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

UPDATE: You can now also use the built-in Hyper-V feature of Windows 8 and later to install any desired OS virtually without using any extra 3rd party virtualization software as mentioned in following tutorial:

[Tip] Install and Test Operating Systems Virtually in Windows Using Hyper-V

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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  • I have downloaded Oracle VM Virtual Box 4.2.6 and Windows 8 OS won't run or installs correctly. Maybe it works with 4.2.4 ,4.1.8 or 4.1.2. VBOX also don't supports Windows Aero (WDDM) in Win 7 or vista.

    However, VMware Player 5 or workstation 9 supports Windows 8 guests without any problem also supports Windows Aero (WDDM) in Win 7 or vista.

    My PC's configuration :
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 and windows 8 x86
    Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 2.1 Ghz CPU (2 logical & 2 cores)
    3 GB DDR2 RAM (8 GB Maximum)
    320 GB HDD
    1.35 GB GPU (128 MB dedicated) Intel GMA 4500m

  • ^^VG Windows 8 works great on VMware Player 5 & VMware Workstation 9.Supports Windows 8 without Virtualization capable processor. What about parallel Workstation 6 ?

  • VG Where have you got Google Android OS for virtualbox

  • VG

    ^^ This:

  • Thanks VG link worked. Would you please tell me where can I download google chrome os or chromium VG?

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

  • VG Windows 8 can also be installed on parallel Workstation 6 Extreme which works better than virtualbox 4.2.14. Your link for chrome os didn't provide any download link :-(

  • Hi, my computer got 32-bit Intel Pentium Dual-Core Inside 1.6 GHz and 3 GB of RAM. I'm installing in VirtualBox, and i have got a problem and i reboot and reboot and does not work.

  • hi

    i am installing FIFA 14 in my computer
    after few min.. the message come that
    unarc.dll error (what i should do this problem)

  • During installation i found an error that your processor must have 64-bit eventhough my processor is 64-bit i checked on my computer properties.....what should i do

  • Durgesh Windows 8.1 has specific requirements -- even though my CPU does support x64 (and can run up to Windows 8 x64) the x64 version of 8.1 BSODs.
    Note that my CPU is as old as 2004.

  • Which is the best option?
    1) VM
    2) upgrade from Win7 or 8
    3) clean install

  • VG

    ^^ If you want to test, then VM is the best choice. If you want to use as a primary OS, clean install the the best.

  • There is some other virtual machine software and that is Virtual PC 2007.

  • you guys are really great ...... !!!!!!!! thanks ya !

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