Install Windows 8 Directly From Hard Drive – NO DVD or USB Needed!

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Introduction: Install Windows 8 Directly From Hard Drive – NO DVD or USB Needed!

About: Not even a fan of Aerosmith, it's just a username.

How to CLEAN Install Windows 8 directly from Hard drive – NO DVD or USB needed!

For example, you have a netbook or desktop that you want to install Windows 8 onto, but can’t use DVD or USB for whatever reason (or don't want to, like me). This method will allow you to boot and install Windows directly from the hard drive. This guide involves plugging the hard drive into another working computer, preparing the hard drive, placing it back in the system, and installing Windows as usual.

This was tested with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.  The guide for Windows 7 is exactly the same.

Step 1: Part 1: Preparing the HD With Windows 8 Setup Files.

- Connect the hard drive to another working computer.
- Format the hard drive to NTFS (Quick format works fine; multiple partitions also work).
- Copy the following from your Windows 8 disc or ISO:

   -Boot
   -Sources
   -Bootmgr

Step 2: Part 2: Making the HD Bootable

Using Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 open CMD as Administrator (Windows key + R, type CMD, hit Enter)

Enter the following commands, (replace X with what applies to your hard drive):

diskpart
list disk
select disk X
list partition
select partition X
active
exit
X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X:

(See picture for example)

Exit and shutdown.

Note: If you’re working on a 32-bit system, and you want to install 64-bit Windows, you may get problems trying to run the last command (X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X:).
Solutions:

    Use a computer with a 64-bit version of Windows

OR

    A little trick that worked for me: If you have a 32-bit Windows 8 disc, you can copy bootsect.exe from that and replace the 64-bit one (boot\bootsect.exe).

Step 3: Part 3: Booting and Installing Windows

Place the hard drive back into the target machine. Make sure that the BIOS is configured to boot from the hard drive. If you did everything correctly, you should see the blue Windows logo (see picture for example) and setup will load (really fast, too, because it's loading from the hard drive). Install Windows as usual (but don’t format your drive this time in the installer – otherwise it will erase the Windows 8 setup files too!).

Step 4: Part 4: Final Steps/housecleaning

We’ll have to quickly edit the boot menu once Windows is installed.

In Windows 8, hit the Windows key + R. Type msconfig, and hit Enter.
Click to the Boot tab at the top.
Click 'Windows Setup (\windows)', and hit Delete.
Click OK.
Click 'Exit without restart'.
(See picture for example)

And lastly, delete the ‘Sources’ folder and “Windows.old” (if it exists) from your hard drive root (this will free up 2-4gb).


I hope this helps some people out.  Feel free to comment :)

1 Person Made This Project!

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81 Comments

0
MuhammadF34
MuhammadF34

Question 2 years ago

I have my new SSD, on which I want to install Windows 10, I
have an iso image.


So what I normally do when I use MBR on the drive:


Create partitions


Extract iso to one of the partitions


Make that partition active using diskpart or diskmgmt.msc


It loads the installer and I can install to any empty other
partition


And I am done, everything is cool and takes almost no time
to install.


However now I tried to do same thing but using GPT and UEFI,
and this is some nightmare, I cannot find any information on how to install the
Windows from the same GPT drive on UEFI. Can anybody tell how it should be done
on GPT/UEFI?

0
fenixthexd.ra
fenixthexd.ra

Question 2 years ago

It is possible for windows 10?

0
jjewel43
jjewel43

Question 2 years ago on Step 1

I lost my hard drive on my HP laptop, I do have another very old Toshiba Satellite, but that's where it stops for now. I bought another bigger hard drive for my HP, but how do I connect with the old one to install win 8?

0
Ilkka_Rajavuori
Ilkka_Rajavuori

3 years ago

I just finished building a gaming desktop from components for the kids, and experienced major issues while trying to install Windows 10 from USB drive. I didn't find a right tutorial by Googling the issue, but managed to do installing with the following steps.

I'm a Mac user, so first I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file and purchased license from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download...

