With the help of desktop virtualization software VMware and VirtualBox, we can try the latest Windows 8 consumer preview OS easily. Microsoft has released Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 recently with revamping the features, more add-ons and development kits. This guide shows how to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on VMware workstation (applied to VMware Player too) with working VMware tools.
Windows 8 is having plenty of new features and well improved performance. The appearance and working technology look different. I’m sure this will be the correct time to test drive new Operating System from Microsoft without complicating your existing OS, I meant; no need to modify the boot loader to have dual boot. Having a Windows 8 virtual machine makes the experiment easy by working with your host and guest computers at same time.
To be able to install and run successfully, the following requirements should be met by physical computer.
1) Hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) enabled processor. VT should be enabled. Check our earlier guide how to enable VT on motherboard BIOS.
How to Start
I have downloaded 32 bit version. My physical computer OS is Windows 7 32 bit with VMware workstation 8.0.1.
2) Create a new virtual machine. Select ‘Typical’ and ‘I will Install the OS Later’ option on next screen.
3) On next screen, select Windows 7 ( or Windows 7 64 bit if you are going to install Windows 8 64 bit)
4) Set the Virtual machine name and location. Hard disk size can be anything more than 20GB. Customize additional hardware settings before powering on virtual machine. I have increased memory size to 2GB and configured 2 processor cores.
5) Mount the downloaded Windows 8 consumer preview ISO to CD/DVD drive of virtual machine.
6) Start the virtual machine and enter the below product key which is valid for consumer preview version as listed by Microsoft’s download page.
7) Once installation is completed and restarted, complete the initial setup steps.
If you do not have working Microsoft Live ID (Microsoft Account) or you are not sure about working internet connectivity inside virtual machine, you can select the Local Account option to login.
Next screen will be to setup the local user name and password.
You must be landing on working Windows 8 desktop after login.
Network and sound worked out of the box. I do not think that any additional setups required to make them work.
To get the better display experience and more screen resolution sizes including full screen feature of virtual machine, we need to install VMware tools on Windows 8 consumer preview.
Install VMware Tools on Windows 8 Consumer Preview
The built-in VMware tools for Windows 7 guest works fine on Windows 8 too. So installation is very simple and straight forward.
1) Once virtual machine is booted, go to ‘VM’ on the menu and select ‘Install VMware Tools’ option. The built-in ISO will be mounted inside virtual machine.
2) To access the mounted ISO, click ‘Desktop’ on Metro UI then Explorer or press (Windows key)WIN+E to open Explorer in Windows 8.
You should be seeing the VMware tools installation package as shown below.
3) Double-clicking or executing the setup file will start the installation. Restart the virtual machine after VMware tools installed successfully on Windows 8 consumer preview.
Here is the screen shot of Windows 8 with working VMware tools. The full screen view is enabled because of installed VM tools.
I’m sure you will have good time with Windows 8 as its having new features and appearance.
Stay tuned with Sysprobs for more guides and news on Windows 8.