VirtualBox is one of the finest free software available to install and try Windows on a virtual machine. Now that Windows 8 has made its way to the web, many of you might be interested in test driving the new OS without installing it on your primary machine.
You can easily install and test Windows 8 in virtual environment using free software such as VMware Player and Oracle VirtualBox. We have already covered how to install Windows 8 on VMware Player virtual machine. In this guide, we will show you how to install Windows 8 on VirtualBox virtual machine.
What you will need:
# Windows 8 installation ISO file
# Oracle VirtualBox software
# 20 GB free space on the host machine
Step 2: Run VirtualBox software to launch VirtualBox Manager.
Step 3: On VirtualBox Manager screen, click New button to launch Create New Virtual Machine wizard. Click Next button, enter a name for your new virtual machine, select operating system version as Windows 7 or Windows 7 (64-bit) from the drop down list (as Windows 8 is not officially supported yet), and then click Next button to proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Here, you need to select the amount of base memory that you want to allocate to your new virtual machine. Slide the bar towards to the right-side to increase the base memory. Please allocate at least 1 GB for your new virtual machine. Click Next to continue.
Step 5: In this step, you need to create a new virtual hard disk to install your new Windows 8 operating system. Simply select Boot Hard Disk and Create a new hard disk options and then click Next button to open Crate New Virtual Disk wizard.
Step 6: On Create New Virtual Disk wizard box, click Next button, select Dynamically expanding storage (the difference between Dynamically expanding storage and Fixed-size storage can been seen in the screenshot).
Select a storage type and click Next button to select the virtual disk location and size. Select the size of the virtual disk in MBs (we recommend 20 GB) and then select a location with enough free space to save the new virtual disk.
Click Next button and then click Finish button to complete the procedure.
Step 7: In the VirtualBox Manager, right-click on the new Windows 8 virtual machine name and select Settings. Under Settings, move to Storage tab, click on the CD/DVD icon to select Windows 8 ISO file as virtual CD/DVD drive. Here, under Storage Tree, click on the CD icon next to CD/DVD Drive and browse to Windows 8 ISO file. Click Ok button to select the ISO as virtual CD/DVD drive. Close the Settings box.
Step 8: You have just completed creating a virtual machine. In VirtualBox Manager, select the Windows 8 virtual machine entry and click Start button to start booting from the ISO file.
Step 9: Once you click the Start button, you will see Loading Files screen followed by Windows 8 boot screen. From here onwards, just follow the general Windows installation procedure to complete the installation. Good luck!
Note: Some pre-beta builds of Windows 8 might not work on VirtualBox.