Currently my OS is Ubuntu 13.10. I want to make a bootable USB with Windows 8 in it. I have the setup file of Windows 8 in my system, but it is not an ISO file. It is the extracted form of the ISO file. Is it possible to combine the setup files of the Windows 8 into an ISO image file ? If possible, how ?

  • Sure; if it's an exact copy of the ISO then it's bootable just create an iso from the file the follow the guide of your choice to make a bootable disk
    – Ramhound
    Mar 6, 2014 at 2:32
  • @Ramhound Does the USB became bootable if I simply copy the files to it ?
    – TomJ
    Mar 6, 2014 at 2:35
  • 1
    I've done this before with Windows 7 by creating a bootable ISO in k3b (it is not obvious how to do this) and using unetbootin (you need a slightly older version as you'll need to format the flash drive to NTFS) to load it onto the drive as normal. It was several months ago now so I can't quite recall, but I'll have to see if I can find some information tomorrow and answer here with some details if someone else hasn't.
    – Dylan
    Mar 6, 2014 at 2:38
  • @Dylan Ok. I will wait...
    – TomJ
    Mar 6, 2014 at 2:41
  • Just a quick note regarding my previous comment, it seems that the latest versions of unetbootin have hard disk support again (at least on Fedora - Ubuntu repos could be a bit older) so it might not be necessary to use an older version.
    – Dylan
    Mar 7, 2014 at 23:29

3 Answers 3


You'll need

  • Software for creating iso images (I used k3b)
  • Software for creating a bootable flash drive from a USB (I used unetbootin)

Creating the image

You need to create a bootable ISO. You'll probably have to select a boot file (for Windows 7 and likely 8, this is etfsboot.com). I used k3b to do this, but other programs support it and, in fact, I figured out how to do this largely thanks to a guide for a piece of Windows software. Here's what worked for me:

  1. Open k3b
  2. Go to New Project > New Data Project
  3. Drag your files from the unpacked disk into the data section at the bottom
  4. Click "Edit Boot Images"
  5. Click New...
  6. Select the boot image - if it's the same on Windows 8 (and it probably is) it'll be in the boot folder. I think the exact file you need is etfsbootcom. Do not be seduced by bootmgr in the root! It's not that one.
  7. It'll ask about hard disk emulation. I used "no emulation"
  8. The default options should otherwise be fine
  9. Go to Project > Properties and in the writing tab check "Create Image" and "Only Create Image".
  10. You need UDF extensions enabled for the filesystem defaults, but for me this happened automatically when I left it alone
  11. Close that and "burn" (remember, you're really just creating the image but you still use the burn button) the image. Remember to set a file name.

Formatting the flash drive

You'll need a flash drive with the first partition formatted to NTFS and large enough to contain the Windows disc (4GiB was more than sufficient even for my universal 32/64 bit Windows 7 installer and should be good for Windows 8 as well). I used GParted. Here's what worked for me:

  1. Unmount your flash drive if it's mounted - you can probably do this by right clicking it in your file manager
  2. Open GParted
  3. Select your flash drive from the drop down menu in the top right - it'll likely be called /dev/sd[LETTER]. Check that the size and partitions match! You do not want to accidentally use your harddrive.
  4. Clear up enough space (you can just right click and "Remove" or "Resize" partitions, but be careful to back up data)
  5. Create a new partition (Partition > New). The filesystem must be NTFS, the size large enough for your ISO and it must be the first partition on the drive (at least for Windows).
  6. Re-mount your flash drive (eject/plug it back in or click it in your file manager)

Creating a bootable flash drive

You could actually do this in a few ways, but I used unetbootin (probably the easiest and most user friendly on Linux). Note that you will need to use an older version as recent ones have dropped support for NTFS formatted flash drives (build 494 should work). Here's what worked for me:

  1. Open unetbootin (you'll need to run as root but it'll prompt you for a password)
  2. Select the "Diskimage" radio button and enter the path to your ISO image
  3. Switch the option for drive type from "USB" to "Harddisk" and select your NTFS formatted flash drive - be careful not to select your actual hard drive!
  4. Click okay and wait. Once it's done, you'll have a bootable Windows flash drive
  • DVD works perfectly :)
    – BurninLeo
    Sep 12, 2014 at 19:24
  • Verified and it works perfectly. Just this contribution: "harddisk emulation" does not work, at least with the original cdrtools package, mkisofs exits with error code 255, so "no emulation" is the only option we have. Mar 25, 2015 at 2:24
  • Thanks. Could not figure out boot image without your help.
    – pauljohn32
    Jan 18, 2018 at 1:02

Currently my OS is Ubuntu 13.10. I want to make a bootable USB with Windows 8 in it.

You can make your USB Drive bootable with Windows 8 in it without using any additional software.

All of you have to do is:

  • Boot into your Ubuntu or any other Linux system;
  • Format your USB drive (prefer to have 8GB or more in size) with NTFS filesystem;
  • Copy everything from that extracted form of Windows ISO into the USB drive.

Once the copying is finished, issue following commands in your preferred terminal:

  1. os-prober, it should detect your USB Drive as Windows Recovery Environment with corresponding drive location like /dev/sdb1;
  2. If os-prober detects your USB drive then type grub-mkconfig -o grub.cfg_location where grub.cfg_location is your grub configuration file location, typically is /boot/grub/grub.cfg

The last command will create an entry for Windows 8 with the name Windows Recovery Environment in your Grub menu. You can now restart your system, boot into Grub menu and select the corresponding option to boot into Windows 8 installation.

Note : You can also easily remove this new Grub entry by running the same command with USB Drive unplugged.


You can create it using the WinUSB tool.

Run these commands in Terminal to install the tool.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:colingille/freshlight
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install winusb

You can access it from the command line with winusb or through the GUI.

WinUSB screenshot

  • The trouble was that he didn't have a raw ISO, he had the files from the ISO. Though I will note I'm not 100% certain a bootable ISO is necessary for a bootable flash drive.
    – Dylan
    Mar 7, 2014 at 23:08
  • @Dylan Nuts! Didn't notice that. Hmm, it should be an easy enough fix.
    – thegoose
    Mar 8, 2014 at 0:56

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