Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been available for a couple of days now. If you downloaded an ISO image of the new operating system but you don’t want to install it on your home PC you can always virtualize it. If you prefer to do this the free way I suggest using VirtualBox, since it is free and easy to use. Here is how to setup up Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VirtualBox.
You will need VirtualBox, note the version I am using at the time of this writing is 4.1.8 on Windows 7 x64, and a copy of the ISO with the Windows 8 product key that matches the ISO you downloaded, which is on the same page.
After you have VirtualBox installed and the Windows 8 CP ISO downloaded and stored somewhere you will remember we are to to proceed.
Install Windows 8 as Guest OS in VirtualBox
Open up VirtualBox and click on New.
You will be prompted to with the Create New Virtual Machine. Go ahead and click Next.
In the next screen you will need to type the name for your OS. In the OS Type make sure you specify which version of Windows 8 you are using, for this guide we are using 64 Bit version. Click next when you are finished.
The next screen will ask you how much memory you want to use for the guest OS. You don’t want to move the slider to the orange or red because you will be taking space away from the host OS. We are going to use the recommended RAM. Click next after you are done adjusting.
The next screen will ask for a virtual hard disk. We are going to leave everything set how it is and continue on. If you have your own virtual hard disk you can use that instead of creating a new one. Click next when you are finished.
The next screen ask you about which type of virtual disk do you want. Lets keep the VDI as the type which is VirtualBox Disk Image. Click next to proceed.
For the next step you can decided if you want a Dynamically allocated or a Fixed size. The differences between the two is Dynamically allocated virtual disk will continue to grow in size as you install new programs and fill up the virtual disk space. Taking space away from the host OS. Fixed, as the name states, uses a fixed amount of space and that’s it. We are going to use Dynamically allocated.
The next step lets you adjust the location and the size of the virtual disk. We are going to keep the defaults for location and for size since we selected dynamically allocated. Click next to proceed.
This is the last step for setting up a new virtual disk. Review the summary and click create if everything looks good.
After that you will see a summary for your new virtual machine. Review the configuration and click create when you are ready.
Go back to the main VirtualBox window and click on Settings for your new virtual machine.
Under the settings menu click on Storage. In the middle click the disk looking image, it should say Empty unless you have a disk in your drive. Then go to the Attributes CD/DVD drive and click on the little disk icon and select Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file.
Find your copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO and select it.
After selecting it you will see the ISO under the IDE Controller. Click Ok to close the window.
Go back to the VirtualBox main window and click Start.
The virtual machine will open, you might get a prompt about auto capture just click ok to those warnings.
You might also get a warning like the one below, if you get tried of them popping up check the block that says Do not show this message again.
After a couple of information windows and loading time you should be at the Windows 8 install screen. Click next to continue.
Click Install Now to continue.
Since Windows 8 is in a Consumer Preview, all product keys are hosted on this website, same one that you downloaded the ISO from. Grab the right one for installation and enter it in the field below. Click next to continue.
Check the check box next to I accept the license terms and next to continue.
Since we made a new virtual disk we are going to chose the Custom:Install Windows only.
Click Drive Options to expand it and select New on your virtual disk.
The installation will ask you what size, select the default and click apply.
You will get a warning just click Ok to continue.
You should see 2 different partition for your virtual disk. Click on Drive 0 Partition 2 and click next.
Now it’s the waiting game. Go grab your favorite beverage or snake and wait until the ride is over.
After a while you will be rebooted into the setup screens. If you get any warning boxes form VirtualBox just click OK to them.
After Windows 8 finishes with all its preparations you will be asked some setup questions. Give your computer a name and click Next to continue.
Up next is the settings. We are going to use the express settings. Click it to continue.
Since we have a Windows live account we will login with it. If you don’t have one I suggest getting one. Enter your email address and click next.
You will be prompted for your password in the next screen. Click next to proceed.
The next screen is for verification. Make sure all the info there is accurate and click Next to continue.
After clicking next your windows will start preparing.
That’s it you now have Windows 8 installed!
That is it. Share your your thoughts about Windows 8 below.
*Updated to remove guest additions do not install they are not ready yet*