Create a Bootable Windows 8 USB Drive

Edited by Sean, Dougie, Anonymous, Eng

Yassora 0403150852-meme.jpg

Now you can! There are many different ways to install Windows on your laptop or desktop, but doing it via a USB drive is one of the easiest and most convenient methods. Once you get a Windows 8 setup successfully onto a USB then you can run it conveniently through any USB port and you can use it during startup or on the desktop. Here are a few easy steps for creating a bootable Windows 8 on a USB drive.

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Create a Bootable Windows 8.1 USB drive

  1. 1
    Go to Window's page for creating a Windows 8 setup[1]
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  2. 2
    About halfway down the page is a list of steps and the first one says Run the Windows 8.1 Setup program, and you need to click on the highlighted Windows 8.1 Setup part of that to download the setup file.
    Windows 8.1.png
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  3. 3
    Once that file is downloaded go to your Downloads folder (the default download location for most browsers) and locate the OSGS14-WindowsSetup.exe file.
    -That file name may change when Microsoft updates that setup page and file.
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  4. 4
    Before you run that file, make sure you have the USB you want to use (which needs to be at least 6 gigabytes) plugged in and visibly working, which you can see if it shows up on My Computer.
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  5. 5
    Double click on that WindowsSetup.exe and the first thing you will see is a prompt asking you for your product key for Windows 8.
    Windows 8 setup.png
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  6. 6
    Get past that and you will see the option to Install By Creating Media, click on that option and press Next.
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  7. 7
    Now you will be asked what you want to use to create the bootable setup, so click on your USB drive and press Next.
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  8. 8
    All files already on that USB drive will be deleted and it will now install that setup onto your USB.
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  9. 9
    Done!
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How to use your bootable Windows 8.1 USB Drive

There are two ways you can use use your Windows 8 bootable USB drive, either from the desktop and just run it like any program, or from startup in case you can't access Windows or your Windows is corrupted. Running it from the desktop is very straight forward, but here is how to get it to boot your USB before it loads into Windows:

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  1. 1
    When your computer is first starting, before it gets to Windows, the first screen will show some messages on the bottom that will say something about pressing F2, F8, F9 or Del to start a Setup.
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  2. 2
    That setup is your the setup for your BIOS and that's where you want to go so that you can change the order in which your computer boots things.
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  3. 3
    You should be greeted by this screen, which is the default BIOS screen, and you want to use the arrows keys on your keyboard to get down to Advanced BIOS Features.
    Bios setup default.png
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  4. 4
    Click on Advanced BIOS Features and in there the second line down should say Boot Device Select, click on that.
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  5. 5
    This new screen is called Boot Device Priority and it should have a list of 1-4 devices, among other options, at the very top of it.
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  6. 6
    Where it says First Boot Device you want to arrow to that, click on that and change it to your USB device.
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  7. 7
    Most likely you will want to move that, because it should be your normal hard drive, to Second Boot Device.
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  8. 8
    Do F10 to Save and then press Esc to exit out of the BIOS setup.
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Now when you boot up your computer it will load your USB before it loads your hard drive and Windows, this will make it so that it will load that Windows 8 setup first and it should start that process before anything else. If that doesn't happen check to make sure your USB is working, check that you saved the boot priority in the BIOS, and if you can just run the setup from Window's desktop, but if you are needing to boot from USB then you are likely not able to access that in the first place.

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Final Notes

Setting up a bootable USB for Windows 7 or 8 is pretty simply as long as you don't run into any weird hardware issues with the USB ports or the USB itself. This process works for either Windows 7 or 8, and alternatively you can burn that setup file to a DVD if you need to run it that way. If you need to know about installing Windows and formatting hard drives then check out our article on How to Format a Hard Drive. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

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Various USB Drives.jpg

Resources

Images:

  • Computer guy meme - KnowYourMeme.com[2]
  • Default BIOS screen - Wikipedia[3]

Information:

  • Create Installation - Windows.Microsoft.com[4]

Other:

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Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Dougie, Sean

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