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I downloaded Windows 8 as an ISO image, and I'd like to install it on a computer that doesn't have an optical drive.

Is it possible to install Windows 8 from a USB drive? How would I do this?

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As an alternative, this maybe of interest… – Simon Dec 18 '13 at 12:39
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The Windows 8 installer is very similar internally to the Windows 7 installer. All of the other methods mentioned in the previous Super User post on How to Install Windows 7 from a USB Drive should work perfectly with the Windows 8 installer.

I would recommend using the Windows 7 USB Download Tool, as it's a very easy process — you just select the ISO, choose the flash drive, and it automatically formats it, copies everything over, and configures the flash drive to be bootable. I used it to successfully copy the Windows 8 installer onto a flash drive, and the installation went flawlessly on multiple machines.

(Note that when using the Windows 7 USB Download Tool, your flash drive will be automatically reformatted, so make sure to back up any files you have saved on your flash drive before starting this process.)

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Really? that's nice! Have you tried it though? – Benjamin Sep 17 '11 at 6:40
@Ben yep, I used that tool to put the ISO installer on a 16GB USB flash drive, and proceeded to successfully install the developer preview on 3 computers. – nhinkle Sep 17 '11 at 6:41
fantastic! Thank you! – Benjamin Sep 17 '11 at 6:42
just to note - if you're trying to make a 64 bit installer in a 32 bit base sustem, you will need to download and run bootsect manually. Other than that, its totally no fuss – Journeyman Geek Sep 17 '11 at 6:47
@nhinkle: Yes, it works fine. I'm installing now. thanks. – Benjamin Sep 17 '11 at 7:20

Windows To Go is a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise that allows Windows 8 Enterprise to boot and run from mass storage devices such as USB flash drives.

Softpedia has a USB installer setup if you need one

Here are a few links you should check out

I believe its fairly detailed explanation on these links.

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This answer makes no sense. The author wasn't asking abotu Windows To Go which was even a named feature until much later in Windows 8 developement cycle. Remove the part about Windows To Go and I will remove the downvote. – Ramhound Nov 28 '12 at 20:37

if you are too fed up with usb boot, follow these instructions

STEP 1: take 2 usb drives -> one with windows 8 OS (copy win8 files directly to pendrive without folder so its easy to access ) and -> another with a RECOVERY drive created from your friend's win8pc by "CREATE RECOVERY DRIVE(search in start menu under settings)". now insert the RECOVERY pen drive in pc

STEP 2: Now enable your pc bios to boot usb drive at first with RECOVERY DRIVE.

STEP 3: NOW ur pen drive will boot by win8 recovery after booted click "TROUBLESHOOT" and click "ADVANCED OPTIONS" and click on " COMMAND PROMPT ". now ATTACH your WIN 8 OS PEN DRIVE to pc.

STEP 4: NOW, in COMMAND PROMPT type NOTEPAD and hit enter

STEP 5: NOW, click on file->open-> to see the win8 pen drive's drive letter.after seeing close notepad.

STEP 6: for example, if the pendrive letter is f. in cmd TYPE f: hit enter.[now u will see that drive changed to f in cmd by like this f : \ > ]

STEP 7: NOW, TYPE setup.exe...!, now remove the recovery PENDRIVE and not the WIN8 OS DRIVE from PC! thats all GUYS now you can able to see the windows 8 setup booted and you can also make changes to the partition {plz dont forget to remove the recovery pendrive}...! ENJOY!

if u do all steps properly, i assure that it will boot

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