Hands-on: Installing Windows 8 on VirtualBox

By Posted 21 Sep 2011, 14:17

A week ago we explained how you could dual-boot Windows 8 while running Windows 7. Now we thought we would offer you some guidance after our hands-on with installing the new developer OS using VirtualBox instead. This new operating system is a big test for Microsoft, as it will not be tied down to just the PC, but also laptops, tablets and even the Xbox 360. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. We need to warn you that using a virtualization is not the best way to test something, but at least it will give you some idea.

Windows 8 is meant to be all about speed and smoothness, but this will be lost when using VirtualBox – so don’t think that Microsoft has created another Vista. The new software will make full use of touchscreen, so again this will be lost in translation if you are using just a normal system. These next steps seem daunting, but will not take long for you to be up and running.

The first step is to download Windows 8 along with VirtualBox, then make certain that virtualization has been enabled in BIOS. Now that you are in VirtualBox you will need to create a new machine, so in our case we have chosen Windows 7. Now that you are ready to install you will want to create a virtual disk, just remember that you will need at least 20GB for this. Your virtual is now ready, so you will have to go to the settings to make a few minor tweaks.

In the Motherboard settings, which you will find under setting you need to enable IO APIC, then you will need to change the chipset to ICH9. There are now two settings that you will need to change under system, the first is to enable PAE/NX in the processor part and then change the video memory to 128MB. The final steps is to go to storage and select your virtual hard drive, in this case it is .vdi. You will now want to click on I/O cache and then mount W8 Developer Preview. Finally if your system is running IDE then make certain to change this to ICH6 IDE controller.

Now that these steps are done, all you need to do is run things as you would a standard Windows install. For those of you that need something a little more visual, check out the couple of videos below taken from different points of view.

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