Dave’s Computer Tips: How to Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine

How to Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine

by Dave Hartsock for Daves Computer Tips

** This is a lengthy post with lots of pictures which are clickable to view full size. Following the included steps should take approximately 30 minutes, but well worth it! Your CPU must have virtualization support, which most newer CPU’s do but it may have to be enabled in your BIOS! Virtualization can be checked using the free version of SIW Home. **

As a Daves Computer Tips reader I know you’re chomping at the bit to have a look at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview! The question becomes how are you going to install it? Do you have an unused machine? Do you install it in a dual boot configuration? Neither of these options are ideal. The former requires an extra computer and the later could lead to possible boot problems down the road for the novice user.

What I use (and recommend) is the use of a virtual machine, which allows you to install other operating systems within your present OS. I use multiple VM’s (virtual machines) here at DCT for testing operating systems, creating screenshots, comparing features, and answering visitor questions. Virtual Machines allow me to accomplish all this with little fuss and without leaving my main computing platform. I can run Windows 7 and Windows Home Server, as an example, right alongside MS Outlook and Firefox – and switch seamlessly between them.

Virtual machines are programs and any OS installed lives within that program so there is little chance it can affect the original operating system in a negative way. Close the virtual machine and everything is back to normal. Restart the virtual machine and it is as you left it.

Virtual Machine benefits:

  • Generally easy to set-up
  • Can install multiple operating systems on one computer
  • No multi-boot issues
  • Can open, interact with, and view multiple operating systems at the same time
  • Easy to remove without affecting the host (original) operating system
  • It’s fun
  • There are many different virtual machine host software packages available. I’ve used most and always come back to VirtualBox. It’s free, easy to use, and I’ll use it in this tutorial!

    Let’s get everything together!

    First you should download and install VirtualBox from the VirtualBox download page. Windows users will need the download labelled VirtualBox 4.1.8 for Windows hosts x86/amd64.

    Next you need to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO from the Windows 8 Download page. I suggest downloading the 64-bit version in your language.

    Finally you need to download and install ImgBurn so we can burn the Windows 8 ISO file to a blank DVD.

    Additionally you need the license key for Windows 8: NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8 and a blank DVD.

    Article continued here

    This excerpt is shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.

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