Windows 8 Bootable USB Key Tutorial

Windows 8 Installs Nicely From USB Sticks–4GB Minimum!

You may have heard that today, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and launched the Windows Marketplace for apps. Pretty slick, by all accounts, you might just want to install the software on a device that doesn’t have an optical drive. Or maybe you’re just too cool for optical drives, who knows?! But whatever the answer is, there’s an easy way to make a Windows 8 bootable USB drive from which to install Redmond’s latest and greatest, Windows 8.

First, you’ll need the operating system. Get it here: 64 Bit version | 32 Bit Version

Second, snag Microsoft’s free Windows 7 USB/DBD Download Tool. Yes, it says Windows 7, but it will work fine for Windows 8. It’ll convert the ISO you downloaded above into a format appropriate to your USB drive (or optical, if you prefer. Some people still love 1990’s technology!) Install that sucker!

Once you’ve install the tool, it’ll appear in your Start Menu under All Programs–>Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. I know, crazy, right?

Launch the software, click browse and navigate to wherever you saved the ISO. Most people will download this to the Downloads folder in Windows 7, but if not, I hope you remember where the thing went. Choose your ISO, then click Next.

There will be two buttons near the bottom of the program window. One says “USB Device,” the other says “DVD.” Choose whichever you like. Nerdy folks will choose USB 98.7% of the time (and that’s a statistically claimed fact!)

Now wait. It’ll take about 10 minutes, after which blammo, you’ll have a bootable Windows 8 USB stick. Or DVD, if you’re stuck in the 90’s, of course :). When you see the following screen, you’re all done! Well, OK, almost done. I jumped the gun on the screen grab.

Windows 8

No offense to my 90’s brethren–that decade was good enough to earn my respect, and bad enough I wouldn’t go back.

Speaking of moving forward, go install Windows 8!