How To Install Windows 8 From USB Flash Drive

Now that the pre-beta version of the upcoming Windows 8 OS is officially available for download, some of you might be planning to use it as your primary OS. When it comes to installing Windows 7 and Windows 8, the best way is using a bootable USB stick to quickly install the OS.

Win8

As most of the motherboards available today support USB booting, we are going to show you how to prepare a bootable USB to install Windows 8. Though there are free utilities available to create bootable USB, most of them don’t work properly. So, we are using this simple-to-use and 100% working Command Prompt method.

Requirements:

# Windows 8 ISO file or DVD

# 4 GB+ USB flash drive

# A PC with Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 OS

Note: Please backup all files on your USB flash drive as we are going to format it.

1. Connect your USB flash drive to your PC and backup all files before proceeding to the next step.

2. Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to launch the Command Prompt with admin rights. Click Yes for the UAC prompt.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step01

You can also launch the Prompt with administrative privileges by typing CMD in Start menu search box and then hitting Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys.

3. In the Command Prompt, type the following command and hit enter:

DISKPART

Install Windows 8 From USB Step1

You will see the following message:

Install Windows 8 From USB Step2

4. Now, type LIST DISK command and hit Enter key to see the disk number of your USB flash drive. In this guide, my USB flash drive disk number is “1”. Check the USB size next the to status (see in the below picture) to make sure your USB disk number.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step3

Install Windows 8 From USB Step4

For example, in the above snapshot, you can see 15 GB size next to my Disk 1. So, make sure that DISKPART has detected your USB flash drive. If you can’t see your USB flash drive in the list, try to reconnect the flash drive and then follow the above steps again.

5. Now type the following commands one and by one, and hit Enter key after typing each command to execute it.

SELECT DISK 1 (your USB stick disk number that you have obtained in step 4)

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

(Format process may take few minutes to hours depending on your USB drive size)

ASSIGN

EXIT

Install Windows 8 From USB Step5

Now you have created a bootable USB. Don’t close the Command Prompt. Simply minimize it and proceed to the next step.

6. Now, you need to mount the Windows 8 ISO file that you have downloaded. Please refer to our how to mount an ISO file guide to mount Windows 8 ISO.

Once you have mounted, note down the drive letter of virtual drive as we need to copy the contents of that virtual drive to the bootable USB.

And, if you already have a bootable Windows 8 DVD, simply insert it into the optical drive and note down the drive letter.

7. Maximize the Command Prompt and execute the following commands:

G: CD BOOT and hit enter (Where “G” is your DVD drive letter or mounted virtual drive letter)

CD BOOT and hit enter to see the below message.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step6

8. You are almost done! Type BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 J: (where “J” is your USB flash drive letter and can be found in explorer) command and hit Enter key.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step7

Install Windows 8 From USB Ste9

9. Now open your virtual drive that you have used to mount the Windows 8 ISO and copy all contents to the root of your USB flash drive. And, if you have bootable Windows 8 DVD in the optical drive, simply copy all the contents to USB flash drive.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step15

NOTE: Please note that you need to enable the USB boot feature in the BIOS to be able to install Windows 8 from USB flash drive.

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Comments

  1. says

    I tried it but when i use last step it shows an error
    G:\boot>BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 J:
    Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    J: (\\?\volume{b2d6a4ca-ea61-11e1-a11a-001e101f4e50})

    could not open the volume root directory:
    THE parameter is incorrect.
    No bootable was successfully updated

    what to do in this problem

  2. sina says

    hi,thanks for the guide
    i have installed the windows properly but at the last stage after doing the personalization and account creating,it says an error that windows is not compatible,try reinstalling it.
    can u help?

  3. Jake says

    Hellu there!

    I followed all the steps correctly, but when i was to boot my computer up i got this error:

    BOOTMGR is missing
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    I have changed the boot order and so on. Any suggestions on what might be the issue, help is truly appreciated. :)

  4. max says

    Zoltan, type the command like this : bootsect/nt60 h:

    without capital letters , and without the ” .exe ”
    It worked for me !

  5. Zoltan says

    Hi there

    After BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 J: I got:
    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects: Access is denied.

    Any idea please? Thanks

  6. FYE says

    If you are running 32 bit windows, you can’t do that stage 8 with Windows 8 Dev Preview 64 bit version.

    In stage 5 quick formatting goes much quicker, so

    FORMAT FS=NTFS /QUICK

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