Friday, September 20, 2013

How to create Windows 8.1/Win7 installation bootable USB for UEFI Install

The "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" is a very useful tool in making bootable USB from ISO file, but it doesn't work under UEFI system since the USB is in NTFS and UEFI can only boot from FAT32. Here is the steps to make a bootable USB for fresh clean install Windows 8.

Brief Steps: Format USB as FAT32 and Extract the ISO file to the USB

Detailed steps:

1. Format USB drive as FAT32 on a Win7/Win8 PC.
    list disk (Find USB device)
    select disk 1 (make sure this is a USB)
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    format quick fs=fat32 

2. Copy Windows 8 x64 ISO content to USB.
Option#1: If you already have winrar installed then select the win8.1 iso and extract to USB.

Option#2:  Mount Windows8.1 .iso(In this example, it's H:) Note, If using Windows 7, use your favorite ISO mounting software. Copy the content using xcopy <ISO drive> <USB drive>, for example.
    xcopy H:\* F:\ /s /e

Second option:
Rufus is a small utility that formats and creates bootable USB flash drives, but not DVD discs. What makes Rufus different is that it offers 3 different partition scheme to target the system type, such as those UEFI based computers. You can make a bootable drive that can directly boot off on a UEFI computer without turning the Secure Boot off.

For Win7 USB install make sure you meeting following requirement

  • 64-bit Windows 7 ISO or DVD (If you want to install Windows 7)
  • To boot from an external UEFI USB flash drive, be sure to temporarily disable Secure Bootand enable CSM in your UEFI/BIOS firmware settings until the Windows installation is finished.

1) Download and install 7-Zip (get it here
2) Extract the files from DVD or ISO file
3) Partition your USB Drive (optional) a. Open Command Window (CMD) as administrator b. diskpart c. list disk d. select disk NUMBER e. clean f. create Partition Primary g. select Partition 1 h. active i. format quick fs=FAT32 j. assign j. exit
4) Copy files from DVD or ISO to USB Drive
5) Make a directory “/efi/boot” on the USB Drive
6) Go to “/source/install.wim” open archive with 7-zip a. In the archive go to “/1/Windows/boot/efi” b. Copy file bootmgfw.efi to “/efi/boot” on USB Drive
7) Rename bootmgfw.efi to bootx64.efi in “/efi/boot”
8) Copy Files from “/efi/microsoft/boot” TO “/efi/boot

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