TechSpot: Configuring a Windows 8 Virtual Machine

With the launch of Windows 8's Consumer Preview, you're probably itching to spend some quality time with Microsoft's latest operating system. Although you may have already downloaded the ISO, we bet some of you haven't decided how you're going to install it.

Considering you've just met, we assume most of you aren't ready to clear a dresser drawer for Windows 8. Dual booting is popular, but in our experience, rebooting into a separate environment is more trouble than it's worth when you're just trying to sample beta (err, "preview") software. The same could be said for using the OS on a secondary PC near your primary rig.

Fortunately, running Windows 8 in a virtual machine solves all that: it won't remove your current OS, you can access it anytime you want without rebooting and it doesn't require any extra hardware. What's more, the test OS can be deleted in only a few mouse clicks.

Read: Configuring a Windows 8 Virtual Machine

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15 Comments

I am loving Win8 CP.. its is just epic .. even using it on my desktop I actually get soo much more done then I used to on win7.. Just cant wait for more apps..

Lachlan said,
I am loving Win8 CP.. its is just epic .. even using it on my desktop I actually get soo much more done then I used to on win7.. Just cant wait for more apps..

Really? like what?

JaredFrost said,

Really? like what?

I'm pretty curious too, as a developer I found the current Windows 8 extreamly hard to use, the ergonomic part just sucks in my opinion...

SubZenit said,

I'm pretty curious too, as a developer I found the current Windows 8 extreamly hard to use, the ergonomic part just sucks in my opinion...

In my case for example, it's pretty awesome that I can have my mail open on the right side of the screen while working on a "full size desktop" on the left running Adobe Illustrator, or having images on the right side of the screen while 3D modeling them on the left side with Blender.

AnthoWin said,
Running it via VMware Fusion 4 on my MacBook Pro. Windows 8 is looking very ambitious, and that's a good thing.

Same here. Except I find that Win8 so far looks like an epic failure in user interface design to the point where I wonder if the developers even bothered testing it on non-tablet devices or even considered that features that seem similar should work the same way.

Like I said, virtual machine is slow, sometimes not giving you the full features, but running it on a hard drive can wipe the existing install. instead do this:
unplug your current drive and plug in a secondary drive only (prevents windows installer from writing over to your existing install)
install pre-release version of windows
shutdown, plug hard drives 1 and 2 in.
use the key on your keyboard (f12, esc, etc) to use the bios boot menu not a software OS boot menu. hard drives are completely separate and you have the best mix of running a full install without the slowness of a VM.

However VM does always seem pretty easy depending if you dont like taking things apart.

hackson said,
So I instal windows 8.
There's no start button.
How to I launch paint?

First you must go to the right corner of the screen, then click the Windows Logo (or the tiled icon), or directly the Search, after that type in Paint, and only then you will be able to use it. Also in this proccess you will be switched from Desktop to the Metro Layout.

Honestly it's such a shame they destroyed the erognomic part From Windows 8, the start buttons hould never be removed as you can access the programs so much faster.

SubZenit said,

First you must go to the right corner of the screen, then click the Windows Logo (or the tiled icon), or directly the Search, after that type in Paint, and only then you will be able to use it. Also in this proccess you will be switched from Desktop to the Metro Layout.

Honestly it's such a shame they destroyed the erognomic part From Windows 8, the start buttons hould never be removed as you can access the programs so much faster.


Or, it's a shame that you couldn't even do your research to find out that the start button is still there in the lower left corner, it pops up when you move the pointer in the corner. Also there's a "classic" start menu if you right click.

Marvel 88SE91XX Adapter and thanks to that puppy i cant even install it with my hdds and i cant figure out how to change the location of the vhd in bcdedit

followed instructions in that webpage. awesome!

but i cant get my 1366x768 resolution to appear, even though i already installed virtual box additions and the new ati catalyst for windows 8 consumer preview.

other than that, everything else is great!

eoes5991 said,
followed instructions in that webpage. awesome!

but i cant get my 1366x768 resolution to appear, even though i already installed virtual box additions and the new ati catalyst for windows 8 consumer preview.

other than that, everything else is great!

vbox video driver does not support win8 cp

to set your resolution close virtualbox, open .vbox file, looks for ExtraData section and add a string custom video mode
<ExtraDataItem name="CustomVideoMode1" value="1366x768x32"/>

Really? A article?

I started up VMWare, made a new VM for Windows 7, used the Windows 8 CP ISO to boot, and installed it.

This is a tech forum, not a kiddie forum. I think it is obvious.

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