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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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.)
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.
If you are too fed up with USB boot, follow these instructions
Take two USB drives: one with Windows 8 OS (copy Windows 8 files directly to pendrive without folder so its easy to access), and another with a RECOVERY drive created from your friend's Windows 8 PC by "create recovery drive" (search in start menu under settings). Now insert the RECOVERY pen drive in the PC.
Now enable your PC bios to boot USB drive at first with RECOVERY DRIVE.
Now your pen drive will boot by Windows 8 recovery after booted click "TROUBLESHOOT" and click "advanced options" and click on "command prompt". Now attach your Windows 8 OS pen drive to the PC.
Now, in the command prompt type
notepad and hit enter.
Now, click on file->open-> to see the Windows 8 pen drive's drive letter. After seeing close Notepad.
For example, if the pendrive letter is F, type
f: in cmd and hit enter. Now you will see that the drive changed to F in cmd by like this
setup.exe, now remove the recovery pendrive and not the Windows 8 OS drive from the PC! That's all, now you can to see the Windows 8 setup booted and you can also make changes to the partition (don't forget to remove the recovery pendrive)! ENJOY!
If you do all steps properly, I assure that it will boot.