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.
Next, click USB Device.
Then select the USB flash drive you want to use.
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.
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.
If you open Computer, you’ll see the following icon for the flash drive.
For best results, right click the drive and select Eject.
Safely removing the drive will ensure it’s not corrupted and Windows 8 installs without a problem.
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.