Install Windows 8 From a Bootable USB Flash Drive

If you don’t want the hassle of burning DVDs an carrying them around, it’s nice to have a bootable USB flash drive. Here’s how to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 8.

Insert a USB thumb drive into your computer. The flash drive needs to be 4GB or larger. I’m using an 8GB drive.

USB Flash

Now, download and install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. It’s a free utility from the Microsoft Store. Yes, it’s named Windows 7, but it works perfectly with Windows 8 too.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Launch the utility and browse to the location of the Windows 8 ISO. Click Next.

Chose ISO

Next, click USB Device.

Media Type

Then select the USB flash drive from the dropdown and click Begin Copying.

Select Flash Drive

The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool will start by formatting the drive.


Then it copies the Windows 8 disc image and creates a bootable USB drive.

Creating Bootable Device

Success. You now have a Windows 8 bootable USB drive.
Drive Created

Close out of the utility and eject the flash drive. I recommend ejecting it properly from the UI, versus just pulling it out. Open Computer, right-click the flash drive and click Eject.

Eject Fladh Drive

Ejecting it properly will ensure the drive doesn’t get corrupted.

Safely Remove Hardware

Now, on the computer you want to install Windows 8 on, insert the bootable Windows 8 flash drive you just created.

bootable drive

Power on the PC and press the key to bring up Boot Options. Usually it’s ESC, F2 or F12 – but each system is different. When you turn the system on, the boot options are listed on the screen.

Boot Screen

Boot Options

Alternately, you can go into the system’s BIOS and move the USB drive to the top of the boot sequence list.

BIOS Boot Sequence

The installation works just like using a DVD.

Install win8 dev prev

Windows 8 Developer Preview is available for anyone to download. Of course you can use this tool to create a bootable flash drive for Windows 7 too.



  1. sarah

    March 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    hi, pls can u help me- my laptop cdrom broken- how do I install my microsoft office vista 2007 via usb on to my laptop? thnks

  2. Brian Burgess

    March 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Yes, you can install Office 2007 on Vista via USB drive. If you have it on disc, just open it, and copy all files to the USB drive (after formatting it) then run the install file.

  3. sarah

    March 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I did it before but it didnt work, so now Im gonna try by formatting first as suggested. thanks

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