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Installing Windows 8 from USB stick to fresh & bare HDD.

Re: nholderRe: nholder Registered User regular
Hey duders!

So after spending what has to be about 4 or 5 hours trying to find a clear answer then failing miserably, I'm turning to you lot. I'm going to try to keep this as clear and concise as possible because I tend to ramble.

Knowing this:

I am building a PC with no optical drive, thus I must install from USB, to a FRESH BARE HDD.

Here are my questions:

1. What Windows 8 version/installer/.iso do I need so that I can install to a FRESH BARE HDD?

(This is crazy important. I cannot tell you how many answers I have found online that are jumblefuckallovertheplace.)

2. In as much detail as you have the time for, how would I go about preparing my USB stick to be booted into and start the install?

After this point I can figure it out, but I just need some help on the USB side of things.

Thanks for any of your time!


  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    any windows version iso will work.
    just run it through this tool from MS:

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • tntc.tigtntc.tig Registered User regular
    1) You need the regular Windows 8 ISO, either x86 (32-bit) or x64 (x64-bit), depending on your machine. If it's a newer desktop or laptop, you probably want 64-bit. The disc has both regular and pro on it, and activates whichever one based on the key you enter.

    You can get them with an MSDN or TechNet subscription, or if you have a friend with a Windows 8 disc, they can rip it using imgburn or daemon tools or something. If you install an existing version of Windows 7, you can download the upgrade from the Microsoft store. If you already have a disc of 7 that you can rip, that might be easier to make a flash drive from.

    2) Microsoft has already given us all the details we need to create a flash drive to install from:

    This is a "Windows 7" tool, but it works fine in Windows 8.
    Some caveats:
    You will need at least a 4gb flash drive, and it will be erased when you use this tool.

    I haven't gotten this to work with a USB-connected hard drive, so use a thumb-style flash drive.

    In order to properly create a 64-bit installer flash drive, you have to run the tool on a 64-bit machine. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it's due to one of the executables run for setting up the bootsector on the flash drive being 64-bit.

    Creating a 32-bit installer flash drive will work on a 32-bit or 64-bit machine just fine.

  • Re: nholderRe: nholder Registered User regular
    Perfect responses, thanks guys.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I just upgraded to Windows 8!

    Take a look at this series by CNET on Windows 8.

    Right now you can get Win8 for $40, and if you purchased a Win7 laptop within the last few months, you can get it for $15. To paraphrase the column, he's heard back from people who were able to get the $15 price by entering in the information it was looking for: a laptop bought between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013.

    For the 64x vs. 32x, you can buy it from any computer, but whatever PC you download it from will determine which one you get. So a 32bit Windows XP PC gets the 32bit Win8, and a PC with 64bit Win7 gets the 64bit Windows 8.

    Regardless, once downloaded the program will ask you how you want to install it (NOW, CD, USB).

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Just for clarification, the windows ISO's are generally available for free, so unless someone starts talking about generating product keys, there shouldn't be anything remotely related to this question which would be questionable under the piracy policy.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Good point.

    All the Win7 downloads are here.

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

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