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How to Create Windows 8 Bootable USB Drive

windows-8-usb-drives

If you want to install Windows 8 and don’t have a  DVD drive then don’t despair. Windows 8 can be installed from a USB drive. You just have to create a Windows 8 bootable USB drive. There are many ways to do it. You can even do it from command line without any software. But here I’m going to tell the easiest method that requires only a few clicks of mouse.

Note: This method works for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Step 1:


Download Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool and install it. This tool is designed for windows 7 but works well for Windows 8. For some reasons they have chosen a weird name for this tool. I always  forget the name of this tool.

step1

Step 2:

Click Browse and select the Windows 8 ISO file.

select-iso

Step 3:

Click Next.

step3

Step 4:

Click USB device and select your USB drive from the list. You will need at least 4GB or larger drive.

step4

Step 5:

Finally click Begin copying and files will begin to copy. Now wait and relax till the files are copied. When it’s finished boot the computer from USB and start installation.

step5

 

Note:

If you are running a 32-bit OS you can only make 32-bit bootable Windows 8 USB drive. 64-bit users can make both 32-bit and 64-bit bootable windows 8 USB drive.

Install Windows 8 without product key

Unlike windows 7, Windows 8 does not offer a 30 day trial and you have to enter product key at the time of installation. This can be problematic if you do not have key ready. You can bypass this while installation. But you have to enter the key later.

Step 1:
Create a file in notepad with the following content:

[EditionID]
Professional
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

Step 2:
Save it as “ei.cfg” in sources folder of the USB drive created above. Make sure file name is inside double quotes while saving.

save ei.cfg file

Additional tip:
If you wan’t the choice of version( Professional or Core) during setup use following “ei.cfg”

[EditionID]
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

What Next ?

After you have installed windows 8 you have to install a lot of essential softwares. Installing each software on by one is a very tedious task. Would you like to automatically download and install all the softwares just with a single click of mouse ? If yes then read this article:

Tell us how this method worked for you in comments

About Aamir Rizwan

Aamir Rizwan is a passionate blogger and the founder of TechAnger.com. He likes staying at the top of latest technology. In his free time he enjoys listening music, watching House MD and playing third person shooters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002505231679 Anurag Janbandhu

    Nice. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002505231679 Anurag Janbandhu

    Nice. Thanks for Sharing :)

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      You are welcome.

  • Yash Sahay

    Ya its nice thx Amaan :)

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Welcome to TA.

  • http://www.cricketpatches.com/ Ayush^

    That’s a good tutorial. have you tried Win2USB anyway? It’s a great tool too, and easier than this, it can even add the .ISO file into the USB and make it bootable.

    Also, a suggestion: Add 5 Posts in the “You May Also Like”. It does blend in well with the theme, the blank space looks a little awkward (to me.). Good Luck.

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Thanks for sharing. Win2USb is also a good tool that has many more options . The tool we have used has very few options. Therefore fewer ways to go wrong.

      Regarding your suggestion: Duly noted. You will see 5 posts soon.

      • http://www.cricketpatches.com/ Ayush^

        Thank you for considering my suggestion.

        But Win2USB gives you more options and less of risk, because Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool does not provide you the option to choose FAT32 or FAT16, which is the major problem caused by people on Boot. I had chosen FAT32, and ended up ruining my computer but somehow managed to login and then realised it was FAT32 to be done. There are lot more features of this tool that may not be compatible with the platform you’re using (compatible in the sense, the software will work, but the usb won’t be recognized by the boot screen and etc.).

        • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

          I not sure whether you are talking about file system of pen-drive or system partition. I will talk about both. Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool will automatically format your pendrive to NTFS, no questions asked. So no problem here. FAT16 is obsolete. It doesn’t support drives greater than 4GB. So I don’t advice using it.

          Regarding system partition, as a rule of thumb use NTFS if it is larger than 10GB (which is true for all modern systems) otherwise use FAT32. NTFS is a new file system designed for larger partitions and has better error correction and security than FAT32. Moreover Fat32 does’t support files larger than 4GB. There is no reason to use Fat32 unless your hard drive is very small.

          I don’t think there is any absolute best tool for anything. The tool we use depends more on personal preference :). I will soon release a post on making bootable USB without any additional tools.

  • Shriya Shria

    Good one,Just now installed
    Now I’m from newly installed Windows 8 :)
    Thanks !

