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.



  1. 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”.

  2. 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

  3. Hi,

    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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