If you’ve ever attempted to install Windows from USB flash drive, you probably are aware that it’s the best and fastest way of installing Windows. Now that Microsoft has officially launched Windows 8, many of you might be eagerly waiting to install the next generation Windows operating system.
While there are tens of free tools available to create a bootable USB and install Windows from a flash drive, users who have tried all these tools probably agree that the command line method is the best one. Although creating a bootable USB from command line is a tedious job, you get a pretty good result.
And if you really don’t want to touch the command line, we suggest you use Rufus or Microsoft DVD/USB Tool to create your bootable USB drive.
In this guide, we are going to show you how to create Windows 8 bootable USB using both the Command Prompt (works 100%) and Rufus tool.
Method 1: Command Prompt method
Method 2: Creating bootable USB using Rufus tool
Things you need:
# Windows 8 DVD or ISO file
# 4GB USB flash drive
# A computer running Vista or Windows 7
(If you are running Windows XP, we suggest you follow method 2)
Method 1: Command Prompt method
Step 1: Connect your USB flash drive to your Vista or Windows 7 machine and backup all data from the flash drive.
Step 2: Open Command Prompt as administrator. To do this, go to Start menu, All programs, Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt entry and click Run as administrator option. Click Yes when you see the UAC prompt. If you are asked to enter the admin password, please do so.
Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type DISKPART and press enter key.
Step 4: Next, type LIST DISK and press enter key again. Note down the your USB flash drive number. For instance, in the below picture, my USB flash drive’s disk number is Disk 1. And if you can’t see your USB drive in the list, reconnect the drive and try again.
Step 5: Type below mentioned commands one-by-one and press Enter key after entering each command.
Select Disk 1
(Enter the disk number that you have obtained in step 4)
Create Partition Primary
Select Partition 1
Format FS=NTFS Quick
Please don’t close the Command Prompt. Simply minimize it for now.
Step 6: Insert your Windows 8 DVD into to the optical drive and note down the drive letter of the optical drive. As you can see, “G” is my DVD drive’s drive number.
And if you have an ISO file of Windows 8, you need to mount the ISO file. To do that we suggest you check out our how to mount ISO file in Windows 7 guide. When you mount the ISO file using the instructions mentioned in our guide, you get a drive letter for your mounted optical drive. Simply note down that drive letter and proceed to the next step. For instance, in the below picture, “J” is the drive letter of my mounted ISO file.
Step 7: Maximize the Command Prompt and execute the following commands.
J: CD Boot
(replace “J” with your DVD or mounted ISO’s drive letter)
Step 8: Next, we need to update the USB flash drive with BOOTMGR compatible code. To do that type the below mentioned command and press Enter key.
Bootsect.exe /NT60 I:
(replace “I” with your USB flash drive’s drive letter)
Step 9: Well, we are almost done! Open up the DVD drive or mounted ISO drive, and copy all files to the USB flash drive. That’s it! You are ready to install Windows 8 from USB flash drive now.
If you want to test the bootable USB drive before starting the installation, we recommend you check our our how to test a bootable USB guide.
Method 2: Using Rufus tool to make USB bootable
Step 1: Connect your USB flash drive to Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 PC, and backup all data.
Step 2: Download Rufus tool from here. Run the tool with admin rights (right-click on Rufus.exe and then click Run as administrator option).
Step 3: Select your USB flash drive, select the File system as NTFS or FAT32, enable Quick Format, and Create a bootable disk using: MS-DOS and also Create extended label and icon files.
Step 4: Click on the small drive icon that appears next to “Create a bootable disk using” option to browse to your Windows 8 ISO file.
Step 5: Finally, click Start button, and then click Ok to start transferring data from your Windows 8 ISO to the USB. That’s it!