Install Windows 8 Developer Preview on VirtualBox

If you would like to give your hands quick and dirty, and wish any kind of new OS will not become your primary OS, it’s always a good idea to give it a try on a Virtual Machine first if possible. Unfortunately, for this Developer Preview, which is just released today, the only solution that works is the Virtual Box. VMware Workstation maybe work as well but we haven’t tried, as it’s not a free solution. The reason might be because this Windows 8 version requires IO APIC enabled to run on VMs, and that only VirtualBox got this feature in the program. However, make sure you download the latest version of VirtualBox 4.1.2.

***UPDATE*** be sure to checkout the updated list of what’s working and what’s not working on Installing Windows 8 as Virtual Machine.

Let’s begin Install Windows 8 Developer Preview inside VirtualBox on Windows 7

Assuming you’ve already downloaded the Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO and installed VirtualBox on your machine.

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First fire up VirtualBox, Click “New”


Now follow the Wizard, and Click “Next”


Here you want to make sure select “Other Windows” as the Version


Give it a 2GB of RAM (more if you wish)


Select “Create new hard disk” and make sure “Start-up Disk” is checked


And it’s always a good idea to select the native “VDI” format for VirtualBox


It’s also a good idea to make the disk “Dynamically allocated”


Give it enough hard drive space for your own needs, you can always change this number later


Create the new Virtual Disk. And Go ahead power on the new VM. You will see the below Wizard after first power on.


Click “next”


It’s here make sure you select the Media Source to be the ISO image that you’ve just downloaded.


Now let the Windows 8 fly in the Virtual world.


Very soon you will see this License term agreement. Accept whatever Microsoft wants you to accept,  at this point why even bother


Here the first Windows Metro UI will let you set the machine name, give it a good name for this new Windows 8 baby


And yeah, “Use express settings” at this point really, I don’t even know what to Customize


Now this is new to Windows 8, every machine, every user will need to use Windows Live ID to log-in into the machine. This way your new Windows 8 is now tight together with the cloud, and will be the foundation for many of the future apps to work.


Enter your live ID and password.


And here you are ! It knows your name !


And this is what you will see after the first login.

Enjoy discovering your new Windows 8.

Bonus: quick tip for starters, press the “Windows” key to launch and toggle the Metro UI.

[Update on Spet. 16, 2011]

Check this post for how to add additional screen resolution that is not listed in the virtual machine.

Related posts:

  1. Running Windows 8 Developer Preview as Virtual Machine on Windows 7, What's Working & What's not
  2. Installing Windows 8 in A Virtual Environment With Oracle VirtualBox
  3. Installing Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMware Player in Windows 7
  4. Running Windows 8 on VirtualBox with Additional Wide Screen Resolution
  5. How to Upgrade Windows 8 Consumer Preview from Developer Preview
  • markusdevine

    I keep getting (your computer needs to restart) after the Developers Preview screen. Any ideas?

    • Học Nguyễn

      The same problem to me.

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  • Rom

    For a working LAN, in advanced configuration lan, put card typa : Ontel PRO /1000 MT Desktop.

    For the sound use windows direct sound and Intel Audio HD

    • Marco

      these settings for network adapter does not seem to work for me. Do you have any other suggestions for me? thank you very much

    • Rafael

      your real device is Intel PRO /1000 MT Desktop? or it is the device emulated for the virtual box?

      i tried to put this device, but it won’t worked..

      my real device is Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller but it won’t work too

      have ant idea to it works?


  • George Birbilis

    there’s also way to boot from VHD file Win8 parallel to Win7, Scott Hanselman has article on that. Also it should work on Hyper-V at Windows Server

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  • Anastasios-Antonios Toulkeridis

    Please help! The solution is not working, the virtual machines boots and displays an error that my computer does not have a 64-bit processor (that is not true, i’m running windows 7 64-bit).
    I found this article but they give no solution:

    • Heaven

      Your cpu and motherboard must support virtualization and you need to activate VT-x/AMD-V virtualization or something like that in your bios.

    • Joe

      Same error here…

  • LiShaolan

    Thanks for this !
    The only problem I’m having is the drivers… For me Virtual Box doesn’t set up my Sound, Screen and Network in Windows Dev Preview (it’s the Windows basic drivers in Device Manager). How to make that work as you have ?

  • Jason Kallelis

    Thanks for the guide! I don’t suppose you’ve figured out a way to install VirtualBox guest additions? I keep getting told that it doesn’t support this version of Windows.

    • Jonathan

      you’re right Install Guest Additions not working, no native screen resolutions at this moment

      • Tobias

        You need to run the guest addtions in compatibility mode with win7 selected. Then it will work!

  • utikalm

    doesn’t work on lenovo t500. error right after boot, both 64 and 32. bios enabled.

  • Salman

    After the ‘Personalization’ step, I am getting a black screen – no display :(

    Tried changing the display settings with no luck…

  • Pille1

    The same problem on 32 bits image

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  • Brian

    I had to explicitly enable the IO APIC setting before it would boot. Settings -> System, Extended Features – Enable IO APIC checkbox. I believe it’s the lack of this very feature that made Virtual PC 2007 not work and which drove me to VirtualBox.

