Creating your own Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 USB install device
A lot of servers and clients, nowadays, are no longer equipped with an optical drive. While this leaves room for extra drives and allows for smaller form factors, it can be a hurdle when you try and install the Operating Systems of your dreams (in this case: Windows 8) to the device of your dreams.
This procedure can be used to create a USB install device for:
- Windows 8
- Windows Server 2012
Microsoft offers a tool to convert the *.iso file of a Windows installation disk to a bootable USB drive. The Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool is available for free from the Microsoft Store. In four simple steps, this tools allows you to create a bootable DVD or USB drive from a downloaded *.iso file. No fuzzy ISO tools or command prompt nerding needed. Perfect!
I recommend using this tool to create your bootable Windows 8 USB install device.
Unfortunately, in my case, this tool couldn’t be used to create a bootable USB drive with Windows Server “8” Beta. I received the following error:
We were unable to copy your files. Please check your USB device and the selected ISO file and try again.
Not a big problem, since I have a procedure to make a USB drive bootable. It’s a simple five step procedure, that gives you great control over the final USB Flash Drive you come to rely on for the deployment of Windows Servers and Windows clients:
Step 1: Download the ISO
The first step is to get hold of the ISO of your favorite Windows Operating System.
You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in 32bit and 64bit here.
(scroll down for the table with direct links. Scroll down more for localized downloads)
You can download the Windows Server “8” Beta (64bit-only) here.
(scroll down, click on the green Get Started Now button below Download the 64bit ISO)
Step 2: Prepare the USB device
To create a USB install device for Windows 8, you will need a USB device with a capacity of at least 4GB. Be sure to pull any files you need later on from the device and then open an elevated command prompt to enter the following commands:
DISKPART> list disk
Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below
DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> create partition primary
DISKPART> select partition 1
DISKPART> format fs=fat32