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HOW TO: Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive for Installation of Windows Server 2012

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
EE Fellow, 2xMVE, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2020-2011
Published:
Updated:
With the announcement of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 release in a few days time, I thought I would write an article on HOW TO: Create a  Bootable USB Flash Drive of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 I have seen many internet articles on how to create a bootable copy of Windows Server, that seem very long winded and involved. This is the "Andy-method", which is quick and easy, with free software provided by Microsoft.

This can help speed up a server installation, and does not require a blank DVD to be written with the DVD ISO that has been downloaded from Microsoft Technet or MSDN. The same procedure can be used for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Prerequisites


Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 ISO
4GB USB Flash or Thumb Drive (minimum)


1. Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool


Using an Internet browser of your choosing download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from HERE. Although this software product is designed to work with Windows 7, I have also tested with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 to create a bootable USB flash drives of Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012.

2. Install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool


Double Click the Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe in your download folder and proceed to install the software product.

3. Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool application

Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool application by double clicking the following icon on your DesktopWindows 7 USB DVD Download Tool icon

4. Choose the ISO file you have downloaded

The following screen will appear, browse to the location of the Windows Server 2012 ISO file you have downloaded from Microsoft.
Choose ISO fileSelect Next to continue,
ISO selected

5. Choose media type

Ensure the USB flash or thumb drive is connected to the computer and select USB device.
Choose media type

6. Insert USB flash or thumb drive

Select the USB flash or thumb drive you want to prepare as a bootable copy of Windows Server 2012. Please exercise caution when selecting the USB device, the device will be formatted, and all the information will be lost.
Insert USB deviceSelect Begin copying

7. Creating bootable USB device

Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, whilst the USB flash or thumb drive is formatted, and the files are extracted from the ISO and copied to the flash drive.
Formatting....Copying files...1%Copying files...51%Copying files...99%The process takes approximately 5 minutes to complete for a 3.5GB ISO.

8. Bootable USB device created successfully

Status: Backup completed
Safely Remove the USB flash or thumb drive from your computer.

You have successfully created a Windows Server 2012 bootable usb flash drive to install your operating system.


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Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback. If you liked my Windows Server 2012 article and would like to see more Articles from me, please click the Yes button near the: Was this article helpful? at the bottom of this article just below and to the right of this information. Thank You. Do not forget if you have a question about this article or another VMware, Virtualisation, Windows Server 2012 question, why not post a Question for Me and the other Experts Exchange Experts in the VMware, Virtualisation, Windows 2008 Zones. I look forward to hearing from you. - Andy
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
EE Fellow, 2xMVE, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2020-2011

Comments (13)

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Fellow
Expert of the Year 2017

Author

Commented:
@dloj Thanks for your comments, very odd, it works for us, all the time, and we use it weekly.

Maybe the *.ISO from Microsoft has changed!?
Hi

Don't know if I am allowed to reference a youtube video, but this method I have found best and works for both win7 and windows 8.1with no downloads required and definately works - this should also work for server 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZVgInbhTAw
Thank you for this...I see many tutorials (like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SSVCr8Co5w  ) talking about Rufus as the easiest way to make a windows bootable USB.
I didn't try it yet so is it worth trying or it's a difficult stufff?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Fellow
Expert of the Year 2017

Author

Commented:
Easy, and this is the Microsoft supported method!
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Would it be possible to have more then OS on the USB?

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