanks to Google, found that there is a Windows to Go option, though officially supported only for Enterprise edition. You can get it to work for other editions using a utility called WinToUSB. Though it seemed to save the day, Windows 8.1 Pro was not booting up, it was stuck on the logo with the progress spinning for ever! Finally got it to work using the VHD (vs Legacy) option supported by WinToUSB while creating the usb installer.

Now I got Windows on my NUC and everything works quite well, especially with all the wonderful intel drivers! Kodi works quite well too (Note: use WASAPI instead of DirectSound for clean unadulterated sound)

Note: You need to activate the windows with a valid key

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