Tech Tip: Install Windows 8 Using a USB Drive, Dual-boot It

By on June 13, 2012, 12:33 AM

Back when the Windows 8 Consumer Preview hit the Web, we offered a basic guide on configuring a virtual machine. With Windows 8's Release Preview available and the final version inching toward completion, we figure it's a great time to offer a similarly easy step-by-step walkthrough on installing Windows 8 with a USB drive.

If you're familiar with the process, there isn't much for you to see here, but this should serve as a quick confidence booster for anyone who hasn't installed an operating system recently.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 17

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TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

A convenient tip. I use Novicorp's Win-to-Flash when Windows 7 hit RC back in 2009. But here's the simplest yet. Good one, TechSpot.

Guest said:

I used EasyBCD after I installed 8 to add win7 to the boot menu

Guest said:

What isn't covered is the fact the if you want UEFI install then you have to format as FAT32. Remember Win8 will most likely require UEFI or at least there's talk of it. Most UEFI systems won't recognize an NTFS formatted thumb drive.

Guest said:

My System:

Intel i5-3560K Quad Core @3.9GHz

Sabertooth Z77

EVGA GTX 690

16GB 2133MHz RAM

240GB SSD + 1TB HDD

27" 2560x1440@120hz Catleap

I am running Windows 7 x64, is there any actual advantage to "upgrading" to Windows 8?

Guest said:

Well, I did what it said, and after creating a new volume tried to perform a custom install on my newly created partition (host system is win 7 pro x64). So I rebooted, ran the setup and everything was going fine. I then pointed the install at my new partition and it said it was unable to install it there. Any takers as to why, it was formatted as a simple volume, 100gb, NTFS!?

Guest said:

I just mounted the ISO or extract it using winRAR. Formatted the usb and dragged all the files from the ISO to the USB and that's it.

Guest said:

Ahh, I realise the problem now. I already have 2 simple volumes active. My windows 7 partition, and that damn system reserved partition. Hence my new windows 8 partition will not allow the install. Can I delete the system reserved partition, if so how, and will this cause me any problems?

Zeromus said:

Ahh, I realise the problem now. I already have 2 simple volumes active. My windows 7 partition, and that damn system reserved partition. Hence my new windows 8 partition will not allow the install. Can I delete the system reserved partition, if so how, and will this cause me any problems?

Sounds like you just have just two total, so just resize one of them and create a new partition for your 8.

Guest said:

You see the 1st partition was that crappy system reserved 100mb one. I deleted it, though the space was left unallocated and I am unable to retrieve it. It still nerfed my install, so I went balls deep and did a complete upgrade. Didn't lose anything, so that's a plus. So glad you can ditch the metro crap interface, miss my start menu, though trolling through windows explorer isn't so bad. Just like the windows 3.1 file manager days, lol.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Whoa, Matt, an awesome idea!

Guest said:

Can you create a Windows 8 VM? I would think that would be easier than creating a dual-boot system and having to delete the Win 8 RC one.

Guest said:

I was the guest that posted my system specs. So I guess that was a no, there would be no advantage to upgrading to Windows 8?

shaft80 said:

just did it on an old hp compaq dc7100 with windows xp sp3 1 gb ram partitioned with easeus 20gb for windows 8 . dual boot . runs like a dream

shaft80 said:

I was the guest that posted my system specs. So I guess that was a no, there would be no advantage to upgrading to Windows 8?

dude.. give it some time. its not necessarily an upgrade but microsofts answer to andoid, ios, tablets and touchscreens

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

why does windows need at least 20 GIG of HD space.... thats just absurd....

Guest said:

And where exactly does it ask you to make a choice on what partition or drive you want to install?

I followed the guide, but it never asked and just installed over my windows 7 installation.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Would this work with Boot Camp on a Macbook Pro?

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