Friday 30 September 2011

Install Windows 8 from a USB Device

Microsoft has recently released a developer preview of their upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Many users all over the world have already downloaded the developer preview and installed it in their computers. It is not possible to upgrade your current version of Windows with Windows 8 but you can only install a fresh copy of Windows 8. So a Windows 8 installation requires a clean install.

Many notebooks and low profile laptops do not have DVD drives in them. Then what is the solution to install Windows 8 in such a case? It is possible to install Windows 8 using a USB device like pen drive. Microsoft has only released a disc image of Windows 8 developer preview, but you can use the popular Windows 7 USB/DVD tool from Microsoft to create a bootable USB device and to install Windows 8 into your computer even though you do not have a DVD drive in your computer or a laptop.

Please note that Windows 8 is available as a developer preview and some features may not work and there is no guarantee that all your hardware will be supported. You need at least an 8 GB or larger USB pen drive for installing Windows 8 from a USB device. You need to delete everything on the Pen drive and format it before starting to install Windows 8 from the Pen Drive. Here is a step by step procedure to install Windows 8 from the USB device.

Download Windows 8 Developer Preview : You can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview released by Microsoft recently. There are two versions available for download, the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions. You can download the appropriate version suitable for your hardware. Also please note that there is no installer at present for PCs with ARM-based processors. Check out How to download Windows 8 for more instructions to download Windows 8 developer preview or download Windows 8 Developer Preview directly from Microsoft Website. Once the download is complete, you will have a file with a name similar to "Windows Developer Preview-32bit-English.iso" in your computer.

Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool from Microsoft Store: You need to download the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool from Microsoft Store and use it to make a bootable USB Device for installing Windows 8. Once you download the tool, you should have a file called some thing like 

Install the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool: Now you install the tool by double clicking on Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe and click "Run" when prompted. Here are some screen shots of installing Windows 7 USB/DVD tool.

Once the installation is completed, click on "Finish" button

Run Windows 7 USB/DVD installer tool: Once the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool is downloaded to your computer, find the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool and select it, you will get a Windows UAC warning message. Click on "Allow" button to continue.

Select the location of your Windows 8 ISO file: The tool will ask you to give the location of the Windows 8 ISO file. Hit the Browse button and select the location where you downloaded Windows 8 ISO file.

Select the media type: This tool is used to burn the Windows 8 ISO file to a DVD or a USB pen drive. Since we want to create a bootable USB drive, you can choose the USB device option.

Select the USB Device: Now you need to make sure that your pen drive is inserted to the USB slot in your computer and choose the correct device from the drop down menu

Format the USB Pen Drive: If you have not yet formatted the Pen Drive, this tool will allow you to format the device now. Click on Erast button to format the drive. Now the utility will format your USB pen drive, and copy the data from ISO file to the pen drive. Now your pen drive will be a bootable drive.

Boot from the USB pen drive: Now you plug in your USB pen drive which is a bootable one into the computer where you want to install Windows 8 and choose the option to boot from USB. You need to go to the BIOS and change the boot priority option so that your PC will boot from the USB pen drive before it tries booting from hard disk. This is done by hitting F1, F10, Del, Esc or some other special function key while booting your computer will get you into the BIOS.

This will install Windows 8 into your computer or laptop.