After downloading the file, I made it bootable USB drive using the following commands in my Mac's terminal:

1. diskutil list
- Locate the USB drive
2. diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS "WIN10" GPT disk#
- Replace "#" with the USB drive number
3. hdiutil mount ~/Downloads/#.iso
- Replace "#" with your ISO file name, and modify the file path, if it isn't in your "Downloads" folder.
4. cp -rp /Volumes/#/* /Volumes/WIN10/
- Replace "#" with the name of the mounted volume.
5. hdiutil unmount /Volumes/#
- Replace "#" with the name of the mounted volume.

Then I took the USB drive and plugged it into my PC setup.

1. Start the computer while holding and pressing F2, or similar, to enter BIOS settings.
2. Modify boot order so that the computer boots from the USB drive's 1. partition.
3. Reboot the computer, and it should start in Windows 10 installing mode.
4. Instead of "Install", select "Fix my computer", or similar.
5. Select "Command Prompt" to enter DOS.

I created two disk partitions for the hard drive in DOS.

1. diskpart
2. list disk
3. select disk #
- Replace "#" with the hard drive number.
4. clean
5. create partition primary size=10000
- This will create a 10 Gb partition that you will use for storing Windows 10 install files
6. assign letter=D
7. create partition primary size=500000
- This will create another partition where the Windows 10 will be installed. Modify the size according to your needs and size of the disk.
8. assign letter=C
9. list volume
- Take note of the assigned letters to each volume.
10. select volume #
- Replace "#" with the number of the volume D
11. format fs=ntfs quick
12. select volume #
- Replace "#" with the number of the volume C
13. format fs=ntfs quick
14. exit
15. xcopy #:\ /s d:\
- Replace "#" with the assigned letter of the USB drive

I shut down the computer, removed the USB drive, and the Windows 10 installation functioned without problems. I selected the volume C as the location of the installation.

I hope this helps someone.

0
StoneScully
StoneScully

Question 3 years ago


"Connect the hard drive to another working computer."

How to accomplish without an alternate device?

0
StormC7
StormC7

4 years ago on Step 4

I will try this with Linux Raspbian instead of Windows, why would you delete the installer though, it sounds so good

0
YousefE18
YousefE18

Question 4 years ago

i did all things like you
but it wont to set up and i dont know how to back for win 7

1
OliwerZ1
OliwerZ1

Question 4 years ago

Cant boot because its missing/broken file BCD Anyone know how to fix ?

0
RAHULS536
RAHULS536

4 years ago

is it possible to install window from a password protected hard drive.

1
ToddS149
ToddS149

5 years ago

Wow, such a useful tip. HDD died on an older motherboard which still had a good i7 cpu. So went with an SSD only to find zero support for bootable usb and dvd drivers not recognized. Thought I was going to have to replace the motherboard as well until I ran across this tutorial. Easily installed Windows 10 (which I found for OEM $10). So easy, I may use this method over installing through usb in the future. Thanks a bunch.

0
southwalesboy
southwalesboy

5 years ago

Worked a treat to Install Windows 10 Pro directly on my new SSD without having to transfer files to sluggish USB drives!

0
TimofeyO
TimofeyO

5 years ago

Thank you! One question: Is it possible to do it with a GPT partition?

0
harri4007
harri4007

5 years ago

My hard drive crashed and I replaced it. Of course not saving anything but the loss wasn't too great. After 2 weeks of trying to get the new hard drive to be read by my laptop I came across this solution and I was up and running within an hour. Thanks very much and it was very helpful.

0
HariJ5
HariJ5

6 years ago

i have win7 in my comp will i be able to install win8.1 in it with the help of win8.1 system repair disk

0
KenG59
KenG59

6 years ago

This worked flawlessly even with windows 10!

I did get an access denied error when I ran the command \boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 but the weird part was that there was a success message followed by an access denied error. Regardless I tried going through and it worked.

B: is my drive - it is 400GB and it is a NTFS system. When executing "B:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 B:" it says:
Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects: Access is denied.

0
RyanT62
RyanT62

Reply 6 years ago

Hi. The same thing happened to me as well with the access denied. You have to run "cmd" as administrator. Go to your Windows search panel, type cmd, right-click on the cmd.exe and run as administrator. Type in the command X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X: replacing "X" with your drive letter as described in this article by StevenTyler and it should work. It worked for me.

0
GarT3
GarT3

Reply 6 years ago

you wont be able to put an operating system on drive a or b for historical reasons
remove the b partition, make an e or f partition or so, and then it should work