Windows to Go vs Syncthing (Bootable USB-Stick-OS)

I was used to carry my laptop around with me for years. Now I switched to a “Windows to go” stick and just plug it into any hardware, that is standing around, boot it and am having my own, fully configured Windows10 environment.

Sounds great? Is it! …Until one starts using Syncthing.

On every different hardware, even if it is running the exact same OS, has the same name, same folders, files, Windows product key, users and so on, Syncthing creates a new config and can not sync with my other clients.

Is there a way to avoid this?

André :slight_smile:

Windows To Go is removed in Windows 10, version 2004 and later operating systems. The feature does not support feature updates and therefore does not enable you to stay current.


The “removed” part isn’t exactly correct (= they probably don’t want to provide official support for the feature anymore :upside_down_face:) as any version of Windows 8 and above can be made portable like that simply using DISM (see or in one-click with a tool like Rufus. The other part about feature updates is probably right, but this functionality is intended mainly for enterprises and such where feature updates may very well be completely disabled anyway.

My guess here would be that something is wrong with your Syncthing home path (e.g. pointing at a path on a different drive or a temporary path that’s recreated every time you boot into Windows). Can you provide more details about how you’ve installed Syncthing and which method you use to run it? Also, please include details on how exactly you’ve created your Windows To Go installation.

@tomasz86 i agree that the cause is most likely something different. It’s just that this version of Windows stopped receiving security updates over a year ago.

Thank you for the quick reply. The windows to go installation was created with rufus.

I was able to find out what caused the “new config on every machine”. I am starting syncthing as a “service” via the task scheduler before the user login. Even though the tasks starts syncthing in the correct user context, it causes the creation of a new “config.xml” beside a “config.xml.v0” in local\syncthing.

When starting syncthing the regular way, it does use the existing config.xml. I will check out, what is wrong with the scheduled task.

That’s right, although I didn’t assume any specific version as even Windows 11 can be made “to go”, with or without Microsoft’s official support. To be fair, even if it was that particular version, it would still be newer than what we see in many other support threads with Windows 7 or those old NAS devices that run unpatched 10-year-old Linux kernels :wink:.

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