How to Run Windows 8 Developer Preview from USB

Here is how you can run Windows 8 developer preview from your USB drive. All you need is a PC with Windows 8 installed, DVD of Windows 8 or the image (.iso) file, a USB drive (with a capacity of at least 16 GB) and WAIK (Windows Automated Installation kit).

You can download WAIK from here

It is around 1.7GB, and it consists of a utility called imageX.exe which is used to deal with .WIM files.

After downloading and installing WAIK in Windows 8 developer’s preview PC, you can find the imageX.exe file in C:\program files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86 (for 32-bit). Copy the imageX.exe file to C:\.

For 64-bit system, imageX.exe file can be found in C:\program files\Windows AIK\Tools\amd64.

Now, mount Windows 8 image (.iso) file to a virtual drive. You can use software like PowerIso for this purpose. Alternatively, if you have Windows 8 installation DVD, you can insert it in the DVD drive.

Now, Open Windows 8 command prompt as an administrator (In Windows 8 start screen, type cmd and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER).

Enter the following commands in the given order:

  • Diskpart
  • List Disk (Note down the number assigned to your USB drive. Let the number be 2)
  • Select Disk 2
  • Clean
  • Create Partition Primary
  • Select Partition 1
  • Active
  • Format FS=NTFS Quick
  • Assign


[image src : here]

  • Exit

C:\imagex.exe /apply F:\sources\install.wim 1 G:\

(Here F:\ is the drive in which Windows 8 image(.iso) is mounted, and G:\ is the USB drive letter. This command will take some time to complete.)

bcdboot.exe G:\Windows /s G: /f ALL

Now your USB drive is ready, and you can use it to run Windows 8 developer’s preview.