Windows 8 Delevoper Preview

Installing the Windows 8 Developer Preview from a USB Drive (Pen Drive)

Many of you may have heard that the Developer Preview of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system has been released to the public. I personally wanted to try it out, so I grabbed my old laptop, added the install files to a USB drive, and booted from the USB drive. It works great, so I’ll write out instructions for those of you with a current Windows system who want to try out the preview!

I’ll just leave this little warning here from the Windows Developer Preview page:

The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.

And a warning from myself:

I cannot be held responsible for damages or loss of data caused by following these instructions. These instructions are for informative uses only, and do not imply any guarantees or warranties whatsoever. Always back up any important data before following these instructions.

Things you’ll need first:

  • USB Drive with at 4GB disk space (5GB if you want the developer tools)
  • Computer running Windows
  • DAEMON Tools Lite software (free download)

Let’s get started!

  1. First, you need to download an ISO image that corresponds to your hardware (32-bit/64-bit) from the Windows Developer Preview page.
  2. Open up a command prompt with administrator rights. (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Right-click on ‘Command Prompt’ and choose ‘Run as administrator’)
  3. In the command prompt type diskpart and press enter.
  4. Now type list diskand press enter. You should see a list a hard disks similar to the one shown below:
  5. Then find the disk number that represents your USB drive. (In my case and instructions, it is Disk 2)
  6. WARNING: The next few steps will erase the data on your USB drive. Back up any important data before continuing!
  7. Enter these commands into the command prompt, one by one, pressing enter between each command (change ‘Disk 2′ to whichever disk you are using):
    • select Disk 2
    • clean
    • create partition primary
    • active
    • format fs=ntfs
    • assign
    • exit
  8. The format step may take a while, depending on the size of the drive.
  9. Leaving the command prompt open, open up DAEMON Tools Lite. You should see a screen that looks like this:
  10. You may need to click the “Add Device” button if no disks are listed.
  11. Click the “Add File” button and choose the Windows 8 ‘.iso’ file you downloaded earlier.
  12. Right-click on the the added file in DAEMON Tools, select ‘Mount’ and choose a drive.
  13. If the Autoplay window pops up, just close it. Open up ‘My Computer’ and check the drive letters of the Windows 8 virtual drive and your USB drive. (Mine are H: and I:, respectively.)
  14. Go back to your command prompt and enter these commands into the command prompt, one by one, pressing enter between each command (change ‘H:’ to whichever disk letter you are using for the Windows 8 virtual drive, and ‘I:’ to whichever disk letter you are using for your USB drive.):
    • H:
    • cd boot
    • bootsect.exe /nt60 I:
  15. The command prompt should display “Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.”
  16. Go back to ‘My Computer’ and right click on your Windows 8 virtual drive and select ‘Open’.
  17. Select all the files on the disk, right-click and select ‘Copy’.
  18. Go back to ‘My Computer’ and double-click on your USB drive.
  19. Now right click somewhere inside the window and select ‘Paste’.
  20. When the files are done copying, you may remove your USB drive from the computer.
  21. You now have a bootable USB drive with the Windows 8 Developer Preview install disk!

Now, all you need to do is boot up your computer using the USB drive and follow the simple installation instructions on the screen. If you need help booting from the USB drive, try following the instructions here, or leave a comment below!

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