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Create a Bootable Windows 8 Flash Drive

One of the easiest ways to install Windows 8 is from a USB flash drive. It’s easier to carry a small thumb drive than mess around with a DVD. Here’s the easiest way to create a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 8.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

This is my favorite tool to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows. Don’t let it’s name fool you. This is a free utility from Microsoft, and it lets you use any version of Windows – including Server operating systems and Linux distributions.

You can download it from the CodePlex site and installation is straight forward. Insert a flash drive that’s 4GB or larger into your computer, then launch the tool. Click Browse and select the Windows 8 ISO file. Here I have the Windows 8 Pro RTM ISO that’s located on my Windows Home Server.

Browse ISO Location

Next, click USB Device.
USB Device

Then select the USB flash drive you want to use.

Select Flash Drive

Click Begin Copying and wait while the flash drive is formatted and the Windows 8 ISO is copied over to create your bootable USB flash drive.

Creating Bootable USB

When it’s done, you’ll see it’s been created successfully and the progress bar is at 100%. That’s it. You can go ahead and close out of the utility.

Finished

If you open Computer, you’ll see the following icon for the flash drive.

Computer

For best results, right click the drive and select Eject.

Eject

Safely removing the drive will ensure it’s not corrupted and Windows 8 installs without a problem.

Safe Remove Hardware

Now you can use your newly created Windows 8 flash drive to install it on your computer. This is a handy way to install the OS on a laptop or netbook that doesn’t have a DVD drive. In fact, I like to install Windows from a flash drive anyway because it’s faster and easier. No burning DVDs involved.

Bootable Windows 8 Flash Drive

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6 Responses to Create a Bootable Windows 8 Flash Drive

  1. Greg Welch August 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Hi Brian,
    Any chance your going to make an unattended Windows 8 usb install video ?
    would come in handy with testing

    • Brian Burgess August 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

      Hey, that is a great idea Greg! I hadn’t thought of it before, but great idea.

  2. Steve Krause August 21, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Nice. Really couldn’t be any easier than that!

  3. Michael November 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    There is no such download from the MSFT store.

    If this is a free tool – can you post it?

    Thanks…

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