For many enthusiasts there's nothing quite like getting your hands on a shiny new release of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Windows 8 Consumer Preview was recently launched and its download article stirs up lot of interest, because it is uniquely different from any of its ancestor. It has a certain amount of newness due to the radically different interface known as Metro UI, which is similar to that of the Windows Phone OS. And this is the reason why the web is buzzing with Windows 8.
The Release Preview is the final pre-release version of Windows 8 and is free to try, but if you want to put it through its paces without donating a blank DVD, here's a brief guide on how to easily install Windows 8 from a USB pen drive.
USB drive with at least 16 GB capacity
Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO images / Windows 8 Consumer Preview disk image file
Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) for Windows 7/ Microsoft's Windows 7 USB tool
Some type of compression software that can extract files from an iso and cab file (7Zip and WinRAR are just to name a few)
MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-ROM (MagicDisc)
Easy procedure to install:
- Install and run Microsoft's Windows 7 USB tool. In the subsequent window, browse to the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8 disk image file you've already downloaded and hit next.
- With your USB stick plugged in (remember, it'll need to be at least 4GB in size for a 64-bit install), choose USB device as your media type.
- Select the correct removable device from the drop-down menu, then click begin copying.
- Wait until the USB tool formats your pen drive, makes it bootable, and copies over all of the Windows 8 files. Now start the Windows command prompt and type the following commands one after the other as given below:
- Diskpart (This built-in utility will help repartition and format the new drive)
- List disk (This command will list all the drives present on your system. Note down the drive number of your USB drive)
- Select disk # (Replace the # with the drive number that represents your USB drive in the list)
- Clean (This command will wipe the entire partition table of the USB drive)
- Create partition primary (This command will create a primary partition on the USB drive)
- Select partition 1 (This command will select the primary partition for the rest of the process)
- Format fs=ntfs quick (This command will quick format the primary partition in NTFS file format)
- Assign (This command will assign a drive letter to the new partition for Windows to work on)
- Active (This command will make the partition active to enable booting)
- Exit (Closes the DISKPART utility)
- Once the copying is complete, there is only one more step left; to make the drive bootable. Windows 7 has a utility known as "bcdboot.exe" to take care of this. Just run "bcdboot.exe d:\windows /s d:" and this is done. Make sure that the drive has the files as shown in the adjoining screenshot. Your Windows 8 bootable drive is ready. You can now plug it into the USB port of any computer and boot into the spanking new OS without having to install it on the computer. Just make sure that you set the computer to boot through the USB drive.