Can I create a bootable USB flash drive after downloading Windows 8 Release Preview?

I want to dual boot with Windows 8 Release Preview. Using Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant program, after I downloaded Windows 8, is it possible to create a installation media (USB flash drive) to install Windows 8 on another partition? So I can keep my current operating system.



yes, you can:

you will have to use a tool such as the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (
This simple tool will help you convert the same image file into to a USB thumb drive. For installation purposes, you should get a thumb drive that’s at least 4 GBs in size to store the installation files. Browse to where the Windows 8 Image is stored, open it.


Select the USB device where you want to have the backup stored to for installation.


Once the USB device has been identified, click the Begin copying button.


And that’s it, the next step now is to boot your Computer from the thumb drive, make sure the thumb drive you will be installing Windows 8 from is plugged into the USB port. This might vary by manufacturer, but the usual one to try is F12, start your Computer and press F12 repeatedly until a screen is displayed giving you the option to boot from a USB Memory device, select that and press Enter on your keyboard.


Windows 8 will boot as it normally does into the setup environment

If you have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 capable PC, your system should be able to run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Before you do that though, the best way to run it is to install it on a separate partition. It is recommended you do this since it is a test version and has not been finalized. If you are not satisfied with Windows 8, you can always boot into Windows 7 and delete the partition and continue using Windows 7 or Vista.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview system requirements:

1 GHz or faster processor
1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Creating the partition

In Windows 7, partitioning is more easy to do than Windows XP. Regardless of this, you might encounter problems when using Windows 7’s disk management to create it. If you do experience this, refer to the previous article about using EaseUs to create the partition instead. Anyway, here is how you create a partition in Windows 7 or Vista:


Open a Run command (Press Windows key + R) on your keyboard. Then type devmgmt.msc then hit Enter on your keyboard.

Alternatively, you can click Start, right click Computer > click Manage > click Disk Management.


Once Disk Management is open, select the C:\ or where Windows 7/Vista is installed.


Right click it and click Shrink menu.


Wait while Windows Vista.7 checks for available disk space.


Enter the amount you want to allocate. Depending on the architecture of Windows 8 you want to try. If you are using Windows 8 32 bit, you can allocate 16 GBs or 20 GBs if you using the 64 bit version. Another factor is disk space for applications, page file and drivers.

Click OK.


The Disk Management window should display unallocated disk space.

You cannot do a custom install of Windows 8 from within Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. You will have to boot from the Windows 8 DVD. If you are using the Web Installer, make sure you use the option to create a bootable Windows 8 DVD using the .ISO file or bootable thumb drive.

After inserting the Windows 8 disc, restart your computer and boot from the DVD.

To learn how to change your BIOS options to boot from the DVD drive, see the following tutorial:

Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option.


The Windows 8 logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as your see the indicater, everything should be ok.


You should now arrive at this screen, select your time and currency format then click Next.


Click Install Now


Wait while setup starts up


Enter your product key when prompted. The product key should have been available to you when you downloaded the .ISO file for Windows 8. Click Next

You will need to use the prodcuct key listed on the ISO Download Page here


Accept the End User License agreement and click Next


Click Custom install Windows only (advanced)


Select the partition you created for it then click Next. You have the option of Formatting the drive and creating additional partition's if you wish. Click Drive Options.


Wait while Windows 8 installs. Installation time can vary depending on the speed of your disk, processor and the amount of installed memory.


After the installation is complete, click Restart now or wait on Windows 8 to do it.


Windows 8 will boot for the first time, a series of action will take place such as:

Setup is updating your registry


Windows 8 will prompt you to choose the operating system you want to boot into. Select Windows 8 of course, since we are not finished configuring it.

Additional task to complete include:

Getting devices ready


Additional task to complete include:

Getting system ready
Restarting PC
After the restart is complete, you will see the following screen:


Click Windows 8 to enter the Out of box experience. The OOBE will allow you to configure Windows 8 with a user name, setup a Microsoft Account and personalize your Windows Experience.

Out of Box Experience


Select your Windows color


Click Use express settings


Setup an account name and password then click Finish


Wait while your settings are finalized.


logging into Windows 8 for the first time.


You are now running Windows 8.

When you want to boot into Windows XP, click ‘Earlier version of Windows’ on the boot manager.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Question Info

Last updated September 18, 2013 Views 568 Applies to: