How to Create a Bootable Windows 8.1 USB Flash Drive

Windows 8.1 will be out in a few days . Starting October 18th everybody will be able to purchase windows 8.1 . For people who already have a legal copy of Windows 8 , They can upgrade to windows 8.1 for free from the Windows app store .

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If you already have a legal copy of windows 8 then you can skip the wait and get your hands on the RTM version of Windows 8.1 . once you download the Windows 8.1 RTM , you can use your windows 8 serial key to activate windows 8.1 and use it before everybody else . Currently the RTM versions of Windows 8.1 are not officially available for everyone , except developers and students with a MSDN or Technet subscription. If you’re geeky enough , you can easily get your hands on a copy of the RTM version of Windows 8.1 online .

how to create a bootable windows 8.1 usb flash drive

Once you get your hands on the RTM version of Windows 8.1 , you can follow this guide to create a Bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 8.1 on your PC . Also these instructions will work with the windows 8.1 preview versions too .

What do you need ?

There are many free programs out there which can help you to create a bootable windows 8.1 USB Flash drive . For this guide I would be using Rufus , because its very small and faster than all the other programs to create a bootable Windows 8.1 USB Flash drive .  Follow these instructions to create a bootable windows 8.1 USB flash drive .

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Instructions to create a bootable Windows 8.1 USB Flash drive

  • Step 1: Download and run Rufus create-windows-8.1-bootable-usb-flash-drive
  • Step 2: From the device drop down menu select your USB flash drive
  • Step 3: For partition scheme . Select “  GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer “ if you have a UEFI enabled Bios , otherwise select “ MBR partition scheme for BIOS and UEFI computer “ .
  • Step 4:  For file system select Fat 32 if your windows 8.1 ISO file size is below 4 GB else choose NTFS . For a UEFI bios it is compulsory to have a FAT32 file system .
  • Step 5: Leave the cluster size at default and check the quick format option .
  • Step 6: check “ create a bootable disk using “ and select ISO image and select the Windows 8.1 RTM ISO image .
  • Step 7: Check “ create extendable label and icon
  • Step 8: Now click on start to create your bootable Windows 8.1 USB flash drive .

Once your bootable windows 8.1 USB pen drive is created , you can then process further with installing windows 8.1 on your PC . We will do a detailed guide about installing windows 8.1 very shortly .

  • Sho

    Thanks!

  • Luciano

    How do I check if my computer has a UEFI bio or the other? I tried going into Windows and then Panther folder to look for the string, but the file isn’t there.

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      Hi Luciano , check this out : http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/29504-bios-mode-see-if-windows-boot-uefi-legacy-mode.html . This will help you to determine if you have a Legacy or an UEFI bios .

      • Luciano

        So I have a Legacy bios.
        I pick MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers right?
        Also for the file system, do I put NTFS or FAT32 (the iso is smaller then 4gb). ?

        • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

          Yes that’s right , FAT32 will do .

          • Luciano

            When I picked FAT32, it says it can be done only for UEFI computers. Should I go with NTFs then?

          • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

            yes you should go with NTFS . The program decides whether NTFS or FAT32 is better , depending on your Bios type ..

  • Filip

    “Error: ISO image extraction failure” This thing of yours doesn’t work.

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      I have myself used rufus to create a bootable windows 8.1 USB flash drive and installed windows 8.1 though it . I have encountered a similar error you have faced , it is probably due to a damaged or corrupted ISO image . try using a another ISO image .

    • Anononymous

      Check if your antivirus is stopping it. Mine said the same thing, but I realized my antivirus was stopping it. As soon as I turned it off, VOILA! It worked!

  • Mega OLLO

    I found out that I have legacy so what do I do

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      For legacy bios you need to select the ” MBR
      partition scheme for BIOS and UEFI computer ” and after you are done installing windows 8.1 you can format the flash drive and use it to store files .

  • Mega OLLO

    will I be able to format this flash drive to use to store files again or what ?

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      yes you can format your drive after you have installed windows 8.1 and use it to copy or store files .

      • VatopR1

        how may i do that ?

  • kushagra

    i have win 7 and i want to install windows 8.1 but the installer says that the setup has failed to validate the product key plz give suggestions .

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      You cannot use your Windows 7 key to activate windows 8.1 . you either need an original windows 8 or windows 8.1 key to activate it .

      • kushagra

        thanks

  • http://ivandhuha.blogspot.com Ivan Dhuha Firmansyah

    Dude I got “Error: Undetermined error while formatting” , what’s wrong?

  • Ravi Raj

    Rufus, is really very speed compared to other usb tool!!! Thanks for the useful post…

  • http://www.kingrpg.net/ KINGRPG

    The software not see my external hard disk

  • Akash Darji

    Rufus is not reponding after 96% completion…….what should i do????????

  • Anon

    What if i have a UEFI bios and the file is over 4GB?

    • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

      Select “ GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer “ if you have a UEFI enabled Bios and select the NTFS file system.

      • dligac

        Of course… I knew that the “compulsory fat32 for UEFI” is either a big mistake or a big bullshit.

      • pIXo

        since when ntfs works with uefi bios?

        • http://www.Techverse.net/ lovejeet

          Sorry for the typo, please check the article, i have specifically stated that a FAT32 file system is required for UEFI Bios.

  • Zubair Mughal

    i have win 8.1 for 32 bit and also32 bit system and a usb flash{4Gb} after create bootable win8.1 usb i do not know settings of bios booting etc can anybody help me ?

  • THUNDER

    Welcome to HACKED ZONE UK gov & Norton inc will hack you if you use RUFUS & make installation failed .
    So use GParted iso & boot your system by GParted you will find out YOU ARE HACKED .
    Format the HDD & use one (Windows 8 OR 7 OR any ) you bought it DVD media & START AGAIN
    ALLAH SUBHANOH SEE you bad people

    • Thunder-POT

      up yours

  • Omar Grimaldo

    and the same procedure is done for 64-bit

  • emir

    win 7 key

  • http://gravatar.com/wb102591 Ankit Arora

    I have 32 bit windows 8 and i want to make a usb bootable that could have 64 bit windows. Can i make 64 bit windows bootable from 32 bit windows..??

  • Unknown

    please give me a link to download the ISO image file, i couldn’t find one

  • Flávio

    After bootin from the USB drive it shows the windows 8 logo and righ when the litlle bols start spining i get a blue sreen with a sad face :( saying that something went wrong. i’ve alredy tried different bios. Still getting the error. My computer is a notebook Lenovo Y530 pentium dual core 3GB ram.

  • Drmansoor

    MAKE USB window 8.1 64 bit free back