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How to Install Windows 8 ISO from a USB Flash Drive

Posted August 2012 by Steve Sinchak

Physical DVD drives are becoming a thing of the past as the size of our PCs continue shrink and new form factors are emerging. Microsoft distributes Windows Windows 8 on physical discs or images of DVDs called ISO files that are typically burned to physical media. This has become problem as a number of laptops and tablet PCs no longer ship with DVD drives. The best way to install Windows on these devices is to use a USB flash drive that contains the Windows installation files.  As an extra benefit, modern USB flash drives are typically much faster than DVDs resulting in a quick install.

Before we get started you will need:

  • Windows 8 ISO file.
  • 4 GB USB flash drive.

Microsoft has a free utility that will automatically make a bootable USB flash drive from a Windows 8 ISO image file. First, download and install the utility. Don't worry that it says for Windows 7, it works fine for Windows 8 as well.

Download the Microsoft Store Windows 7 USB/DVD Download ToolAlternate Link.

Once installed, launch the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool from the start menu.

Hit Browse, select your ISO file and then click Next.

Plug in your USB flash drive.

On the Choose media type screen select USB device.

Select your USB drive from the list and click Begin Copying.

This process can take several minutes depending on the speed of your USB flash drive.

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