This tutorial will teach you how to create a portable Windows 8 Consumer Preview which can be run from an USB Stick or an external hard drive.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the beta system that has been provided to all users in order to test the capabilities and make an idea on what Microsoft is planning to release in a couple of month, when the final OS will be ready. It had a real success when it become available for download, as in the first 24 hours, more than 1 million copies have been grabbed by users all around the world.
And that’s no wonder, because Windows 8 comes with a lot of improvements and new things when compared to the traditional OS platform that Microsoft has provided starting with Windows 95. We will have here an OS which has been designed for desktop PC’s, as well for mobile devices (tablets). Therefore a few things are lacking, like the start button and its menu, but we can find a lot of new things which actually could improve the experience with this new operating system. And we are talking here about the new Metro interface with its start screen and useful tiles.
However, if you don’t want to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on the computer which you are using for daily activities, there are several ways to deal with this situation. You could run this new system on a different partition or you could set up a virtual machine in which the new beta OS can be tested. If you still prefer something which will not imply too many complex settings and will offer you a comfortable vision over the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview there is still a solution: the new beta system can be run from an USB stick. In this way you will have a portable version of the popular OS.
How To Create Portable Windows 8 Consumer Preview On USB Stick Tutorial
Thanks to this tutorial, we will show you how to have portable Windows 8 Consumer Preview
The things you need to have before starting this tutorial are:
- An USB stick which should have a capacity higher than 16 GB. We recommend you using the latest standard in transfer speed: USB 3.0. That’s because these devices have a very high data transfer rate, and Windows 8 Consumer Preview will run better from this kind of stick. However, you could use lower standard devices but remember that they should be larger than 16 GB.
2. Another thing you need to download is the Windows Automated Installation Kit. Use this link.
3. Virtual Clone Driver should also be downloaded and installed, if you have no other program which can be used to mount ISO images.
4. After the file mentioned in the 2nd step of this tutorial has been downloaded, install it, using Virtual Clone Drive (or your own images mounting application). You will be now prompted that a new CD has been inserted. Run its installer The following options needs to be activated here: Windows AIK. Proceed with this installer, too.
5. After the above mentioned installer has finished its job, you need to follow the next path:
C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools
6. Open the ‘amd 64’ folder, if your computer runs a 64-bit operating system. Alternatively, if you use a 32-bit OS, you need to access the following folder: ‘x86’. The next file should be copied into your ‘C’ drive, right in its root directory: ‘imagex.exe’. It is possible that you will receive a warning message. Just click on the continue button and go on with this tutorial.
7. Using Virtual Clone Drive, or your own image mounting software, mount the Windows 8 Consumer Preview image, which has been downloaded at the first step of this tutorial. In the search field of your start menu, type ‘cmd’. Once it has appeared as a search result right click on it and select the ‘Run as Administrator’ option.
8. Connect the USB stick (could be your external hard drive, as well) with your PC. Remember that, after installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on it, all the data that there were saved on this memory stick will be erased.
9. Type the following commands into CMD:
10. You will se now all the disks that are being used by your PC. Use the below mentioned list of commands and replace the * with the number of the disk on which you want to install the copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
select disk *
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
11. Use the below mentioned command line and make sure you replace @ with the letter of your virtual drive cd (obviously, on which the Windows 8 Consumer Preview IO image is mounted0 and, also, replace # with the letter of the USB stick (or hard drive)
C:\imagex.exe /apply @:\sources\install.wim 1 #:\
bcdboot.exe #:\windows /s #:
12. In the end of this tutorial, you have to restart your PC. After the OS has been shut down and the computer is preparing to boot again, make sure you enter the BIOS settings and set the USB stick (or external hard drive) as the first boot device. If you are not sure how to do that, please check the manual of your PC or motherboard, and you will find the correct information which will guide through this process. We cannot advise you here, because these settings are different, depending on the PC or motherboard manufacturer. IT si possible for the PC to reboot for several times.
13. Windows 8 Consumer Preview will ask you to provide its product key and to agree with Microsoft terms and conditions.
That’s the entire tutorial on how to create a portable version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which can be run from an USB stick or external hard drive. If you have any questions here, please let us know by using the below mentioned comment form.