How to Install Windows 8 in Virtual Box or VMware Workstation?

Whenever a new OS is released, most of the people first test it using a virtualization software like VMware Workstation, VirtualBox, Virtual PC, etc. If they like it, they install it on their hard disk and start using it as primary OS.

The same thing we are doing with recently released Windows 8 public testing build. We are testing it using Oracle VM VirtualBox and it works fine here.


Check out following video which contains a step-by-step demo to show you how to install Windows 8 in Virtual Box:

Today Microsoft has also posted a new topic at Building Windows 8 blog which describes why Windows 8 doesn't work in some famous virtualization software and which virtualization software you should use to test Windows 8.

Here is what the post says:

Virtual machine products allow you to run a guest OS on top of an existing host OS that runs natively on the physical machine. As many of you know, virtualization is a popular way to try out new operating system products since you don't have to dedicate a physical machine, add a spare disk, or repartition. To run the Windows 8 Developer Preview as a guest OS, you need a virtualization product that supports it.

Some virtualization products only provide a basic display driver that does not support the high performance graphics used in Windows 8. As a result, you get a noticeably slower, less responsive experience when compared with running the OS natively. The setup and configuration process can be complicated and error prone when running as a guest OS, especially if you are running it on older hardware that does not support built-in virtualization optimizations featured in the latest generations of Intel and AMD processors.

Windows 8 Developer Preview only came out a few days ago, so many of the virtualization products on the market have not yet been updated to work well with it. Microsoft is working closely with all of the major manufacturers of virtualization products to support Windows 8.


Following is a list of virtualization products which can be used to test Windows 8 without any problem:

  • Hyper-V in Windows 8
  • Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
  • VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows
  • VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows

And following virtualization products are not working to test Windows 8:

  • Microsoft Virtual PC (all versions)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server (all versions)
  • Windows 7 XP Mode
  • VMWare Workstation 7.x or older

In our opinion, VirtualBox is the best software at the moment to test Windows 8 and you can get it using following link:

Download VirtualBox to Test Windows 8

Also check out following video showing complete Windows 8 installation process in just 2 minutes:

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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