How To Install Windows 8 On VMware Virtual Machine

Previously, we showed you how to install Windows 8 from a USB flash drive without using CD/DVD. Since the current build of Windows 8 is still in pre-beta stage, some users are not yet ready to use Windows 8 as their primary OS.

Windows 8 Logo

So, if you don’t want to install Windows 8 on your primary machine, you can install and try it on a virtual machine software such as VMware Player, VirtualBox, and Windows Virtual PC.

Update: This guide works perfectly for Windows 8 with VMware 4.0 and above.

In this guide, we will show you how to install and run Windows 8 on VMware Player:

1. First of all, download and install VMware Player on your machine (supports XP, Vista, and Windows 7 as host machines).

2. Once installed, start VMware Player and click Create a New Virtual Machine option to launch New Virtual Machine Wizard.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player

3. Here, you have two options: install from a DVD or install from an ISO image file. As we have an ISO image of Windows 8, let’s select the second option Installer disc image file (iso) option.

 Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step2

Select Installer disc image file option and use the browse button to browse to the Windows 8 ISO image file. You might get “Could not detect which operating system is in this disc image” message.  Ignore the message and simply click Next button to continue.

4. In this step, select the operating system as Microsoft Windows and version as Windows 7. If you have a x64 version of Windows 8, please select Windows 7 x64 from the version dropdown menu.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step3

Note: The current version of VMware Player doesn’t officially support Windows 8. So, we are selecting Windows 7 as OS version.

Click Next button to proceed to the next step.

5. VMware allows you enter Windows product key, user name, and password so that you need not to enter these information while installing Windows 8. Enter product key and other details if you want to.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step4

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step41

You can also skip this step without entering any details. Click Next button.

6. Name your Windows 8 virtual machine and also select that location to save the virtual machine. Please select a location with enough free space (20 GB recommended).

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step5

7. Specify the disk space that you wan to allocate to the new virtual machine (20 GB recommended) and select Store virtual disk as a single file option. Click Next button to proceed to the last step.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step6

8. Finally click Finish button to create the new virtual machine. It will automatically start the Windows 8 installation.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step7

It might ask you to download and install VMware Tools during installation. Simply click Download and Install button, or Remind Me Later button to install it after installing Windows 8.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step8

9. Follow the on screen procedure to complete Windows 8 installation.

Install Windows 8 On VMware Player Step10



  1. Franco says

    To prevent the “can’t read product key” error you can go to machine preferences and delete the floopy unit. This occurs becase VMware is booting form a floppy that contains the unattended information. I have avoided that problem by this way but install fails because it has a problem with the disk.
    PD.: Sorry my english, it isn’t my native language.

  2. Rick says

    I get same unattended error cant read product key, even if i dont put one in for Win 8

  3. Carlos says

    The new BSOD show a message: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED
    I tried VMWare with a few different settings TOO… but the message is the same

    VMWare 3.1.4
    Win 7
    Intel HD Graphics
    2 RAM
    Intel i3
    Dell Laptop

  4. artman says

    I am getting a win8 error message “Windows cannot read the setting from the unattend answer file.
    It doesn’t matter if I enter correct serial number for developer’s preview or if I leave this blank..

  5. admin says

    It seems many Windows users are getting errors while trying install Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMware Player. Hope VMware will release a new version soon.

  6. Bryan says

    This is what i get in vm player vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1903 this is on a dell inspiron n7110 64 bit windows 7 with 4 gb of ram and i am trying to install the 64 bit versions of windows 8

  7. admin says

    It’s strange! I have been testing Windows 8 Developer Preview on VirtualBox and VMware (installation in progress) without any problems. Are you getting any error?

  8. Michael says

    Nice tutorial, but Windows 8 won’t install for me.

    I tried VMWare with a few different settings and it failed.
    I then tried virtual box, and once again it failed.

    How can I trust an operating system that can’t handle virtualization?

  9. Night2k5 says

    VMWare is detecting my Win8-Image as “Win7 x64” , how can i disable this detection to install it properly ?

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