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

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2017-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2018-2011 27 years of experience.
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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13 Comments

Expert Comment

by:ucst
Hi,

Interesting article but the link for the tool takes me to a blank page, also searching for it via a reputable search engine doesn't find it. :(
0
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
thats for reporting that it looks like Microsoft have "moved it!"
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Expert Comment

by:n2fc
Well written and cogent article, but misleading title!

Should be:
"HOW TO: Create a  Bootable USB Flash Drive for INSTALLATION of Windows Server 2012"

instead of:
"HOW TO: Create a  Bootable USB Flash Drive of Microsoft Windows Server 2012"

Current title implies (at least to me) it creates a bootable running OS, rather than an image for installation!
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LVL 127

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Thanks for your comments, we often refer to Bootable CDROM/DVDROM media of Microsoft Windows Server 2012, does that imply, it's a full working OS from CDROM/DVDROM?
0
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Expert Comment

by:n2fc
The key word there is "media!"
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Expert Comment

by:Chris
I agree with n2fc. Having already done this numerous times I wouldn't even have visited the article had the title not been misleading.

Well laid out and simple to follow though. Good article, bad title.
0

Expert Comment

by:precisenets
Good article, well written, this is new to me and I'll use it but I gotta agree I thought you meant running the OS off a stick.
0

Expert Comment

by:dloj
Thanks for the article but the Microsoft tool did not work for me, on both Win 7 and Win 8.1, I eventually used, rufus_v1.4.3 and then it worked great.  

Nice article though and the title didn't confuse me.  I knew exactly what you were talking about.
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
@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!?
0

Expert Comment

by:Michael Murphy
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
0

Expert Comment

by:antoinea ant
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?
0
LVL 127

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Easy, and this is the Microsoft supported method!
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Expert Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
Would it be possible to have more then OS on the USB?
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