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Are you eager to test out the new Microsoft OS Windows 8? Look no further - Read our guide that details how to install Windows 8 on a Virtual Box and try out Windows 8.

The Definitive Guide to Installing Windows 8 on VirtualBox

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Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, provides a plethora of new features and a complete overhaul of the previous user interface. A lot of people wish to try Windows 8 but don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a new partitions or overwriting your current Windows OS with a clean install.

We have already seen How to install Windows 8 in a Parallels Virtual Machine on Mac. Similarly, you can run Windows 8 in your current Windows OS by using VirtualBox. VirtualBox is virtualization software that allows you to run other operating systems such as Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris or even Android Mobile OS on your computer.

Gathering the Necessary Files:

Before you begin, you need to download VirtualBox. The download page provides different versions or “hosts” to download. The “host” is the operating system you are currently using. For example, if you plan on running Windows 8 on your Windows 7 OS, the host is Windows 7.

You will also need the Windows 8 CD image (ISO) file. You can download Windows 8 from the Windows developer center. Download the version that meets your system requirements. If  you’re using a PC with 32-bit processor (x86) you can get the 32-bit version. Those of you who have a 64-bit system (x64), the 64-bit version is also available. Lets see what files do you need to get started.

Things You’ll Need:

Installing Windows 8 on VirtualBox:

Once you have VirtualBox installed on your computer, you are ready to create a new virtual machine. Run VirtualBox and click “New” from the top of the window. This will run the installation Wizard.

virtualBox-manager

Name your virtual Machine. You can give it any name you want. Under “OS Type,” select “Microsoft Windows” as the operating system and “Windows 8” as the version. If you do not see Windows 8 as an option, select Windows 7 – that would work fine.

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Select the amount of memory you want to dedicate to your Windows 8 virtual machine. If you are using the 64-bit version, it is recommended to dedicate at least 2 gigabytes of memory. Move the slider to the left to decrease the amount of dedicated memory, and to the right to increase it.

add-memory

 

In the next screen you get the option to create a new “virtual” hard disk or use an existing one. Select the default option - “Create new hard disk.”

 

create-new-hard-disk

In the next window, you would see 4 options. Leave it at default “VDI” which stands for Virtual Disk Image.

virtualbox-disk-image
Create a new a fixed size virtual disk image. A fixed size takes longer to create, but it is faster to use.
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It is recommended for the virtual disk image to be at least 20 gigabytes. This is because the whole 8 Windows OS requires over 10 gigabytes of space. It should take about 5 minutes to create a virtual disk image.

The more space you dedicate to the virtual machine, the more time it will take to create the virtual disk image. Move the slider to the left to decrease the dedicated space for the virtual disk, and to the right to increase it.

create-virtual-disk-image

Once you click on “Next” Virtual Box will process the options you selected and take you to the main screen.

Now you just need to configure the settings of the virtual machine. Right-click the Windows 8 virtual machine and select “Settings.” .

change-virtual-machine-settings

Go to the “System” section from the left sidebar. Under “Extended Features,” select “Enable IO APIC.”

virtualBox-motherboard-settings

Now access the “Processor” tab and select “Enable PAE/NX.”

Enable PAE/NX

Click the “Acceleration” tab and select “Enable-VT-x/AMD-v” and “Enable Nested Paging.” If your processor does not support virtualization, you will likely not be able to access the “Acceleration” tab (as shown above). It is important to make sure that your processor supports virtualization. Your Windows 8 virtual machine will not work without these settings.

cpu-acceleration-virtualbox

Go to the “Storage” section.  Move the cursor to the right side of the window, and lick the CD icon next to “CD/DVD Drive.”

windows-8-cd

 

Now select the Windows 8 ISO file you downloaded and click “Open.” After completing these procedures, your Windows Machine should be ready to run.

 

upload-iso-file

This is where you would see the Windows 8 Installation screen come up. Select the options that apply to your region and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Windows 8 install on your Virtual System.

windows-8-installation-screen

After completion of the installation, you would see the new Metro interface of Windows 8. Go ahead, take it for a ride and see what new features Windows 8 has brought on to the table.

windows-8-log-in-screen

Final Thoughts:

VirtualBox is a simple way of testing out Windows 8 without performing a clean install. However, you need to remember that your computer must have a virtualization-enabled processor. If it doesn’t, Windows 8 will not work.

Having a processor that doesn’t support virtualization does not mean you can’t use VirtualBox. Other Operating Systems do work without the need of a Virtualization enabled processor. In many cases, you can still use VirtualBox to test live CD images to install the OSes. In the case of Windows 8 though, your processor needs to support virtualization.

Download Windows 8

Download Virtual Box



  • http://cebuanddavao.com/2011/11/14/windows-8-is-up-wow/ Nonoy

    Awesome. I’ve just installed Virtual Box on my PC; Will have to follow carefully the instructions here to get the Windows 8 going next year. Thanks a lot.

    • Khai

      Hye…Can you help me…Which one i have to download…VirtualBox
      VirtualBox 4.1.6 for Windows hosts
      VirtualBox 4.1.6 for OS X hosts 
      VirtualBox 4.1.6 for Linux hosts
      VirtualBox 4.1.6 for Solaris hosts

      • http://www.technorms.com Viki

        Well it depends upon which Operating System you are currently using. In case you use a Windows OS like Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 – Download VirtualBox 4.1.6 for Windows hosts.

        Same thing is true for a Mac or Linux PC. Just download according to the corresponding OS you use and you’re good to go.

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  • http://www.technorms.com Viki

    Virtual Box is like any other software that you use on your PC – its just that it has the capability to run any OS, in this case Windows 8. You’ll always be in your normal OS, Virtual Box will run the Windows 8 OS within itself.

    In order to start using your default OS, you just need to close Virtual Box and you’ll be good to go. Let me know if its clear, or if you have any other questions. Will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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