Windows 8 is getting closer to its release date (unofficially this could be in October 2012), and by now millions of people are testing the beta version, which by the way it is the easiest to install, compared to previous releases of the operating system — just download the ISO image, burn it to a DVD or create a USB bootable drive (something almost unthinkable if we go back to the Windows XP times), then install and you are good to go.
As you can see, we come a long way, now installing Windows from a USB drive is one of the easiest way. And creating a USB bootable drive to install Windows has its benefits: first, it is easy; second, the installation of the operating system, in this case Windows 8, is a lot faster; third, you are not wasting any CD/DVDs, and if you need to modify the installation, you can do it without the need of having to use another blank media.
In the past, I covered the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to create a Windows 7 bootable USB or DVD that also worked fine with Windows 8. But because the application was primarily designed to work with Windows 7, I thought of giving a try to a different application. Win8USB is a free tool that allows you to create a Windows 8 USB bootable drive from an ISO image.
Win8USB works in the same way as the Microsoft’s tool for Windows 7. In order to use this application to create a bootable Windows 8 USB drive, you’ll need to be running at least Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit), also you’ll need to download the Windows 8 ISO image and, of course, a USB drive.
Win8USB does the following:
- Formats the USB drive with the appropriate file system (NTFS).
- Extras all the installation files from the Windows 8 ISO image and writes them to the USB drive.
- Finally, it writes the USB Boot MBR, so the USB is bootable.
If you are looking for a tool that will save you from wasting CD/DVDs and it is easy to use to create a Windows 8 USB bootable installer media, Win8USB is just what you were looking for. Remember that you’ll need a minimum of 4GB of space in the flash drive, any data in the drive will be erased, and the process may take some time.
Just in case, after you have created the bootable drive, follow these steps to install Windows 8 — Walkthrough Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation (Windows Setup) step-by-step.