Installing Windows from a USB Stick (and copying it to that stick from an ISO)

(Quick public dump so I can find the tool link again easily)


  1. Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool from here. (NB links to the page, not the EXE)
  2. Download ISO image from store or MSDN
  3. Run Win7 USB DVD Tool and point it to ISO and USB Stick
    • Label stick
    • Seriously Tristan, label the damn stick
    • You know what happens when you don’t.
  4. Boot from stick, or run Setup from stick
  5. ???
  6. Profit!

Works for Windows 8, worked for Windows 8.1 Preview, no reason to think it won’t work for Windows 8.1 RTM, or Windows Server 2012 R2 etc.

Good if you’re planning a clean installation; otherwise, simply double-clicking the ISO is probably enough to do the upgrade as of Windows 8, which can mount ISOs and VHDs from a double-click.

Windows 8 Launch Week!

My Surface RT is preordered (as is my Mum’s), all my home computers are upgraded… it’s finally *almost* here!

And then! The real madness begins!

That’s pretty much all I had. I’m excited!

Come to the Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Premier Roadshow

Australian Premier Support customers: Join us for an overview of the new stuff in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8!

This series of events will run for the entire day in each city and showcase 4 sessions of about 90 minutes, on a range of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 client topics. All topics will be presented by the best Premier Field Engineers across Australia and New Zealand.

Except they got me for Sydney! I’m covering the new Networking features.

Windows Server 2012 – Networking

Connect from anywhere, more working and less waiting, better network management via cost-aware networking. Sound interesting? This session provides a general overview, including many of the improvements to DirectAccess, BranchCache, and general networking improvements in Windows 8 and Server 2012.

Details and signup:


And if you’re at Tech.Ed 2012 AU, you can catch Darth Chad and I presenting on the enhancements to Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess.


Windows 8 UX Fundamentals–free virtual training

I’ve been working on the Windows 8 Application Excellence Lab circuit recently, helping push Metro-style apps from good to great!

Metro apps look visually simple, but conveying your app’s information in a simple and visually appealing manner isn’t just a matter of “removing stuff”. The best apps look simple, present information appealingly and effectively, and delight the user with their interactive behaviours.

Why tell you this? Well! There’s some free virtual training coming up with the Windows UX team:

Windows 8 UX fundamentals–free virtual training

On 14th June from 9am to 5.30pm PST, the Windows User Experience team is running sessions on how to design great apps that use the platform in cool ways and follow UX guidelines. After the training, you’ll be able to design and build experiences that follow the tenants of great apps, use intuitive information architecture patterns, and use best practices for designing flexible layouts, touch, contracts, and much more.

Sure, for Aussies, it’s an early start and finish, but if you’re looking to brush up your Windows 8 application, or just interested in thinking about how you might construct a deconstructed app, it’s worth a look!

More at the Windows 8 developer blog.

A weekend’s worth of tips in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Just some notes recording what I’ve picked up from a couple of days using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my main desktops:


The hit target for the Start button is the very bottom left corner – like, the four pixels in that region. Just slam the mouse there and click – when you get used to it, it’s cool!


The sides of the screen work consistently that way – each is a slam-to-any-corner, then mouse up or down to get to the functionality on that border. This makes it fast without permanently cluttering screen space (I haven’t tried multimon yet).

Task switching – slam to top-left, then drag mouse straight down. (Or, bottom-left-as-in-Start, and slide up). Has grown on me greatly; I often now have a metro app side by side with the Win32 stuff/desktop. Alt+Tab still works.

imageCharms – slam to top-right or bottom right, then drag down or up, but be quickish, it fades! Or just Win+C.

Charms are important – each app has its own Settings (Win+I to skip the Charms menu step) now, and you print (for example) through the Devices charm by picking the Printer. Share through the Share charm. And so on.

On Settings – you can get to Settings (as in, that big list of Win8 style settings) by going Charms, Settings, More Settings (at the bottom). It’s arguably easier just to hit your username and Change Picture.

Drag straight down (violently!) from the top to throw away (i.e. terminate, I think) any Metro app. Otherwise, drag it to the region you want it in.


Start-and-type to search and run programs still works like in Windows Vista and 7 – you just hit Start and without waiting for anything, type a bit of the name of the program you want to run, and it searches for it. Ctrl+Shift+Enter probably still elevates that program to Admin. The difference from Windows 7 is that there’s no search box before you start typing. Well, that and there’s a full-screen list of programs.

Tip: The Start screen goes away as soon as you’re running a Win32 app, just like the old Start menu*. If all you run is Win32 apps, it’s big, sure, but it’s fluid.

If you’re still Win+R ing to Run apps, that works too.


imageimage The Remote Desktop Metro app behaves subtly differently from the MSTSC Win32 app when remoting to a Win8 target.

I’d summarize this as: the Metro one is optimized for fullscreen touch interfaces (and won’t entirely capture your mouse when in fullscreen – if you mouse to the bottom left, you get the local OS start menu), while the MSTSC version works basically how it always did. Plus extra buttons and stuff. If you were working on a touch-only device, swiping for the local start menu makes a lot of sense (how else are you going to escape!?)

As I’m working on a touch-enabled desktop but mostly keyboard-and-mousing, I tend to prefer the MSTSC behaviour over Remote Desktop Metro.

If you’re using Win8 MSTSC, it’s faster to click the (new) Start button in the MSTSC connection bar (at the top of the windowed desktop) than try to hunt for the lower left pixel if it’s windowed, at least right now, as far as I can tell, YMMV, cheques may not be honoured. Just connect Fullscreen, and slam that mouse around!

As long as you’re capturing the Windows key in your RDP session, other handy non-hunting tips: Win+C = Charms, Win+I = Settings


* except again, it’s full screen. I’m OK with that – it wasn’t like I scrutinized the Start menu every time it appeared.

Note: Tristan has no inside information on Windows 8, he’s experiencing the Consumer Preview along with the rest of the world.

IE10 Compat Inspector

There’s an very handy-looking new tool that can be used to quickly determine a site’s compatibility with IE10.

I set it up with Fiddler on one of my machines, and can now enable a pop-up item in Fiddler under the Rules menu.

I wasn’t familiar with Fiddler’s rules engine before… more investigation is needed!