[How To] Install Windows 8 Developer Preview in Virtual Machine

Windows 8 Start Screen
Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8, an answer from Microsoft to the rapid-growing Apple Inc. in personal computer (MacBook Air) and tablet market (iPad), finally has it’s Developer Preview released to the public. Since it is not even a beta release, it is definitely not recommended for a normal user to install it over the stable Windows Operating System. However, it is certainly interesting to test run the new Windows 8 Developer Preview, so to do this without causing any damage on your stable system is – Virtual Machine. Currently the Windows 8 Developer Preview can be easily install on Oracle VM VirtualBox only, not on the VMWare Player (do let me know if it is possible). Step-by-step guide to install Windows 8 in VirtualBox after the jump.

Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox


  1. Oracle VM VirtualBox
  2. Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO file (32-bit or 64-bit)
  3. Windows Live ID* (for best testing experience, sign up here if you doesn’t have one)
  4. Internet Connection*

*Nice to have, for best experience

Besides that, also make sure that your computer have the Virtualization Technology (VT-x/AMD-V) activated in the BIOS. Proceed to the installation if you are ready with everything.


1. Get the Oracle VM VirtualBox installed in your PC. (VMWare doesn’t seems to work, so I choose to user VirtualBox instead)

2. For setting up the Virtual Machine, use the following settings:

Summary of Virtual Machine

3. Below screenshots show all the settings I used for that Virtual Machine:




This part might be tricky. By default, the VDI file generated will be mounted as a SATA HDD. However, if it is treated as a SATA HDD, Windows 8 will not be able to initiate the installation and BSOD (A very cute one) occurs. So the workaround is to mount the VDI file under the IDE controller, this way Windows 8 Developer Preview install perfectly. Also under Storage, mount the ISO file containing Windows 8 Developer Preview.


4. Once everything is set, start installing Windows 8! The installation process is pretty much similar to the one in Windows 7, so nothing much there. When Windows 8 started up, you will need to enter your Windows Live ID and password.

Updated 15/09/2011:

5. Once you have successfully installed Windows 8, enable the native resolution of your monitor in Windows 8!

Good luck! If you can’t wait, I have includes a few screenshots of Windows 8 running in VirtualBox.



27 thoughts on “[How To] Install Windows 8 Developer Preview in Virtual Machine”

    1. Hi Jason,

      You are right. At the moment, I doesn’t seems to able to make it install properly into Windows 8, probably the compatibility isn’t there yet.


  1. I got mine to run at 1920x1080x32.

    Run (in Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox, if you’re on a PC)
    1. VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution any
    2. VBoxManage setextradata “VM name” “CustomVideoMode1″ “Widthxheigthxdepth”

    In this example the second command is
    VBoxManage setextradata “Windows 8 Developer Preview” “CustomVideoMode1″ “1920x1080x32”

    Once Windows starts, go into the control panel & select the 1920×1080 resolution

    1. Where do you find the data? I don’t exactly know where to find it and how to change it. Could you please explain in detail?

      1. Hi John,

        Thanks for the tips! This time I have make it work beautifully! Previously is about copy-paste issue. :/


    1. Hi Jason,

      Glad to know you made it running at the desired resolution, though for me I still failed to force it running at my monitor native resolution.


      1. I ran into the same issue as Mel… it keeps saying “Your computer needs to resart” during the installation process. This is right after the “Load files” bar completes and “Windows Developer Preview” pops up.

  2. It happens right after “Windows Developer Preview” is displayed on the screen. “Your computer needs to restart. Please press and hold the power button” then a bunch of 0x0(…)0A codes.

  3. Hey guys, please someone he me.

    I already used Windows 7. Now I changed to Windows 8.(Cleaned hard disk and fully installed) My previous screen resolution is 1280×720. But now I cant get it. Now 800×600. What do I do now ? please someone help me

    1. Hi,

      Windows 8 Developer Preview is not meant for daily-use yet as it is still in it’s very early stage of development, so it’s not surprising if there are some compatibility issue with it. I would suggest you go back to Windows 7 and play around WIndows 8 Dev Preview in another partition a.k.a dual boot configuration.


  4. i installed in vmware. while installing choose OS as ‘other’. but the problem here is i couldn’t accesses Internet, usb doesn’t support

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