A number of users continue to use the Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 operating system and need bootable media to reinstall or restore the system. This can be an installation DVD with an OS image, or a bootable Windows 8 flash drive.
A bootable USB flash drive is needed to reinstall Windows or install the system on a new PC. After booting from a USB drive on which the system image is recorded, the user installs Windows on the computer.
- How to download the original ISO image of Windows 8.1 for free
- Bootable USB flash drive Windows 8.1 (Windows 8) in Rufus
- Download Windows 8.1 ISO Image in Rufus
- Creating a bootable USB flash drive Windows 8 (Windows 8.1) in WinSetupFromUSB
- Creating a bootable USB flash drive Windows 8.1 (Windows 8) in UltaISO
- Article Conclusions
- Bootable flash drive Windows 8.1 – 3 programs (video)
A bootable USB flash drive with an OS image may be needed in situations of failure or malfunction of the system, to restore Windows 8. Due to non-working Windows, it is not possible to start the recovery process directly from the operating system. In this situation, a bootable USB flash drive will come to the rescue, with which you can enter Windows RE (recovery environment), and then start the Windows recovery process.
You can create a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 using third-party software. Previously, this was done using the Media Creation Tool, created by Microsoft. Currently, the work of the Media Creation Tool has been reoriented to the more modern Windows 10 operating system.
This article discusses three ways to make a bootable Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 flash drive using programs: Rufus, WinSetupFromUSB, UltraISO. There are other applications suitable for this purpose.
To burn an operating system image, you will need a blank flash drive, at least 4 GB in size, and more often at least 8 GB, depending on the size of the original Windows ISO image. First delete all files from the USB drive or transfer them to another location, otherwise they will be erased.
How to download the original ISO image of Windows 8.1 for free
First you need to download the Windows 8.1 operating system image to your computer. Windows 8 is not officially supported by Microsoft, so you will have to search the Internet for an image of this system yourself.
- Go to the official Microsoft website at the link: https://www.microsoft.com/ru-ru/software-download/windows8ISO to the page “Download Windows 8.1 disk image (ISO file)”.
- In the “Select edition” option, select the OS version, and then click on the “Confirm” button.
- In the “Select product language” option, select the appropriate language, click on the “Confirm” button.
- In the Download option, select the system bit size (32-bit or 64-bit) to download the appropriate Windows 8.1 image.
- Wait for the download of the Windows 8.1 image file in “ISO” format to PC to complete.
The downloaded Windows ISO image can be used to write to a USB flash drive.
Bootable USB flash drive Windows 8.1 (Windows 8) in Rufus
The free Rufus program allows you to create bootable USB flash drives with different operating systems. In Rufus, we will write an image of a bootable Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 flash drive.
The ISO image of Windows 8 must be prepared in advance, and the image of Windows 8.1 can be downloaded directly from the Rufus program, or you can take the finished ISO file from your computer.
Go through the following steps:
- Launch the Rufus program on your computer. If you are using a portable (portable) version of the program, agree to receive updates. Otherwise, you will not be able to download the Windows 8.1 image.
In the main window of the Rufus program, we are interested in the following settings:
- The “Device” field displays the drive letter corresponding to the connected flash drive.
- In the “Boot method” field – “Disk or ISO image (select image)”.
- Click on the arrow next to the “Select” button. Here you have a choice between adding an ISO file located on your computer, or downloading an image from Microsoft servers.
- Click on the “Select” button to select the ISO image file of the OS on the computer (read below about downloading the ISO file from the Internet).
- Depending on the partition style of your hard drive, select the partition scheme: “GPT” or “MBR”. The target system will adjust to the partition scheme: “UEFI (non-CMS” or “BIOS (or UEFI-CMS)” and “File system” – “FAT32” or “NTFS”.
- Click on the “Start” button.
- The warning window informs that all data from the flash drive will be deleted.
- The process of creating a bootable flash drive will take some time.
- At the end, in the “Status” section, the status will appear: “Ready”.
- Click on the “Close” button.
Download Windows 8.1 ISO Image in Rufus
Rufus uses the Fido script from GitHub, which I wrote about in this article. Using the program, you can download the original Windows image to your computer.
Do the following:
- To download Windows 8.1 from Rufus, click the Download button.
- This will open the Fido Script “Download ISO Image” window, in which you need to select the version of Windows, in this case – Windows 8.1.
- In the next window, you must select the OS release (by default, the latest release is open).
- Next, select a publication. There is a choice between the following versions: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 N (version for EU countries), Windows 8.1 Single Language (version for one language).
- Select the operating system language and architecture (x64 or x86).
- Click on the “Download” button.
- Choose a location to save the OS image on your computer.
- The program will download Windows to the PC. This process will take time.
- “Done” will appear in the program window.
Next, you can write the downloaded Windows 8.1 image to a USB flash drive (this process is described above in the article).
Creating a bootable USB flash drive Windows 8 (Windows 8.1) in WinSetupFromUSB
The free WinSetupFromUSB program is suitable for creating a bootable Windows 8 (Windows 8.1) USB flash drive. The program does not need to be installed on the computer, it is launched from a folder. The application interface is in English.
Do the following:
- Launch the application that matches the bitness of your computer by right-clicking on the file.
- In the WinSetupFromUSB program window, in the field: “USB disk selection and format tools”, the USB flash drive connected to the computer will be determined.
- Check the box “Auto format it with FBinst”
- In the “Add to USB disk” section, check the box next to the “Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 /Server 2008/2012 based ISO” field, and then click the button to select the ISO image located on the computer.
- If the image is larger than 4 GB, it will be split into parts to support the FAT file system. Click on the “OK” button in this message.
- To start writing files to a USB flash drive, click on the “Go” button.
- Two warning windows will open, click on the “Yes” button in them.
- Wait until the creation of a bootable USB flash drive in the WinSetupFromUSB program is completed. You will be informed about the end in the window that opens.
- To exit the application, click on the “Exit” button.
Creating a bootable USB flash drive Windows 8.1 (Windows 8) in UltaISO
The UltraISO program, in addition to working with images, allows you to create bootable USB flash drives with the Windows operating system.
You may also be interested in:
- Bootable flash drive with Windows 10
- Windows XP bootable flash drive
Go through the following steps:
- Run the UltraISO program as an administrator.
- Enter the “File” menu, click on “Open …” to add the Windows ISO image to the program window.
- Enter the “Boot” menu, select “Burn Hard Disk Image …”.
- In the “Write Disk Image” window, in the “Disk Drive” field, check if the flash drive is correctly identified.
- Select “USB+HDD+” or “USB+HDD+ v2” as the recording method, leave other settings as they are.
- Click on the “Record” button.
- You will be warned that all data on the flash drive will be destroyed.
- Then the process of writing the OS to the USB flash drive takes place.
- In the “Write Disk Image” window, in the “Message” area, the message “Write completed!” will appear, after which you can exit the program.
For users using Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 operating systems on their computers, information on creating a bootable USB flash drive is relevant. A bootable USB flash drive with a recorded OS image is used to install (reinstall) Windows, or to restore the system. Create a bootable flash drive using Rufus, WinSetupFromUSB or UltraISO.