Creating windows 8 flash drive for fresh install

I've already upgraded my laptop from Win7 to Win8 and I was wanting to potentially upgrade its HDD to an SSD sometime in the near future. Since I did the upgrade and don't have the discs can someone lay out how to create a flash drive I can clean install Win8 from? Also mention the size of flash drive I would need if you could :) Any help is much appreciated, thanks!
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  1. I would guess you can mount a .ISO image directly from the flash drive and run it. If that is the case all you would need is space for the .iso

    my .ISO was 2,896,756,736 bytes 2.9 gb windows8pro 64 bit
  2. I thought I would add a word of warning about installing from a usb thumb drive.

    often the verify state on copy is turned off and you will not get a bit by bit copy of your original file. The default is to verify off because it is faster.

    open cmd.exe
    type verify on
    and copy your .iso to your flash drive. This will verify the file for a bit by bit copy.

    This will let you know you got a good image onto your thumb drive.

    after you install from a thumb drive you really should boot the new OS and verify your core OS files. (copies from a thumb drive are always suspect for corruption)

    use the System file checker that comes with the OS
    sfc /SCANNOW ; will scan and repair core files

    people just assume they get a good copy, that assumption can cause you
    a lot of hours trying to figure out why things fail.
  3. so where do I get my Win8 .iso?
  4. Scan your machine for the one you downloaded scan for *.iso and look that the file dates. Otherwise you will have to download it again. As long as you have your key and you get a good image source you should be ok. I used to get my images from msdn or one of the Microsoft sellers download sites.

    There should be a official image you can download from.

    i did a upgrade and my original image was in c:\windows.old\users\winadmin\documents

    they did not move the image to the new directory.
  5. I figured I would check to see how to download another .iso if you did not save the first copy.

    On my window 8 machine, I went to the purchase site and ran the upgrade assistant. It downloaded and started up, it checked and said it had problems with 2 of my programs.

    I hit next
    I got a error:

    Windows 8 isn't available for download
    Sorry, Windows 8 isn't available for online purchase in the country/region you're in.

    finish kicks you out of the program

    (it is a bogus error, I am in the USA and got my version via online download)

    I expected to be able to enter my valid key and do the download again but this time save it to a file.
  6. ok, here is a link that will let you do the install if you already have the key. I have no idea if they will let you use you upgrade key to get a image download. give it a try.

    works as expected with my upgrade key
  7. my only concern is the warning lower on the page:


    Don't format your hard drive before installing Windows 8. Your current version of Windows must be running when you begin installing Windows 8.

    So would this work on a fresh HDD/SSD?
  8. ajblackie said:
    my only concern is the warning lower on the page:


    Don't format your hard drive before installing Windows 8. Your current version of Windows must be running when you begin installing Windows 8.

    So would this work on a fresh HDD/SSD?

    Basically they run the assistant, collect some information and send it to the WebStore. The WebStore looks at your region, OS license state, language, 64 bit
    and generates a offer (or not) to you. When you accept the offer and pay
    they give you a key. from that point in time you have a valid key they and a contract for them to install windows 8 on one machine.

    Just don't wipe your OS before you get your new key. After that as long as you have media and a key you should be fine to install. You should be able to wipe it during the install or I would just boot from the new install image and install to a new drive that never has had a OS on it. your key has already been validated that you have had a valid Windows OS. I think you can get up to five keys validated with one OS before they get pissy. (I would have to look into that)

    Key point: looks like OS validation is done at the time you get your key and they assume you want the same language, 32bit/64 bit, region ... as the data below indicated.

    also note they validate your operating system but the webstore may still give you a update offer if you have a bogus version. They can change the offers very easy on their server at any time by any region or criteria they are sending below:

    Below is a section of the setup log from my last download of the disk image:

    Country Code [ US ]
    WebStore Opened.
    Retrieving Offers from the store...
    SkuGetEditionOfferInfo: Filter Attribute Name [ Win8RTM ] Value [ 1 ]
    GetOffers Query Structure
    Include physical media [ Yes ]
    Host OS License State [ Genuine ]
    Host OS Architecture [ 64Bit ]
    Host OS Language [ 1033 ]
    Host OS Edition [ ProfessionalWMC ]
    Host OS Version [ 6.2.9200 ]
    Offer Edition [ (null) ]
    User UI Language [ 1033 ]
  9. with the windows upgrade cd. if you ran them on a blank hard drive they were looking for older windows files. most times if you tossed in your older windows cd into the cd-rom drive the upgrade program would run. in real world now i contact microsoft and see if you can get a copy of the windows 8 full version iso. if you do then use the microsoft free iso to usb tool. you need a blank 4g usb stick or larger.
  10. ya, but if he downloads the image again he can just have the download make a bootable USB as a setup option after the download completes.

    (options are direct install, or make an boot image (cd image, or USB image))
    3GB required for the USB boot image
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