Jerry Nixon @Work: Windows 8: a bootable USB

Jerry Nixon on Windows

Monday, March 12, 2012

Windows 8: a bootable USB

imageWe all know and are very excited that the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 is available (as of February 29, 2012) for download from It’s brilliant.

There are 2 options:

  1. Download the web installer – this is intended for updating your current operating system. It can clear your system back to metal or preserve your current documents and settings. Pretty nice.
  2. Download the ISO – this is intended for you to create a bootable USB or DVD from which to install Windows 8 on a real or virtual machine. Note: the Windows 8 team wants you to experience Windows on a non-virtual machine. But, do what you can.

What is an ISO?

ISO means (International Organization for Standardization). It is an archive of an optical (DVD) disk in a single file. It makes distribution very handy. An ISO is not a compressed archive.

How to use an ISO

In Windows 7, I use Slysoft’s Virtual Clone Drive. It works seamlessly and it’s free. Windows 8 will handle an ISO natively (mounting it like a drive). Hooray, at last!

How to create bootable USB?

Windows 8 requires a minimum 4GB USB drive. First, download the ISO. Then, download the Windows 7 Bootable USB tool here. Its simple interface will ask for the ISO, then for the USB drive, and handle the rest for you from there. Yes, it’s that easy.