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How to install Windows 8 from a USB drive?

By Heng Sea Hong ยท 8 replies
Nov 9, 2012
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  1. Hi all!
    I would like to need your help, Please help me how to set up windows 8 release previewer from USB drive?
  2. avioza

    avioza TS Booster Posts: 102   +45

    There are probably 3rd party utilities you can use that would be easier, but the approach I use...

    1. Make USB drive bootable - format drive using diskpart. (Drive will be wiped)
    From command console:
    list disk
    select disk # (USB drive)
    create par pri
    for fs=ntfs quick
    assign letter=e

    2. Copy bootcode to the thumb drive.
    Insert or mount Windows 8 or 7 disk/iso from command console: Change to Windows DVD boot directory. Assuming USB drive is mounted to e:
    d:\boot>bootsect /nt60 e:

    3. Copy Windows 8 files to the thumb drive. Insert working Windows 8 DVD or mount windows 8 ISO (Assume mounted to d:\. Assume USB drive is assigned to e:\)
    From Command Console:

    c:\>xcopy d:\*.* e: /e/s/f

    That should be it.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Or you can run (push it down) it off your NAS too over the network. On Windows 7 can handle Windows 8 install with your Genuine Activated License on both ends. The Windows 8 Preview would allow it. I haven't tried it on the newer one Windows 8.1 it might work?
  5. Elvabluesky

    Elvabluesky TS Rookie

    1. Install and run Microsoft's Windows 7 USB tool. In the subsequent window (pictured below), browse to the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8 disk image file you've already downloaded and hit next.

    2. With your USB stick plugged in (remember, it'll need to be at least 4GB in size for a 64-bit install), choose USB device as your media type.

    3. Select the correct removable device from the drop-down menu, then click begin copying.

    4. Sit back, relax, and make a cuppa while the USB tool formats your pen drive, makes it bootable, and copies over all of the Windows 8 files.

    5. Once the process is complete, the USB drive can be used to boot a PC and run the Windows 8 setup process.

    That's all there is to it. You'll save yourself a blank DVD, the Windows 8 setup process should be quicker from flash-based media, and it's of course a must on netbooks or laptops without an optical drive.
    LookinAround likes this.
  6. Kickflare - Dee

    Kickflare - Dee TS Rookie

    Does this work on all usb sticks? or can you only use certains types? I tried using windows 7 usb tool and it failed countless times...
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Should work on any provided it is large enough. Not sure if 4GB is enough, you may need 8.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183


    Great post! (y) As luck would have it, I was just about to go looking for info on this topic for myself. I'll use your instructions
  9. Phillip Seni

    Phillip Seni TS Rookie Posts: 26

    Or download windows 8 rtm or 8.1 rtm.

    to download windows 8.1 iso using windows 8 key, use windows 8 setup installer, then when downloading starts (or about 1%), click cancel, then use windows 8.1 setup installer to download windows 8.1 iso.
    after download is completed, the downloader will then ask you to install windows 8/8.1 now or create bootable usb media or create iso.
    if you choose to decline any option, you can close it and when you're ready, just click the shortcut created on the desktop to launch the options again.

    windows 8 setup installer: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=317630
    windows 8.1 setup installer: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=271128

    available from: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

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