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Glad you liked it :)

  • Mutahar Zahid

    i have downloaded windows 8 pro from torrents it is not in the iso file. Does using winrar to cnvert the cntnts into the iso file will make it work for me?

    • Amaan

      It is actually ISO file,but Winrar is self-sufficient to open it !
      Do the above steps :)
      If you encounter any problem,then come back for asking !

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Sorry for late reply. I was busy in a project. Yes, you can convert to ISO using winrar. Make sure that in root of ISO there following Folders: boot, efi, sources and support and Files: bootmgr, boormr.efi and setup.exe. Alternatively you can use tools like WinToFlash which can directly use windows setup files. But be warned this tools is an adware and tries to install many unwanted things during setup.
      On a side note I suggest you to use genuine Windows 8. The upgrade is very cheap. You will get all the security updates and most important peace of mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/satya.singh.3762584 Satya Singh

    Dear Rizman, I have purchased new laptop with Windows 8. I was asked to take backup of operating system in 16 GB Pen Drive. Please, guide me how to make bootable OS.
    Thanks
    Satya

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Hi Satya, your laptop should have pre installed utility to take backup on DVD/pen drive. I have seen this on HP and Asus laptops. Can’t comment on others. Please tell the company and model of your laptop so I can help you further.

  • Umair Ghani

    Slaam Rizwan bhi! I am downloading win8 professional from torrent and its a winrar file. Can u please tell me how to convert it into iso file?
    Jaz

  • sriram

    hi..i have upgraded to windows 8 from vista..now i want to use windwos 8 for my laptop..where can i find ISO file..and if i am using pen drive to boot my lap top ..will i lose all the data in laptop and the earlier OS Windows 7 ( licensed Version)

  • Balahak

    I’m not really sure where to find the information for the “ie.cfg” file; or even what that information is (VL??).

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Edition can be Core or Professional. If it came pre installed then channel will be OEM otherwise if you have purchased it online it will be Retail. VL stands for Volume License. If you don’t know what it means then keep it 0.

  • naveen
    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Glad you liked the article and welcome to TA.

  • sam

    can u suggest me easier method 2learn html n or lnguages?? nt w3schools but :p

  • Wakiki

    what is the meaning of the follwoing and what should i write exactly? im installing windows 8.

    Please give me a sample thnk you very much :)

    [EditionID] —— what exactly i write
    Professional
    [Channel] – also with this one
    Retail
    [VL] – also with this one
    0
    Please give me sample.

  • Nabi Rasool

    Hi Aamir,

    I tried to using the procedure. However, when I select the .iso file and clicking ‘next’ I am getting message saying that – selected file is not a valid .iso file. I have downloaded this from MSDN and did not see any hickups while downloading. The size of the file is- Size :3.14 GB (3,375,536,128 bytes) and Size on disk: 3.14 GB (3,375,538,176 bytes) (Copied from ‘properies’ of the .iso file). I used DAP to download this file.Am I missing something? If possble for you or forany body reading this post, please check the size of the file and validate with the size I have provided. I have bought HP G6-2229TU and still waiting to see it started. I am going for Windows 8 as this model has drivers for only Win8 :)

    Appreciate your help and advice,
    Nabi Rasool

    • Guest

      Thought this info might help:
      When I extract(unpack) the .iso file I am getting the constituents as normal. I am attaching the list of the components I got after extraction.

      • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

        I suggest you to download Hashtab and compare the hashcode of the ISO with that given on MSDN. If hashcode doesn’t match download again otherwise you can try this mannual method

        • Gajendrasinh

          hi, i have tried this but it cannot locate the nt6o command
          Please help

          • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

            My bad :) Corrected the last command. Try again.

  • Irfan

    Thanks so much @aamirriz:disqus . It helps me so much. Btw, how do i change the setting like desktop background, profile pic and many more as it requires me to activate the windows, what should i do? thanks again dude

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Sorry for a very late reply. You need genuine windows 8 key to activate it. Buy online. Or if you are a student you can get it free from Microsoft Dreamspark.

  • Ramesh Chandra

    Really looks cool by reading this post helps me to install it very easily…

  • Arif

    windows 7 usb tool says an error message : “The selected iso file is not valid . Please select a valid iso file and try again”

    • Arif

      When I selected an iso file and clicked the next button , it throws that error message. What do i do ?

      • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

        Sorry for late reply. I have already answered this in this comment

  • Badiuddin

    Hi,aamir bhaiya thanx a lot for this blog,U will b hlpng hand for people stuck in des sort f problms,
    N really ur steps r easy to go thru..
    Thnx a lot..
    Will b honoured if U contact me..

