As promised, I’m going to take you through how to configure a VM in VirtualBox to get the developer preview of Windows 8 up and running.
The first thing you need to do after opening Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager is click on the “New” button which kicks of the “New Virtual Machine Wizard”.
The first screen is a welcome screen, nothing to see here so just click “Next”.
Next up you get the chance to name your new VM. I’ve just called mine Win8 but you can use any descriptive name you fancy. Importantly, you’ll need to choose “Microsoft Windows” as the OS and “Windows 7” as the version (do not choose “Other Windows”).
When configured, click “Next”.
On the next screen you’ll need to set the amount of RAM for the VM. I have 12GB of RAM in my computer so I have a bit of breathing room but 2GB is sufficient provided you have enough RAM in your computer. If you have 4GB or RAM or less you might want to try a lower allocation instead (perhaps 1GB).
When configured, click “Next”.
Next up we’ll need to start configuring the virtual hard disk for the VM. On this screen we want to go with the default settings above then click “Next”.
You’ll then get a choice of the various virtual hard disk formats in use these days. Just stick with VDI (which is the default) and click “Next”.
On the next screen you’ll have the choice between a “dynamically allocated” or “fixed size” virtual hard disk. For the purposes of this exercise just leave it set to “dynamically allocated”. This option will only expand the virtual hard disk file as additional space is required up the the limit specified on the next screen. In contrast, a “fixed size” virtual hard disk file is fully allocated on your physical hard drive at the point of creation (even if nothing is contained in the virtual hard disk).
In this screen, you can specify the location of your virtual hard disk file and its size. 20GB should be plenty for testing Windows 8 but you might like to choose where your virtual hard disk file is created if your system drive is small (like mine which is on my SSD).
Click “Next” once configured.
Finally, you’ll get to a summary screen with information about the virtual disk. Click “Create” when ready (I had already clicked it when I took this screenshot which is why it is greyed out).
The final setup screen completes the VM creation process, Click “Create” to finish off the process.
You’ll then see you brand new VM in VirtualBox but we do need to update a few settings that can cause problems with Windows 8. Click on “Settings” up the top to kick things off.
We’ll need to click on “Display” on the left hand side once the Settings window appears. Then we’ll need to tick “Enable 3D Acceleration” and “Enable 2D Video Acceleration”. After that, you can crank up the video memory to 256MB.
We’ll then need to click on “Network” to update some settings.
Under “Adapter 1” we want to use a “Bridged Adapter” instead of “NAT” in the first dropdown menu. Then, expand out the “Advanced” section by click on the adjacent blue triangle. You’ll want to make sure that “Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM)” is selected as the “Adapter Type”.
Once done, click “OK”.
So now, you have a VM ready to install Windows 8. Tomorrow, I’ll take you through the process of the Windows 8 developer preview installation.