Review Index:

Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview In A VirtualBox Virtual Machine

Author: Tim Verry
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Microsoft

Step 2: Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

This page will detail the installation of Windows 8 Consumer Preivew inside of the VirtualBox VM; however, the steps will also apply to those installing Windows 8 on bare hardware.

A.) Installation

In the Virtualbox VM list, right click on your virtual machine and chose the "Start" option. A new window will appear and the virtual computer will go through the boot up process. The VM should automatically boot from the Windows DVD (the ISO you mounted earlier). You will be presented with a beta fish image as the installer loads, as seen in the image below.

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Once the installer loads, the Windows Setup process will begin. The first screen prompts you for your language, time zone, and keyboard / input method.

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Then hit the Install Now button to begin the installation process.

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At this point, you will be prompted for a product key. This key can be found on the ISO download page. Interestingly, Microsoft has removed the option to continue with the installation without a product key (which would then need to be entered after installation). Type in the product key you noted earlier. For reference, at the time of writing, the product key is: "DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J." Now hit the "Next" button.

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The following screen is the typical Microsoft license agreement that requires acceptance to proceed. Read the EULA, hit the accept check box, and then hit "Next."

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After accepting the EULA, you are presented with the choice between an upgrade install or a custom install. For our purposes, we will be using the custom install option. Click on it to continue.

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On this screen, the Windows install presents you with a list of all detected hard drives. You should see a blank hard drive with the amount of storage you allocated. Select the blank drive and choose "Next."

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Windows will now start unpacking and installing the appropriate files. Once the process is completed, the VM will automatically restart.

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Your fresh install of Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now sitting on your hard drive and almost ready to be configured and played around with.

Continue on to the next page for the last remaining Windows setup steps that MS asks for before getting you to the Metro start screen.



March 6, 2012 | 06:32 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

As in, it's not seeing a hard drive to install it on? You'll need to power off the machine (close the VM window and it will prompt you, choose to power off), then go into the settings and make sure you have a hard drive attached in the Storage tab. Is there a hard drive attached? Let me know :)

March 15, 2012 | 11:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you have Windows 7, a better option would be to boot from a VHD with Win8 installed to it. It will give you a better idea of its performance and usability as it uses the physical hardware instead.

May 12, 2012 | 03:35 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

That's an interesting solution, I didn't know about that little Windows 7 feature. Thanks for sharing :).

March 22, 2012 | 08:42 PM - Posted by Rob (not verified)

No matter what I do, I can't assign more than 1250 MB to Win8 in VirtualBox - Any ideas? I have a 64 bit Windows7 on i7-2630QM CPU - it has 4 CPU's (8 total, but half are virual) and 6 GB ram. \\Any help appreciated!


May 12, 2012 | 03:31 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hmm strange, what version of VB are you running?

June 26, 2012 | 03:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Failed to open the CD/DVD image C:\Users\me\Downloads\Windows8-ReleasePreview-64bit-English.iso.

Could not get the storage format of the medium 'C:\Users\me\Downloads\Windows8-ReleasePreview-64bit-English.iso' (VERR_NOT_SUPPORTED).

Result Code: VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80BB0005)
Component: Medium
Interface: IMedium {53f9cc0c-e0fd-40a5-a404-a7a5272082cd}
Callee: IVirtualBox {c28be65f-1a8f-43b4-81f1-eb60cb516e66}

it wont allow my windows 8 IDE controller please help i really like the article by the way

June 29, 2012 | 04:29 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

hmm, does the IDE controller show up as installed correctly in your Windows Device Manager? What version of VirtualBox are you using? It seems like there are quite a few users with that error. If you have another drive, you might try putting the .iso on that. When exactly does it give you that error message?

February 2, 2013 | 12:30 AM - Posted by Thomas Sisson (not verified)

I have the same issue on Linux Ubuntu 12.10 using Oracle VirtualBox 4.2.6 which is the latest version. Microsoft does not give the MD5 string for the ISO, but I can mount the image and view the contents. It seems that all of the files are there. It is a UDF which I understand to be a subtype of disk image. I have heard that there are issues when opening that type of image. I am just conjecturing at this point and recalling what I have seen on the web. I would recommend anyone wishing to test drive Windows 8 before purchasing the full blown version, search for help on the Microsoft website.

For me, actually running Windows 8 is not a priority. I only wanted to actually try to run it. I'm sure I will see it soon enough at a computer lab somewhere.

September 21, 2012 | 05:10 AM - Posted by WIDW (not verified)

This is a good post. I wanted to install Windows 8 on my Windows 7 using a Virtual system (vmware or similar) and found a way. I saw a good article about "Install Windows 8 on VirtualBox -" and tried. It worked and still testing the OS.

Windows 8 has a nice interface but it will take some time for me to get familiar. When I start using Windows 8 over virtualbox I get confuse suddenly and searching for the START Button. Gosh there is no Start button anymore :(.

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