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Thank you and welcome to TA.

  • harry

    this is spamware. do not download this

  • mukesh

    mera writer kharab ho gaya hai aur system bahot slow chal raha hai kabhi-2 haink bhi ho jata hai mughe farmet karna hai
    kya karu agr pen drave se ho sake to plz batao.

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Make a bootable windows 7 or windows 8 pendrive according to the above tutorial. Change the boot order from BIOS to boot from pendrive. Install as you normally would. CD/DVD writer is NOT required.

  • Vivek Upadhyay

    well I dont understand why… I mean its a driver problem or support problem or what but most of the games stutter in win8 whereas they work smooth in my win7.

    e.g. I’d installed Batman:Arkham Asylum and Arkham City on my PC with win8.My PC could able to run only Arkham Asylum with ultra slow frame-rate,same case with FIFA13 :@

    But same thing I’ve tried on my win7 and they both worked very well even I’ve Nvidia 8400GS 512MB still I could able to play those games :)

    and btw really nice work Aamir !!

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      Thanks for dropping a comment.

      Driver issue is common with any new OS. Download the latest driver from Nvidia. See if that helps. It can also be a game issue. I was not able to run Hitman Absolution on Windows 8 even after using beta drivers. Windows 7 has been there for some time. So it has stable and mature drivers. Windows 8 will catch up in time. Wait for next major WIndows 8 update i.e. Windows 8.1(Blue).

      • Vivek Upadhyay

        I’d downloaded the latest possible driver for my graphics card but…even same driver(as it was for both win7 and win8) work smoothly on win7.
        yeah hope in win8.1(blue) all these kinda issues may e resloved so people can enjoy amazing win8 more freely.

  • Tigrus

    Hi, nice article anda very easy to follow.
    My question/doubt is the following, i bought a new notebook that has win8 and i want to change it to win7.
    I’ve tried diferent programs to make a bootable usb but every time i go to bios to make the OS run from the pen it restarts th win 8 again. It recognizes the pen in the bios but it never runs from the pen when i restart it.
    Thanks.

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      There are two ways to boot from USB – 1) Change the the boot order and make make USB the first boot drive. 2) Launch the boot menu at startup. The specifics of these 2 ways depends on BIOS manufacturer which in turn depends on laptop manufacturer. Pressing Esc or F8 while booting brings boot menu in most laptops.

  • ASH

    i have a windows 8 copy in my usb how i can boot it into my lenevo pc………
    PPPPPPLLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZZZZZ RRRREEEEEEPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLYYYYYYY
    :’( :D

    • Amaan

      Make it Bootable by the above tutorial, then boot from USB by selecting Boot devices.

  • Suresh

    I am 66 year old retired homeuser with little money to buy costly sw. Your article is GodSend. Thanks.

  • memed

    thank you! :)

  • isu

    thanks bro…

  • ashutosh

    Thanks…

  • Ghanshyam Gupta

    thanks for article, just conform me that this is trail version or full version….?

    • http://www.techanger.com/ Aamir Rizwan

      The software is free and open source.

  • MM

    Is there a legit site where one can download the ISO file (8 or 8.1) needed for the steps above?

  • Hitesh Songra

    format your pendrive in ntfs format

    and copy paste win 8 source in pendrive.

    and reboot your laptop and press F-12 untill booting is start..

    have fun…

    • bryan0919

      i have windows 8 iso i like to burn it on my 8gb CD-R-KING USB

      Please Help Me To burn it Bootable

  • Harsh Kumar

    hello i have download win.8.1 from this site..but it doesn`t wirk…it gives error message

    • shan

      pls write error..

  • Rishal

    Hyy man nice work up there i reali liked yr previous post .. i have one Question!!= i am running windows 7 Ultimate 32bit.i wanted windows 8 iso file 32bit .. i tried my google search i cant find it … plzzzzzzzzz can you provide the free way to download the download link plzz i need it!!

  • rajeev

    how can i convert 4 gb image to iso

  • Allan

    adding the ei.cfg file worked beautifully! Thanks alot!

  • bryan0919

    i have windows 8 iso i like to burn it on my usb bootable

    pleasse help me

  • vishal

    i have windows 8pro software in my lappi but i cant find its iso file?
    could u plz explain it to me ?

  • vishal

    how to create iso file from my windows 8 software?