Manage Windows To Go
Applies To: Windows 8.1
When you deploy Windows To Go in your educational organization you can use Group Policy settings to manage your host computer and workspaces.
You can use the same Windows management tools with which you are already familiar to manage Windows To Go drives. You do not need to learn any new tools to manage Windows To Go within your institution. For example, you can manage Windows To Go workspaces by using:
You can also use Group Policy to manage Windows To Go, and Microsoft recommends that you create a separate organizational unit (OU) for the Windows To Go workspaces and one for host computers. You can use the OU for Windows To Go workspace to:
Change settings for the Windows Store
Change standby sleep states
Change hibernate settings
You can use the OU for host computers to provide specific control over the Windows To Go Startup Options so that only certain computers will be configured to boot from the USB drive.
Group Policy settings related to the Windows To Go workspace
The settings in the following list are particular to Windows To Go workspaces:
- Allow hibernate (S4) when started from a Windows To Go workspace. This policy setting specifies whether the PC can use the hibernation sleep state (S4) when started from a Windows To Go workspace. By default, hibernation is disabled when using Windows To Go workspaces, so enabling this setting explicitly turns the ability back on. When a computer enters hibernation, the contents of memory are written to disk. When the disk is resumed, it is important that the hardware attached to the system as well as the disk itself are unchanged. This is inherently incompatible with roaming between PC hosts. Hibernation should only be used when the Windows To Go workspace is not being used to roam between host PCs.
For the host PC to resume correctly when hibernation is enabled, the Windows To Go workspace must continue to use the same USB port.
Disallow standby sleep states (S1–S3) when starting from a Windows To Go workspace. This policy setting specifies whether the PC can use standby sleep states (S1–S3) when started from a Windows To Go workspace. The sleep state also presents a unique challenge to Windows To Go users. When a computer goes to sleep, it appears as if it were shut down. It would be easy for a user to think that a Windows To Go workspace in sleep mode were actually shut down, and the user could remove the Windows To Go drive and take it home. Removing the drive in this scenario is equivalent to an unclean shutdown, which may result in the loss of unsaved user data or the corruption of the drive.
Moreover, if the user now boots the drive on another PC and brings it back to the first PC, which still happens to be in the sleep state, it will lead to an arbitrary crash, and eventually corruption of the drive results in the workspace being unusable. If you enable this policy setting, the Windows To Go workspace cannot use the standby states to cause the PC to enter sleep mode. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the Windows To Go workspace can place the PC in sleep mode.
Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces. This policy setting allows or denies access to the Store application from a Windows To Go workspace running Windows 8. (This policy does not apply to devices running Windows 8.1.) If you enable this setting, access to the Store application is allowed from the Windows To Go workspace. Enable this policy setting only when the Windows To Go workspace will be used with a single PC. When roaming Windows To Go devices to multiple PCs, installing applications from the Windows Store is not a supported scenario. However, sideloaded Windows Store apps can run in Windows To Go workspaces even when roamed among multiple PCs. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, access to the Windows Store application is denied on the Windows To Go workspace.
Group Policy settings related to the host computer
The Windows To Go Default Startup Options policy setting controls whether the host computer boots to Windows To Go if a USB device containing a Windows To Go workspace is connected and controls whether users can make changes using the Windows To Go Startup Options settings dialog box. If you enable this policy setting, booting to Windows To Go when a USB device is connected will be enabled, and users will not be able to make changes using the Windows To Go Startup Options settings dialog box. If you disable this policy setting, booting to Windows To Go when a USB device is connected will not be enabled unless a user configures the option manually in the firmware. If you do not configure this policy setting, users who are members of the local Administrators group can enable or disable booting from USB by using the Windows To Go Startup Options settings dialog box.
Enabling this policy setting causes PCs running Windows 8.1 to attempt to start from any USB device that is inserted into the PC before it is started.