  • Shawn Mclean

    I got the developer preview to install with enabling PAE/NX in Processor settings. I wrote a short set of instructions here:

  • Pingback: How To Install and Run Windows 8 Developer Preview on VM on Windows 7 | Windows7hacker « Aero Digital Life

  • Brandon

    I kept getting an error on install until I changed the chipset to ICH9. Now it is working.

  • karz


    Sorry for caps, I had this problem too and took a sec to fix it. but that was the fix and i just want people to see it! lol.

  • Pierre-Louis


    In VMware, open the settings for the virtual machine, go to system tab, motherboard, and change “CHIPSET” to ICH9, also enable IO APIC.

    Your welcome :D Worked like a charm

    • Frank

      i have wmware workstation 7.1 and i do not see “system, motherboard” anywhere. where are you finding this?

  • Fantasma25

    Anybody knows how to set up a 16:9 or a 16:10 resolution? I´m running Windows 8 x86 and everything works fine but the resulution. I can only set it up on sqare sesolutions.

  • Darshan

    i was getting same error then i changed CPU to 2 processors and it worked for me. try to delete it and create new then change to 2 processors.

    now i have different problem, i can’t click on tiles to open that app only some tiles work for some reason

    • Roxy

      I am having this issue too. I installed Windows 8 on a Lenovo Ideapad and while it mostly functions, I can’t click or tap to open applications.

      • Kent

        You may want to try the VHD native boot on your ideapad to experience the native windows 8. It works better and doesn’t compromise your current Windows 7 installation at all.


  • Jay-Z

    Hi I am installing Windows 8 developer 64 bith on i5 Windows 7 64 bit 4 GB RAm, everthing goes through when I hit Install Windows 8 after first screen I get drivers error and i get option to browse to select drivers but it does not search anything and I cannot install Windows 8

    • RX

      I am having exactly the same problem. I click install now and it brings up the installer windows and then an error message.

      Load Driver

      A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

      Note: If the windows installation media is in th CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.


    • florek

      Same for me. Any suggestions? Any one?

  • Matthew

    I’m getting the following error message:

    VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration has been enabled, but is not operational. Your 64-bit guest will fail to detect a 64-bit CPU and will not be able to boot.
    Please ensure that you have enabled VT-x/AMD-V properly in the BIOS of your host computer.

    What does this mean? How do I fix this? I have a 64-bit system with a i5-2410M processor, which supports VT-x.

  • Lorenço

    You nedd to choose
    OS Type: Operating System- Microsoft Windows and MOST important VERSION – Windows 7 64 bit. Then at least 1.8 GB memory and 50 GB HD.

    Check my blog gonna post some videos(three) parts running the entire instalation.

  • Jonas

    Always get blank screen after boot and can’t see anything. I’m using win8 32 bit on virtualbox 64bit.

  • TulTang

    Using VHD Native Boot.

  • Arpan

    Just installed windows 8 32bit,can’t install intel graphics

  • Faadi

    This is the awesome guideline for installing Window 8. Thank You..

  • Shane Thompson

    I managed to get my 32 bit iso working after this:

    It was posted above, however I just want to re-enforce it.

  • Carol

    You say 8 *MIGHT* work on VmWare’s pay-version.
    Then you say it can’t due to IO APIC.

    Then you say *NOTHING* about it working (or not working) on VmWare’s free version.

    Great “info”.

  • Reber kaka

    i have a problem and this is error… [[ VT/AMD-V hhardware acceleration is not on your system. certain guests(e.g. OS/2 and QNX)require this feature and will fail to boot without it.]]]
    ….please someone help me how i can solve this problem

  • Jeff

    It doesn’t recognize a harddrive to install windows on

  • Kiran


    Thanks for the


    I am getting
    following error when I am starting the newly setup VirtualBox::


    hardware acceleration is not available on your system. Certain guests (e.g.
    OS/2 and QNX) require this feature and will fail to boot without it.


    > System -> Acceleration tab is disabled in my


    OS on my machine is
    Windows – 7 Ultimate (32 Bit)



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  • Win8

    I am getting the same error. I tried lots of ways but not working.

    any suggestion

  • Jordan

    Are you using the 32-bit or 64-bit ISO? I’m getting the same problem with 32-bit, although I can’t try the 64-bit yet. I have a feeling only the 64 bit works in a virtual environment.

  • Murtaza

    same problem

  • timbo

    I had to change the Chipset to ICH9 and the IDE to ICH6. This seemed to work.

  • Michael Beatty

    Glad I read the comments :)
    Isn’t this a big enough issue that it should have been put in the body of the article. At any rate I can now install it. Thanks!!

  • Maxime C.

    Indeed timbo. I had the same problem, works for me now, thanks for the tips.

  • Jaron

    That worked. Thanks for the tip.

  • Foobar

    Tried that but it didn’t work.

  • Matt

    Thanks – the instructions on that site worked a treat

  • Donald Iljazi

    Enable EFI.