Create a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 8

Summary : How to create a bootable USB flash drive from Windows 8 ISO.

While installing from a DVD is suitable in most situations, you may want to be able to install Windows 8 from a USB flash drive. Fortunately, doing so is not as difficult as it once was. In fact, Microsoft has a utility called the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool that will allow you to convert the ISO image so that it can boot from a USB flash drive. (Keep in mind that while the tool has Windows 7 in its name, it will still work for Windows 8.)

In this article, I’ll show you how to download, install and use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to transfer the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation ISO to a bootable USB flash drive. Keep in mind that while I’ll use the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation ISO as my example, this procedure will work with any Windows 7 or Windows 8 ISO.

What you need

To install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, you need at least a Pentium 233 MHz processor and 50MB of free hard disk space. You can install the tool in Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit). Your USB flash drive must be at least 4GB and it should not have any other files on it. In fact, I recommend that you perform a full format of your USB flash drive; just to be sure that it is error free.

If you are running Windows XP, you will need to download and install both Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft Image Mastering API v2 before you install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Keep in mind that the most current version of the .NET Framework is 4.5, but if you only want to download 2.0, previous versions are available on the .NET site linked above.

Downloading the tool

Downloading the tool is easy. To begin, head over to the Microsoft Store’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool page and scroll down until you see the download link. When you click it you’ll be prompted to either Run or Save the tool. For my example, I chose to save the file so that I could experiment with the tool on various machines.

downloading the tool : ehack

downloading the tool : ehack

Installing the tool

After I downloaded the file to my hard disk, I double-clicked the executable and was prompted with a Security Warning. You’ll see a similar warning if you choose to Run the installation from the download site.

Installing the tool : ehack

Installing the tool : ehack

As soon as you click Run, you’ll see the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool Setup Wizard. The installation runs pretty quickly via the four step wizard and the first and last screens of the wizard are shown in figure.

Installation Wizard : ehack

Installation Wizard : ehack

Running the tool

Once the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is installed, I recommend that you insert your 4GB or larger USB flash drive and wait for it to be recognized. That way, the drive will be ready when you are running the tool. When the flash drive is ready, you can launch the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from the Start menu. As soon as you do, you’ll encounter a User Account Control dialog box.

Running the tool : ehack

Running the tool : ehack

When the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool displays its first screen, you’ll be prompted to locate and select the ISO file. (As a sidebar, I must point out that the first time that I saw this screen I was a little startled to see Microsoft Store in the title bar – I had expected a more traditional looking wizard interface, like the one from the setup. Not a big deal by any means, it just took a little getting used to.)

Choose ISO file : ehack

Choose ISO file : ehack

On the second screen, you will click the USB device button. However, as you can see, you can just as easily select DVD as the media type. (If you are running Windows XP, which doesn’t include a tool like Windows 7’s Windows Disc Image Burner tool, this tool comes in handy if want to burn a Windows 8 ISO to DVD.)

Select USB device : ehack

Select USB device : ehack

When the third screen appears, you should see your USB flash drive in the list box. If not, click the Refresh button adjacent to the list box. Once your drive appears, click the Begin copying button. As soon as you do, the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool will perform a quick format of the flash drive, ostensibly to make it a bootable drive.

Begin Copying : ehack

Begin Copying : ehack

Once the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool begins copying the file to the drive, from start to finish the process will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to complete depending on the speed of your flash drive. When it is done, the status will indicate Backup completed. The beginning and ending of the copy operation are shown in figure. When the copy operation is done, just click the close button in the upper right corner.

Creating process starts : ehack

Creating process starts : ehack

When the operation is finished, you can launch Windows Explorer and take a peek at the contents of your now bootable USB flash drive.

Contents of USB flash drive : ehack

Contents of USB flash drive : ehack

Booting from the USB flash drive

Once you insert the bootable USB flash drive into the system on which you want to install Windows 8, restart the system, and then follow the onscreen instructions to access the boot menu.  Using the down arrow, I selected the USB Flash MemoryPMAP option and pressed [Enter].

Boot Menu : ehack

Boot Menu : ehack

Within a few moments, you’ll see the new Windows flag on the screen,  indicating that Windows 8 Setup is being initialized.

windows : ehack

windows : ehack

Original Post at TechRepublic

Thanks for reading. hope it might helped you.

Posted on December 25, 2012, in operating system, technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

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