Earlier, with my old laptop in use and legacy BIOS, it was a piece of cake to format Windows using any kind of preferred media. I was never aware of this UEFI Boot Mode (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) until I upgraded to Alienware 14x. Nowadays, most of the new laptop comes bundled with Windows 8 OEM but there are times when you might prefer a clean installation rather than a recovery.
Why Choose UEFI boot mode? UEFI boot is faster than the conventional BIOS boot. The problem with UEFI boot is that it will not detect your pendrive when created by Win7 USB/DVD Tool or any other tool. This is because UEFI boot only recognizes FAT 32 and will not show up NTFS Partitions during boot selection. USB boot creation tools will format the Pendrive in NTFS before loading Windows 8 Files on it.
Coming back to the topic, I decided to clean install Windows 8 with custom partition sizes and extract each Megabyte of space in recovery drives. Also, I wanted to dual boot Ubuntu using UEFI boot. So in this post I will Start with my experience, how did I proceed and what problems were faced. These tutorials will be given in parts and in proper sequence of the way I performed the tasks. And they are:
- Create Windows 8 USB Bootable Pendrive for UEFI Boot.
- Solve Windows 8 Clean Installation Product Key Do Not Match Problem.
- Error 0xC004C008: Cannot Activate Windows 8 Using Already Owned Serial Key on new PC.
- Dual Boot Windows 8 With Ubuntu 12.10 in UEFI Boot Mode.
So in this post, we will be focusing on creating UEFI USB Windows 8 bootable Pendrive. This is particularly helpful for people already using Windows 8 via update or Clean Installation with old BIOS ( legacy BIOS) but it was not the OEM version.
Once you are ready with the Pendrive (4GB atleast) and Installation ISO, jack it in and follow the given instructions. If you have an installation disk, then it can be used directly instead of ISO. Open Command Prompt and type:
- diskpart.exe – This command will open diskpart in another CMD Window. Below commands will be typed in diskpart window.
- list disk – With this Command you can view the list of storage devices. Select the pendrive, be careful!
- select disk 1 – With this command you are selecting the your Pendrive. In my case its 1 but it may vary if you have more than one internal storage disks or several pendrives jacked in.
- clean – Clean the selected partition.
- create partition primary – Set the partition as primary.
- select partition 1 – Select partition. Number depends on your disk usage.
- active – Make the disk active.
- format quick fs=fat32 – Format pendrive in fat 32.
- assign – It will automatically assign a letter to drive. Check the drive letter. In my case it was I.
- exit - This will the exit diskpart window.
Now that the pendrive is prepared, mount the ISO file. If you are already using Windows 8 then just right click on ISO image and directly mount it. You can use any mounting software for this purpose. Just notice the Mount Drive letter. In my case it was F. Now in CMD type:
- xcopy F:\* I:\ /s /e
This command copies all contents of the ISO file to USB pendrive. Instead of using command prompt you can use 7 zip and extract the ISO file directly to the Pendrive. Now you are ready with UEFI bootable Windows 8 pendrive. Before you can start the process, Go to BIOS and disable Secure Boot. Reboot saving the changes and on next start up bring up the Boot media Selection menu. Now you will see the boot USB option under UEFI. Select it.
So this sums up tutorial 1. In the next tutorial, we will see how to Solve Windows 8 Clean Installation Product Key Do Not Match Problem. Key mismatch problem will be faced only by users with OEM Windows 8.