How to Install Windows 8 Dev Preview On Windows 7 Using VirtualBox

Ashish Mundhra

Microsoft recently released the developer preview of its much awaited new OS Windows 8. Though it’s named as developer preview, anyone can test-drive it to have a look and feel all by himself. However, some amount of tech-skillfulness is required to install and use it, and then since it’s a dev preview, there are chances things could go wrong.

MetroUi

So our advice is that if you are comfortable with stuff like virtualization and dual-boot, you could try out what we’ll teach today, else, just enjoy the process and increase your knowledge about it so that you can boast in front of your noob friends.

This article also includes a video walkthrough at the end, and with that we are launching our Youtube channel. You should subscribe to it because we’ll be adding many more cool videos to the channel in the days ahead.

Currently there are some issues with dual booting of Windows 8 and thus a clean installation is recommended. If you don’t want to go for a clean install you can install it on VirtualBox and run the new OS within your existing operating system.

If you are not sure how to install and run Windows 8 as a virtual machine here is a complete guide for you. I have tested this on my Lenovo Y500 4EQ laptop. You can have a look at my system snapshot which I took using Speccy.

Necessary Prerequisites

  • Please make sure your computer supports hardware virtualization. If you are not sure about that download Microsoft Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool. This tool checks if your computer processor supports HAV and if this setting is enabled.
  • Download Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO.
  • A minimum of 20 GB free hard disk space to spare
  • This is not necessary but as it’s a bit tedious process you might want to sit with a cup of coffee. 😉

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box

Step 1: Download and install VirtualBox on your computer. Installing it is no rocket science and will take a couple of minutes to complete once you agree with all the permissions.

Step 2: After a successful installation run the VirtualBox using the desktop icon that was created at the time of installation. Launch New Virtual Machine wizard by clicking the New button on the main window.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (1)

Step 3: Name your Virtual OS and select Microsoft Windows as the Operating System type and Windows 7 as the version from the drop down list.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (9)

Step 4: You must now allocate RAM for your virtual OS. The best rule is to assign half of what you have. Suppose you have 4 GB RAM on your system you must assign 2 GB to the virtual OS so that you still have 2GB for your current OS.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (8)

Step 5: Create a new Start-up hard disk and click on next.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (7)

Step 6: Select Virtual Box Disk Image (VDI) file type and click on Next.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (6)

Step 7: You can now choose between fixed and dynamic storage type. There is no harm in choosing either of the two but I prefer fixed over dynamic so that I don’t end up with space shortage.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (5)

Step 8: Allocate the Virtual Disk Space. I recommend a minimum of 16-20 GB space for uninterrupted usage.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (4)

Step 9: Click on create button on the summary page to create the virtual disk.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (3)

Step 10: Sit back and relax for a bit while Virtual Box create your virtual disk.

Installing Windows 8 on Virtual Box  (2)

Step 11: After your Virtual OS is created its time to make some nifty changes. Right click on your VM and click on settings. Now enable VT-x and Nesting Paging options under the System—>Acceleration tab.

Win 8 VM

Step 12: Enable PAE/NX under processor settings and save the settings by click the OK button. You can now start your VM by clicking on the start button.

enable PAE-NX

Step 13: On the First Run Wizard select the ISO file of Windows 8 Developer Preview and click on next.

First Run

Step 14: The windows 8 installation will now start. For your convenience I have already made a video tutorial. You can have a look at it if you are not sure with any step. Though the video is recorded for VMWare Workstation 8 it will not make any difference.

Step 15: Once the installation is complete you will be see the all new Metro UI.

MetroUi

From next time on whenever you launch your VM you will boot into Windows 8.

If you encounter any problem during the process I am just a comment away. And stay tuned because we’ll have more of playing with the Windows 8 dev preview in the coming days. 🙂

Also See
#virtualbox #virtualization

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Ashish Mundhra

Written By

Ashish Mundhra

Ashish is a staff writer and video editor at Guiding Tech. He loves all things tech and has a soft corner for Android. Apart from contributing articles here, he also takes care of our YouTube Channel.