How to Install Windows 8 from a USB Key

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John Pombrio

Have done 4 USB key installs from various distros of Win8. They all are easy and QUICK!

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dentaku

Without paying extra for the "system builder" version, what's the simplest way of installing a Win8 Pro upgrade disc.
It seems weird to buy a retail box of an OS but not be able to do a fresh install of it on a blank drive.

I have an OEM Win7 64bit and a OEM Vista 32bit DVD I can use as my previous OS but I don't want to have to install one of them just so I can wipe them out a few minutes later to install the $60 retail boxed version of Win8 Pro.

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davelray

The upgrade version relies on the fact that you have a previous version installed, hence why it's called an upgrade. That being said, install Windows 8 entering the key on the box, it should get as far as booting into 8 but will not activate because your key is an upgrade and it did not detect a previous version. Now, simply install 8 again. This time your key will activate just fine.

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echilson

The double install worked for me. I did a clean install to a new ssd without realizing I shouldn't be able to to. I didn't know it until I tried to register. I just reinstalled it from within my windows 8 install. Worked like a champ. Am enjoying it too.

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paschal

Thanks Echilson. I read that one could not skip the product code input part as in Vista and W7 and wait up to 30 days to activate. When I get to the new machine in a couple of days I'll try the re-arm command first, and the double install second. As long as one method works, I will buy a few more boxed versions and one for a spare before the price goes up.

With the updated version of Drive Extender included, W8 is only a couple of apps away from being a replacement for Windows Home Server 2011 without a 2TB limit. Might as well get the spare license now as some third party developer will probably market those apps the day after W8 goes to $199.

Again thanks for your input!

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diedrichg

Beautiful usb/folder image headlining this article. Kudos to the person who created it! That would make for a great icon.

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aarcane

I'd particularly like it if you'd cover the simpler method of installing win8 on a UEFI based system from a GPT partitioned USB drive. It's simpler and safer, too!

Also, you can use the free-and-open-source 7zip utility to extract the contents of the ever-troublesome iso more quickly and easily, directly to your prepared USB drive without even having to install drivers and applications.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I'd like to go a day without any pimping of the retard OS.

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TheMurph

Sure.  I'll let MPC know that it shouldn't run any articles on Windows 8 anymore.

Is there an OS you'd prefer to read about?  XP?  ME?  95?  What's your poison? 

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davelray

Not that they are pimping it, but you know, you don't HAVE to click and read the article. No one's making you. We all get that you don't like Windows 8 already. So make life easier on yourself and just skip those articles.

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Teeebs

Probably not going to happen, as most of the major publications like this one are now unofficially part of the big Micro$oft propaganda/sales machine.... :(

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paschal

How to just simply do a serious clean install Win 8 Pro upgrade on a new hard drive. (I bought a couple of retail boxes of the Pro Upgrade)

MaxPC is usually on top of this quickly, so still waiting......... I have plenty of XP and Vista licenses in the house, so yes I am truly upgrading in the legal spirit, but do not care to clutter a new system with old OS's.

I found a registry mod much like the one that worked in W7 on another forum but would prefer to see it here that it would work. I have read that the double install as with vista and 7 will not fly....comments??? i.e skipping the product key until the second install.

registry mod found unknown to me if it works...

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0
Go back to the start screen and enter cmd there.
Right-click Command Prompt and select to run it as administrator.
Type slmgr /rearm on the command line and hit enter.
Reboot Windows now.
Run the activation utility afterwards, enter your product key to activate Windows.

How about it folks?

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itzabo

Been booting from USB key's for a while.
Some PC's don't like booting to them you will
get a driver error on install.
Switch to DVD works fine.

Why bash windows 8?
I hardly ever see the new "Modern" interface
I can see where it would be good on a touchscreen.
I boot right to desktop, Thanks to Start8!!

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John Pombrio

same here. By ignoring Metro and the Charms bar and using Start8, I find win8 runs better than win7. Nothing really to DISLIKE about it then.

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davelray

Actually you don't even need Start8. Create a new toolbar, then browse to your C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and hit select folder. Unlock your toolbar and slide the bar as close in as you can and it will put a >> emblem next to Programs that you can then click on it and bam, there's you a "start" menu.

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CantankerousDave

I installed ClassicShell from sourceforge.org to get back the start menu, only to find that it also lets you boot straight into the desktop without having to deal with that tablet OS nonsense. Awesome little freebie.

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