Here is a step-by-step tutorial showing off the process of installing and testing out Windows 8 in a virtual environment using my favorite free VMware Player. Since the product key and activation in Windows 8 is mandatory and automated, I am just using the 90-day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise as the test version.
What you need
The latest version of VMware Player. The version I use is 4.0.4 build-744019. You can download it from VMware website for free.
You will also need the Windows 8 ISO file, either the evaluation copy or the RTM copy you have. You don’t need to build it into a boot-able device. An ISO file is all you need. In this tutorial, I picked the 32-bit 90-day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise.
Create the Virtual Machine
Fire up VMware Player, and click Create a New Virtual Machine.
Select option “Installer disc image file (ISO)“, and pick up the ISO file through Browsing button. And click Next.
Select Microsoft Windows as the Guest OS, version Windows 7 from the dropdown list. And click Next.
Specify the name of the VM, and where to store it. And go Next.
Specify the disk capacity. I prefer “Store virtual disk as a single disk” with the maximum disk at 30G. You can definitely choose yours, as long as you’ve got enough space for the VM. And go Next.
And that’s it for setting up the VM. Time to fire it up. The installation starts automatically when the VM boots. Click Next when prompted to select the OS to install.
The rest of the process is pretty much all automated, though may take quite a bit time to finish.
The VMware Tools will be installed automatically after the installing of Windows 8 is finished. And not like previously, the VMware Tools work perfectly with Windows 8 that you can resizing the screen size smoothly to whichever you like.
That’s it. At this point, you’ve successfully got a working copy of Windows 8 in VM. To recap, here is the settings I use in this tutorial.
We’ve been testing Windows 8 in a virtual environment since Developer Preview, and we’ve been pretty disappointed all along until now. This is the best result I’ve seen so far how well and smoothly a Windows 8 machine running inside the virtual wall.
With seeing this in front of my eyes, I can safely claim that running Windows 8 in a virtual environment totally works.
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Last updated: 10/28/2014