How to create a bootable USB flash drive containing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Summary:Faster and more convenient than installing from a DVD.

Want to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on multiple systems but don't want to have to burn a DVD? Here's how you can create a bootable USB flash drive containing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview code.

See alsoWindows 8 Consumer Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked

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Why create a bootable USB drive containing Windows 8 in the first place? Well, not only is installing from a USB flash drive more convenient, it's also a lot faster than installing the OS from a disc.
  1. First, you need a USB Flash drive (at least 4GB - any less and you can stop reading right here).
  2. You also need the Windows 8 Consumer Preview .ISO file - 64-bit download | 32-bit download
  3. You also need to download and install the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool available from Microsoft.
  4. OK, now you're ready to rock. Pop the USB flash drive into a spare USB port and fire up the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool and browse to the .ISO file you want to use, and then click Next.
  5. Click on USB device as the media type.
  6. From the next screen choose the correct USB flash drive from the drop-down box and then click Begin copying.
  7. The tool will now format the drive and then copy the Windows 8 installation files onto it. This will take some time, so be patient!
  8. Once the tool is done copying the data across, you're ready to use the USB flash drive to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview onto your hardware. When you're ready to install Windows 8, insert the USB flash drive into a free USB port, and then run Setup.exe from the root folder on the drive.

Note: You may need to change the boot order of drives in your PC's BIOS before you can install from your USB flash drive.

It's that simple! Enjoy!

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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