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 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]Windows 8 Developer Preview requires a clean install. If you don’t want to wipe your computer or install Windows 8 on a separate partition or drive, you should consider installing Windows 8 as a Virtual Machine (VM.)

To run Windows 8 Developer Preview as a virtual machine, I recommend using VirtualBox (review) as your host.

This guide will show you how to:

  • Install Virtual Box & Set up Windows 8 VM
  • Install Windows 8 in Virtual Box

Requirements

  1. Oracle VM VirtualBox
  2. Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO file (32-bit or 64-bit)
  3. Windows Live ID (for best testing experience, sign up here if you don’t have one)
  4. Internet Connection (for best testing experience)

Besides that, also make sure that your computer has the Virtualization Technology (VT-x/AMD-V) activated in the BIOS. Proceed to the installation if you are ready with everything.

Install VirtualBox & Set up Windows 8 VM

1. Download VirtualBox and install it.

2. Open VirtualBox and click New.

virtual box create vm01 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

3. Go through the wizard to create a new Virtual Machine. Below screenshot shows the parameter used for the virtual machine. Do note that the minimum requirement of RAM for  Windows 8 is 1GB for 32-bit and 2GB for 64-bit.

virtual box create vm10 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]
virtual box create vm11 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

Now Virtual Machine is ready.

Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox

Once the virtual machine is ready, click Settings and start modifying the settings in order to install Windows 8 Developer Preview. All the screenshot below shows the settings that I used during the setup.

System

2011 09 14 16h42 34 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

2011 09 14 16h42 39 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

2011 09 14 16h42 45 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

Display

2011 09 14 16h42 55 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

Storage

This part might be tricky. By default, the VDI file generated will be mounted as a SATA HDD. However, if it is treated as a SATA HDD, Windows 8 will not be able to initiate the installation and BSOD (A very cute one) occurs. So the workaround is to mount the VDI file under the IDE controller, this way Windows 8 Developer Preview install perfectly.

Also under Storage, mount the ISO file containing Windows 8 Developer Preview that you just downloaded.

2011 09 14 16h43 32 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

2011 09 14 16h44 19 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

Network

2011 09 14 16h45 12 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

4. Once everything is set, start installing Windows 8! The installation process is pretty much similar to the one in Windows 7, so nothing much to cover there. When Windows 8 started up, you will need to enter your Windows Live ID and password.

It is worth noting that the guest addition for VirtualBox doesn’t work in Windows 8, therefore the resolution of the virtual machine is limited.

Other famous Virtual Machine software such as VMWare and Windows Virtual PC are not able to install Windows 8 Developer Preview at the moment. So if you are really interested to try it out, follow our guide to install it, and let us know your opinion on Windows 8.

Good luck and enjoy!



 Install Windows 8 As a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox [How To]

About ghost301

Biomedical Engineer graduate in Malaysia, currently Software Application Engineer and UI/UX Designer in Materialise. Graphic Design/UI/UX/Tech/Formula 1/Gadget/Android/iOS Enthusiast. Windows Guides writer (mintywhite.com) and run Techie Talkz.

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Comments

  • Quizug

    VirtualBox is not a silver bullet, there is MANY configurations where Windows 8 will not installed. It’s true for Windows Virtual PC and VMWare 7, but VMWare Workstation 8 is ok!

    • http://twitter.com/taylorling Taylor Ling

      Yup, I have heard that VMware Workstation 8 work just fine, but it is not a freeware, this is the reason we suggest to install it in VirtualBox instead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566997992 Tony Poupa

      So it won’t work on Windows Virtual PC? I can’t get it to even start the install. Something about HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILURE

  • Ravi

    im also using virtual box 4.1.2 on Win7 64 bit ultimate, mine Win8
    developer preview is stuck at “Expanding files 98%…” then it gives error
    :- Windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required
    for installation are available and restart the installation. Error code
    0x8007045D

    Please let me know what to do. Virtualization is enabled in BIOS, I have quad core i7 processore, DELL XPS 15 L502x pc

    • http://richr.org/ Rich

      It’s possible the ISO is corrupted. I’m not saying this is the answer but it’s certainly something you’ll want to troubleshoot if you haven’t done so already. Check the hash on the ISO an re-download if it’s corrupted.

      • winpewpew

        Seems is a common problem. But I have the same laptop and I have the same problem and I don’t think it is a problem of a corrupt ISO

      • winpewpew

        Seems is a common problem. But I have the same laptop and I have the same problem and I don’t think it is a problem of a corrupt ISO

      • winpewpew

        Seems is a common problem. But I have the same laptop and I have the same problem and I don’t think it is a problem of a corrupt ISO

      • Ravi

        Guys problem solved. Enabling “Use host I/O” for SATA drive fixed the issue. Win8 is working smoothly. Only issue is its not taking advantage of my 1080p laptop resolution. Im fine with that. 

      • http://twitter.com/taylorling Taylor Ling

        Ah, so it’s possible to install with virtual SATA drive then. Thanks for the tips! As for the resolution, you can manually add it. http://mintywhite.com/windows-8/full-resolution-windows-8-developer-preview-virtualbox/

      • Ravi

        Guys problem solved. Enabling “Use host I/O” for SATA drive fixed the issue. Win8 is working smoothly. Only issue is its not taking advantage of my 1080p laptop resolution. Im fine with that. 

    • winpewpew

      just restart the install

    • winpewpew

      just restart the install

    • winpewpew

      just restart the install

  • Clive Richards

    went through the pain of several failed installs but finally following this guide to the letter I got it to install – I boot up am able to get to the login enter my password and click login – the waiting dial runs for a few moments then the screen goes black!! cursor is still active but nothing else happening?  any ideas anyone?

    • http://twitter.com/taylorling Taylor Ling

      Is it still in black screen now? Try making your mouse cursor to focus in the virtual machine, see if it make the difference. I did experienced that the screen goes black when my mouse cursor is focus on the host OS and the virtual machine is minimized.

  • Clive Richards

    Hi Taylor – yes it stayed hung for ages eventually rebooted and it went into “repair” mode – logged in again and it still stayed black for ages even with the cursor in focus!
    I have 1678 memory allocated (should be fine for 32 bit) – I tried upping this a little but then virtual box would not stay running.

  • Bharat Patel

    “Use Host I/O” did the trick for me. I was banging my head for the last two days and kept getting errors. Now all is well. Thanking guys/gals. Now I can test it out.

  • marco112794

    ERROR NOT WORK 
    PLEASE HELP

  • maks021

    Installed x32 on Toshiba Tecra Win7 x64 and working just fine.. A little buggy with only 2 gigs of ram assigned, some small bugs… Getting to know it, but as for now, touch UI friendly and not so geekish :)

  • http://twitter.com/markrlangston Mark Langston

    Using Vista Home Premium but can’t seem to find a way to enable virtualization in the BIOS. 

    Pressed F12 to get into the boot up menu but I don’t see anything related to enabling virtualization and the web is offering no help. Just keep seeing stuff for Win7 but nothing for Vista. 

    Beginning to think that Vista is the red-headed stepchild in the room stonewalling me from getting my Win8 fix. 

    Hopefully someone can help. 

  • muggybear

    you have to have a windows 8 .iso file to boot from


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