TechSpot: Install Windows 8 from a USB Drive in 3 Simple Steps

Back when the Windows 8 Consumer Preview hit the Web, we offered a basic guide on configuring a virtual machine. With Windows 8's Release Preview available and the final version inching toward completion, we figure it's a great time to offer a similarly easy step-by-step walkthrough on installing Windows 8 with a USB drive.

If you're familiar with the process, there isn't much for you to see here, but this should serve as a quick confidence booster for anyone who hasn't installed an operating system recently.

Read: Install Windows 8 from a USB Drive, Dual-boot with XP, Vista and 7

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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13 Comments

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I just mounted the ISO or extract it using winRAR. Formatted the usb and dragged all the files from the ISO to the USB and that's it.

KomaWeiß said,
I just mounted the ISO or extract it using winRAR. Formatted the usb and dragged all the files from the ISO to the USB and that's it.

yep I did the same, I didn´t have an admin account at the moment...

Watch out guys, the article is crap. The tool used is formatting the drive to NTFS, which will prevent you to boot in the UEFI setup of Windows 8 and you won't have the benefit of using UEFI with Windows 8, it will stay in the old BIOS mode (emulated), which results in slower boot time and few others features.
Instead just extract the content the ISO on the drive (formatted with FAT32) and mark the partition as active.

Anthonyd said,
Watch out guys, the article is crap. The tool used is formatting the drive to NTFS, which will prevent you to boot in the UEFI setup of Windows 8 and you won't have the benefit of using UEFI with Windows 8, it will stay in the old BIOS mode (emulated), which results in slower boot time and few others features.
Instead just extract the content the ISO on the drive (formatted with FAT32) and mark the partition as active.


that is BS because i run windows 8 RP on an Asus UEFI motherboard and it works fine NTFS and i can boot in to UEFI just fine as ther is no longer old Bios mode on my board only UEFI so get your facts straight

You need to have a UEFI motherboard to quick boot into Windows 8? Cause i'm sure my crappy old board doesn't have UEFI and it still boots real fast. Like 17 seconds

Anthonyd said,
Watch out guys, the article is crap. The tool used is formatting the drive to NTFS, which will prevent you to boot in the UEFI setup of Windows 8 and you won't have the benefit of using UEFI with Windows 8, it will stay in the old BIOS mode (emulated), which results in slower boot time and few others features.
Instead just extract the content the ISO on the drive (formatted with FAT32) and mark the partition as active.

Windows 8 will install differently if the install media is FAT32 vs NTFS? This smells fishy to me. Especially since optical media will use UDF. You'll need to provide proof otherwise you're looking like either a troll or not that bright...

gzAsher said,
You need to have a UEFI motherboard to quick boot into Windows 8? Cause i'm sure my crappy old board doesn't have UEFI and it still boots real fast. Like 17 seconds

it boots even faster on a UEFI motherboard

1 simple step.
download this tool called the 'Windows8-ReleasePreview-UpgradeAssistant.exe from Microsoft.com and this tool will install windows 8 without usb/cd, or to usb or create an ISO. It creates a whole bootable USB drive for you, no need to hassle with all kinds of 3rd party mumbo-jumbo.
this on frontpage? really?
either way, you don't need to bother with that whole stuff on techspot... Microsoft made it all allot easier already... If people would just LOOK for it

Shadowzz said,
1 simple step.
download this tool called the 'Windows8-ReleasePreview-UpgradeAssistant.exe from Microsoft.com and this tool will install windows 8 without usb/cd, or to usb or create an ISO. It creates a whole bootable USB drive for you, no need to hassle with all kinds of 3rd party mumbo-jumbo.
this on frontpage? really?
either way, you don't need to bother with that whole stuff on techspot... Microsoft made it all allot easier already... If people would just LOOK for it

It's not 3rd party , Microsoft released it :-\.

Jason87 said,

It's not 3rd party , Microsoft released it :-\.


oh, well I haven't used it I use GRUB4DOS and it just loads the windows ISO's (Xp, vista, 7 and 8 work fine with that).
but its a nice tutorial which isn't required anymore. it comes with the default windows 8 RP download link

Shadowzz said,

download this tool called the 'Windows8-ReleasePreview-UpgradeAssistant.exe from Microsoft.com

This article uses Windows 7 USB/DVD tool, which does all you explained and is made by Microsoft too.

Cøi said,

This article uses Windows 7 USB/DVD tool, which does all you explained and is made by Microsoft too.

why download a separate thing, post a whole tutorial on the front page..
when it comes default with a Win8 RP download?
and iirc the USB/DVD tool does not do the same as the Win8 RP UA.
the Win8 RP UA can install Windows8 without the need of a CD, USB or anything else. It does so in similar ways Ubuntu (for example) have done for years.

Can we boot off setup from USB3 based pen drive?

Right now my system freezes if I insert Corsair Voyager USB3 Windows Setup pen drive.

Any suggestions?