Install Windows 8 from rusty 256 MB USB stick

Marco Franssen

Marco Franssen /

4 min read685 words

Cover Image for Install Windows 8 from rusty 256 MB USB stick

This is the fourth time I installed Windows 8. This time I installed it on my personal notebook instead of a VHD, because Windows 8 is finally ready to market. So I started with downloading the enterprise edition from my MSDN subscription. Unfortunately my USB drive died so I had no storage large enough to put the image on and boot from. So I started thinking to install it over the network. Luckily me I still had my rusty 10 year old 256MB USB drive which perfectly fits a Windows PE image. So I also downloaded the Windows 8 ADK to make a Windows PE boot image.

First install the Windows 8 ADK. Then open a command prompt and, key in the following commands to create a image.

mkdir c:\winpe_amd64
call copype.cmd amd64 c:\winpe_amd64
Makewinpemedia /ufd c:\winpe_amd64 F:

The first command makes a directory on your c: drive and can be removed afterwards. The second command creates all the necessary files for a 64 installation. The third command copies the files to your usb drive (in my case F:) and makes it bootable. If you need a 32 bit installation replace amd64 with x86.

Then create a share on a pc in your network and extract the contents of the Windows 8 iso to the network share. Make sure you configure the security to allow everyone to access it. Also make sure your firewall responds to ping commands, this comes in handy when trying to connect to the share. I created a share called Win8.

Now it is time to boot from the Windows PE image, which in my case is on a small rusty USB drive.

Make sure your pc is connected to the network with a cable because your wireless is not supported natively on a bare Windows PE image. If you really have to do it over wireless then you've to add wireless drivers to your image. You can probably find how to do it in the Windows ADK documentation.

So when booted you get a command prompt. First thing you have to do is set up a network connection with your shared folder. First we try to ping our computer that contains the share. Then we set up a connection to the share.

net use z: \\\Win8

The first commands checks if our computer is available on the network (Will only work if you enable ping in your firewall). The second command connects your share to the z: drive.


With the first command you navigate to the new created z: drive. When you key in the command dir you'll see your folder listed. You should see the file setup.exe. Now just execute it…


Your Windows 8 installation will start. Within a few minutes you've installed Windows 8 and you are ready to go. There is only one thing left to do. Activate your product key. When you are having trouble to do so, you can use the following command on the command line. I got them from Gill Cleeren.

slmgr -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Just replace the xxxx with your own key.

When having trouble to find your command line in Windows 8. Then just hit the key combination Windows+F select applications and type in command. (Windows+F) is the way to search through the different kinds of contents on your Windows 8 machine.

If you want to install it on Vhd or a virtual machine you can probably use one of my previous posts to do so.

Have fun using Windows 8.

You have disabled cookies. To leave me a comment please allow cookies at functionality level.

More Stories

Cover Image for Windows Phone Theme colors

Windows Phone Theme colors

Marco Franssen

Marco Franssen /

When developing Windows Phone apps I love to use the theme accent colors in my apps. Since there are some new theme colors in Windows Phone 8 I started searching for their color codes. Lucky me I found them on msdn "Theme for Windows Phone"). Now you may be thinking how to use the colors in your own Windows Phone apps. The Color object doesn't contain a color called Emerald. So I created a small class to help me out with this issue. First of all I created a small static helper method to convert…

Cover Image for Unblock downloaded files with PowerShell

Unblock downloaded files with PowerShell

Marco Franssen

Marco Franssen /

Have you ever got in the situation that you downloaded a zip-file and figured out to late the files are blocked? So you extracted the zip file into a folder with existing items. It will be damn hard to figure out which files needs to be unblocked. Besides that it will cost you many work to do so by right-clicking all of the files and clicking the unblock button. Unblock file Luckily we have PowerShell and we can easily write a little script to execute the unblock operation on the files in a sp…

Cover Image for Secure your web app fluently

Secure your web app fluently

Marco Franssen

Marco Franssen /

When building a big web application with ASP.NET MVC 3 I ran into a problem to secure my web application in a maintainable way. There are lots of examples with attributes, but this isn't maintainable. So I started searching for other solutions, however most of the information is leaning on those un-maintainable attributes I finally found "Fluent Security". What does Fluent Security offer you? Fluent Security provides a fluent interface for configuring security in ASP.NET MVC. No attributes or…

Cover Image for Delegate your equality comparisons

Delegate your equality comparisons

Marco Franssen

Marco Franssen /

When using Linq on your Entity Framework objects, you often need to distinct your query results. Therefore you need to implement an IEqualityComparer for the more advance scenario's. For example if you want to distinct on a specific property, or maybe on multiple properties. However this forces you to write lots of infrastructure code to distinct each type. You probably would end up with several equality compare classes like this. However there is a solution which will save you the work to wri…