How to create Win 7 bootable pen drive

If you want to install Windows 8 from a USB device, you'll need to get those setup files onto a USB Pen Drive. Unfortunately, simply copying them there will not work.

Windows 8 is sold as DVD and also as a downloadable ISO file which, if you choose to buy Windows 8 that way, requires some steps to get it properly copied to a flash drive as well. 

Whether you have a Windows 8 DVD or a Windows 8 ISO file with the same goal, the following tutorial will help you get the Windows 8 installation files properly copied to a flash drive so you can get on with the installation process.

Note: The following procedure applies equally to Windows 8 (standard) or Windows 8 Pro.

Duration: Getting the Windows 8 installation files onto a flash drive or other external USB device will take between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on what format your copy of Windows 8 is in right now and how fast your computer is.

Important: If you have a Windows 8 ISO file and want that on a flash drive, start with Step 2. If you have a Windows 8 DVD and need that on the flash drive, start with Step 1

    Procedure For Making Windows 8 Bootable:

1. If you already know how to create ISO files with your favorite program then do so in whatever way you're used to doing it or check for any DVD or CD burning Software provided with your DVD Drive or Writer budle and create a single file, called an ISO image, that contains all the data stored on the Windows 8 setup DVD disc.

2. Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from Microsoft and then install it.

This free program from Microsoft does everything includes properly formats your flash drive and then copies the contents of the Windows 8 installation ISO file you have to that in USB drive.

3. Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program. You should be able to find the shortcut on the Desktop, as well as in your Start menu or on your Start screen.

4. Click Browse on the Step 1 of 4: Choose ISO file screen.

5. Locate, and then select, your Windows 8 ISO file. Then click Open.

Note: If you downloaded Windows 8 from Microsoft, check your Downloads folder or your Desktop for the ISO image. If you created an ISO image from your Windows 8 DVD, the ISO file will be wherever you created it to.

6. Click Next.

7. Choose USB device on the Step 2 of 4: Choose media type screen.

Note: As you can see here, there is also a DVD option. While it doesn't do much good in this case, since the end game is to get Windows 8's setup files on a flash drive, "you could also use this tool to burn a Windows 8 ISO image to a DVD or BD disc".

8. On the Step 3 of 4: Insert USB device screen, choose from the drop-down box the flash drive or USB-connected external hard drive you want to put the Windows 8 setup files onto and then click Begin copying.

9. Click Erase USB Device if you're prompted to do so on a Not Enough Free Space window. If you don't see this, don't worry, it just means that your flash drive or external hard disk is already empty.

Important: If this message didn't make it apparent, you should know that whatever data you might have on this drive is going to be erased as part of the process of getting the Windows 8 setup files copied.

10. On Step 4 of 4: Creating bootable USB device, just wait for the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool to prepare the drive and copy the Windows 8 installation files to it.

The first Status you see will be Formatting, which will take anywhere from a few to several seconds, depending on how large the USB drive is that you're using. Next will be Copying files which could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, possibly longer, depending on which Windows 8 ISO file you're working from, as well as on how fast your flash drive, USB connection, and computer is.

Tip: Don't worry if the percentage indicator jumps ahead quickly but then sits on a single number for a very long time. It mean anything is wrong.

11. Assuming everything went as planned, the next screen should say Bootable USB device created successfully with a Status that says Backup completed.

Hurray.....

You can now close the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program window.

12. Boot from the USB device that you just created to start the Windows 8 install process.