How To Install Windows 8 From USB

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.

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus Picture1

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.

Install Windows 8 From USB Step2

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



Install Windows 8 From USB Step3

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.

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus Picture5

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)

CD Boot

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)

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus Picture4

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.

Install Windows 8 From USB Guide

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.

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus

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!

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus Picture2

Install Windows 8 From USB Rufus Picture3



  1. Swiftninja says

    Great guide! However, USB is only bootable through BIOS and not UEFI. Any way to make it compatible with both BIOS and UEFI systems?

  2. bslaug says

    hi im on step 8 of method 1 and it is giving me the error message “‘Bootsect.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.” any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Raghavendra says

    dear sir,,it is a excellent guide regarding making a usb bootable.. i tried it with windows7 and succeded..

    my question is how to get back my usb to previous state(is my usb normal as it was before) pls tell me the procedure to get my usb back to its original state..because i have to use it for data copying purpose..
    pls tell me a way to do this…
    thanks in advance…

  4. formator says

    Or you could use the build in USB creation option in the Windows Webinstaller (That is what you download when you bought windows online through MS)

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