How to Make a ‘Virtual PC’ on Your USB Device

You can store everything you need on your USB device and carry it with you (such as a flash drive, external hard drive, iPod, etc). Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to create a virtual computer on your thumb drive.

Method 1 Installing an Operating System

1. Configure your USB device. To make a virtual PC on your USB device, you’ll need the following things:

8GB USB storage device

Windows 7 DVD or ISO image file

Microsoft WAIK software

NT6 FAST Installer

2. Install Windows 7 using the Windows Automated Installation KIT (WAIK), which can be found here. To obtain a copy of the document, please click here.

3. Install the Windows Automated Installation Kit. Open the StartCD.exe file.

4. Click on the Windows AIK Setup option. It’s on the left side of the window.

5. Click Next.

6. Agree to the License Terms. Click “I Agree” and select Next.

7. Select the installation folder. You can leave it as the default (C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\) or select a new location. Click Next.

8. Confirm the installation. Click Next.

9. Finish the installation process. When you see that the installation has been completed, click on the Close button to confirm.

10. Download the NT6_FAST_Installed.zip software.

Click Download in the upper-left corner.

Select NT6_Fast_Installed.zip from the download list.

11. Extract the zip file. Right click on it and select Extract to NT6_Fast_Installer\.

12. Right-click on the INSTALLER.cmd file and select Run as Administrator. A command window will open up.

13. Press Enter to continue.

14. Press any key to chose the install.wim file.

15. Select the install.wim file from the Windows 7 DVD. You can find it in the sources folder.

16. Choose the operating system image number. For Windows 7 Pro, choose number 4.

17. Select the letter of the USB drive on which you want to instal the operating system. K will be used as an example in this section.

18. Choose the target boot drive. Again, in the example, we’ll use K.

19. Choose to install the operating system on the USB drive. Enter y for yes.

20. Chose a Windows drive letter for new instillation. For the example, we’ll use L.

21. Press Enter to start installation.

22. Start the operating system by pressing the F1 key. Once your installation has completed to a 100 percent completion rate, you can boot the operating system from your USB drive.

Method 2 Installing Applications

1. Choose the software and applications that you will need to take with you or access when you are away from your usual computing environment. Install at the very least an email client (if your email provider allows POP3 access) and an Internet browser (if your email provider allows it). Depending on your needs, you may also require office-type applications as well as entertainment sources.

2. Download applications that have been designed or re-engineered for use on a laptop or other portable device. You can conduct a search on the Internet using key words, or you can visit some websites that are dedicated to portable computing.

3. Install (extract) the applications of your choice to a USB device and bring it with you wherever you go.

4. Browse this list of suggested applications. You might find some of these useful on a USB drive:

1by1 — MP3 directory player

7-zip portable — Archive manager

AceMoney Lite — Financial tracking software

Firefox Portable — Portable version of this browser

Foxit PDF — Portable PDF Reader

Filezilla Portable — FTP client

FreeOTFE — Free disk encryption software

GIMP Portable — Image Manipulator

Google Talk — Portable version

Opera USB — Portable version of Opera browser

OpenOffice Portable — Full Office suite

Pidgin Portable — Multi-network IM (formerly known as Gaim)

Portable Scribus — Portable Publishing Tool

Sudoku Portable — To pass the time…

SyncBack — Synchronization / backup application

The Sage — Great Dictionary

Thunderbird Portable — Email client

Torpark — Portable TOR browser client for anonymous browsing

TrueCrypt — Free disk encryption software

uTorrent — Lightweight BitTorrent client

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