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I'm trying to install windows 8 developer preview.

I've already downloaded the ISO. Now I should burn it on a CD or create a bootable flash drive....zzz

I was wondering, can I skip this step? Can I somehow unpack the ISO and boot from it straight away?

  • I don't have time for a full answer, but no. Basically the format used for making bootable CDs is too different compared to bootable partitions for this to work. You may try to make a flash drive image and then copy it to a partition using say Unix dd or similar and see if it works. Anyway you'll have to go through the installation, this way (if it works) you'll just skip having to use external memory device. – AndrejaKo Nov 19 '11 at 21:09
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MEMDISK, part of SYSLINUX, can boot a ISO from another bootloader. You might need to use GRUB or LILO though rather than the NT bootloader.

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If you are using a VM (such as VirtualBox), all you need to do is tell the VM to boot from the ISO on your drive; but if you want to install it on your HD you will need to burn it to a CD/USB, unless you have GRUB or LILO like @Ignacio says.

However, doing it this way may have some problems; for more info check out this SuperUser question

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You could image the ISO to a spare hard drive/partition and then boot from that.

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You can make a partition on your hard drive. Extract the ISO on to that partition. Then change the boot order to boot into that partition.

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