Installing Windows 8 without a DVD Drive

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I just completed downloading the Windows 8 Developer Preview with tools and have a tiny problem.  Well, not so tiny… all of my blank DVD media is 4.7Gbs in size, however the Developers Preview with tools tops the 4.8Gbs mark.  I was searching high and low for a larger blank DVD disk when I remembered a previous article from a few years back where my Netbook didn’t even have an optical drive and I turned to a USB thumb drive to save me.  Time to do it again!

 

1. Format USB flash drive to NTFS format

Format the USB drive to NTFS format

formatL

2. Disk-Part the Drive

On the Start menu, navigate to the command prompt entry. Right-click and select Run as administrator.

startmenu

Type

diskpart

list disk

Record the disk number of your USB flash drive.

diskpart

Select the USB disk.

select disk X (X is the drive number of the USB flash drive)

List the current partition. Record the partition number.

list partition

Select the current partition and make it active.

select partition Y (Y is the partition number of the USB flash drive)

active

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3. Prepare the OS files

Download Windows 8 Developers Preview ISO to your desktop.

Download and install PowerISO from http://poweriso.com/.

Right-click on the Windows 8 iso file and select Extract files. Extract the files to a folder (you can name the folder any name you want, but for illustration purpose, I name it win-8) in your desktop.

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In your command prompt, cd to the windows 8 folder where you extracted the files.

cd Desktop/win-8 (Change the destination to the folder that you have extracted)

cd boot

bootsect /nt60 X: (X is the drive latter of your USB drive )

Now, copy all the files from the Windows 8 folder to the USB flash drive (of appropriate size of course, I’m using a Patriot 8Gb purchased for cheap off NewEgg.

Reboot the computer. Remember to change the first boot device to your USB drive in the BIOS.

You should be able to install Windows 8 from your USB flash drive now.

My first experience with Windows 8

Not so good…

Launching the News tile left me trapped. The Done button does not do what I’d expect… which is to close the news feed and return me to the Tiles screen.

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A classic Crtl-Alt-Del allowed me to access the task manager where I was able to kill the news feed.

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While I’m here… let’s look at the improvements of one of my favorite tools… Task Manager.

After a tad bit of research, and button pushing… I found that closing out of any of the tile’d apps in Windows 8 was easy… push the Windows key on your keyboard and your back to the “Start” or tile screen.

(This forum was helpful in finding the information I needed!)

 

Leave your comments and questions below!

Installing Microsoft Windows 8 Developers Preview

I have gotten ahold of the Developers Preview of Windows 8 and figured you guys would like to see the installation.  This is the basic 64bit version.  I’m currently downloading and will be installing the 64bit with developer tools onto a physical box I just freed up for this purpose.  More on that later…

After watching “Microsoft Reimages Windows, Presents Windows 8 Developers Preview” I was extremely excited to get started…

I’m setting Windows 8 up on a Hyper-V virtual.  I’ve also allocated 80GB vhd for this particular virtual which grows as needed.  For this initial installation I’ve given the Virtual 2gigs of memory until installation is complete, then I’ll probably switch it to dynamic memory like my other virtuals.

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Reboots…

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Switches to graphical boot mode at this point.

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Reboots…

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Almost caught that opening screen… it’s a little faded but this is what is displayed just before the personalize screen.

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I keep very close tabs on bandwidth leaving my home… so I never signup for the sending tracking and usage information to anybody… thus I’ll chose the Customize option.

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I try to limit any sharing of anything from workstations due to the servers running within my environment.  If I want to share files, I’ll create a share on a server not the workstation.  Only reason I access workstations is for administrative purposes so I’ll just use the hidden $ shares.

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I know a moment ago I mentioned keeping close tabs on my bandwidth, however I believe security patches are the most important thing to allow.  Thus I’ll allow the system to automatically download and install important patches.

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I turned most of these off, however one is locked down probably due to the developers preview and their desire to receive feedback on that.

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It’s connecting to the online resources for Windows Live now… then asks me to login.

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After a few minutes, Windows 8 is now loaded.

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Clicking the 3rd row 1st icon gave us our classic Desktop view…

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Clicking the start menu brought us back to the Tiled start screen.

Also turns out they’ll send you a confirmation email asking you to validate the connection of your new Windows 8 computer to your Windows Live account…

SNAGHTMLde96bd5

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I started using windows update to get the very latest fixes and rebooted… I was welcomed by the following login screen:

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A quick click/drag-up and I’m back to the login screen:

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