Although Microsoft provides an ISO image of Windows 8.1 for download during checkout, you cannot begin installation unless you burn the ISO image to a DVD. In instances where you don’t have access to a blank DVD, transfer the files within the ISO image to a flash drive for installation via USB. To create a bootable flash drive, however, you must use a utility called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, available free of charge from Microsoft.

Step 1

Insert a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of storage capacity. Since all data stored within the flash drive gets permanently erased while transferring the ISO image, back up any important files within the flash drive before proceeding.

Step 2

Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from the Microsoft Store (link in Resources). After installing, double-click the “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” shortcut on your desktop. On the User Account Control pop-up box that displays, click “Yes.”

Step 3

Click “Browse” and then select the Windows 8.1 ISO file from your hard drive. Click “Next” to continue.

Step 4

Click the option labeled “USB Device.”

Step 5

Click “Begin Copying.” On the pop-up box that shows up, click “Erase USB Device” and then click “Yes.” The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool automatically formats the flash drive and then copies the files in the ISO image to the flash drive. Once the “Bootable USB Device Created Successfully” message displays, click “Start Over” and then click “Close.”