How to Install Windows 8 in Virtual Machine

Install Windows 8Windows 8 is rolling in the market and you want to try it out? There can be nothing better than a virtual machine for testing a software product. Here’s how to free download Windows 8 and install it in a virtual machine for evaluation purpose, or if you like you can use it for regular purpose.

Downloading and installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine is no big task and if you follow this tutorial, you’ll be able to easily set up Windows 8. Then after, you can try it or start working in it as per your choice.

People are curious to try and use the new touch-enabled, Metro-styled Windows 8 and if you’re excited too, then you’re at the right place. Windows 8 is new and brings many stylish features – it’s designed to bring to you, a new experience in computing.

Let’s see how you can evaluate Windows 8 for free!

Download Windows 8

Windows 8 costs. Right? Wrong!

It won’t be legal then. Right? Wrong! (Yes, it costs but not to try.)

Microsoft has released an evaluation version of Windows 8 which anyone can download and use for 90 days without any limitations. Check this link and download the right platform version (32-bit or 64-bit) for you: Download Windows 8 Free Evaluation version

Download & Set up Virtual Machine

Virtual machines can be created using many different software – let’s use VirtualBox for the tutorial. Why this only? Because it’s free and work quite seamlessly. Check this link and set up a virtual machine: How to setup Virtual Machine using VirtualBox

Note: (a) In the last step of setting up Virtual Machine – ‘Bootable Installation Media’ – choose the downloaded Windows 8 Installation ISO file (that you downloaded in the first section) as the bootable optical media otherwise you won’t be able to install Windows 8.

(b) Don’t start the virtual machine even if it says so in setting up the virtual machine. You need to start the virtual machine in the next section.

Install Windows 8

You got the first two steps correctly but now is the big task – here’s how to install Windows 8.

  1. Start the virtual machine.
  2. I hope you selected the downloaded Windows 8 Installation ISO file as the bootable installation media (see the Note above).

(a) If Yes, then you’ll see the window as shown below.

(b) If No, then do it as following: Go to Devices menu of VirtualBox (in full screen mode, it’ll become visible when you hover your mouse near bottom-middle part of your computer’s screen) → CD/DVD DevicesChoose a virtual CD/DVD disk file… and choose the downloaded Windows 8 Installation ISO file, and then Reset the virtual machine by going to Machine menu → Reset (or press Host+R key combination for the same).Windows 8 Installer Boots

  1. After the Windows 8 Installer completes booting, you’ll see Windows Setup screen as shown below.Windows 8 Setup screen
  2. Click Next. You’ll see the Install Now button. Click on that button (alternatively, you can press I key for the same).Install Windows 8
  3. You’ll see a black screen showing the message ‘Setup is starting’ (see the bottom-middle of the screen).
  4. Microsoft is strict at license terms and want its users to abide by the terms. So, click on the checkbox labeled ‘I accept the license terms‘ (you can read the full license if you want, of course) and then press Next button.Accept Windows License
  5. Windows can be upgraded or installed fresh. Choose the type of installation to ‘Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)‘.Choose Installation type
  6. Choose the available drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space, in our case) and click Next button. Windows 8 will be installed in this drive.Choose Installation Drive
  7. Windows will start copying files, then installing files, and then completing rest of the process. Then after, it will restart the virtual machine.Windows 8 Installation begins
  8. At the restarting time, you’ll be asked ‘Press any key to boot from CD or DVD…’ – Don’t press any key at this time.
  9. Windows 8 will now boot on your virtual machine. Then it will show you a ‘Getting ready’ message.Windows 8 Getting Ready
  10. Windows 8 showcases new design and interface. On the Personalize screen, choose the color and your PC’s name (you can set it to anything of your wish).Windows 8 Personalize
  11. On the Settings screen, choose ‘Use express settings’ option (you are free to choose ‘Customize’ option and set configuration manually if you wish, of course.).
  12. On the Sign in to your PC screen, choose ‘Sign in without a Microsoft account’ option. On the next screen, choose ‘Local account’ option.
  13. On the next Sign in to your PC screen, enter user name, password and password hint. Then click on Finish button.Windows 8 Account
  14. Windows 8 now will be getting things ready for you.Windows 8 Getting Ready
  15. After it get things ready, it will present you with the Metro Screen.Windows 8 Metro Screen
  16. Congratulations! You’re done with the installation of Windows 8.


Note: Don’t forget to activate your evaluation copy of Windows 8 else it will expire in 10 days. Go to Control Panel → System and Security → Action Center → Activate Windows now.


Windows 8′s Installation process is not new but is quite alike that of Windows 7. Following above steps as given, you’ll be able to install Windows 8 easily without falling into troubles. I was able to install Windows 8 in half an hour by following above steps. Hope you’ll find it useful.


Do you like Windows 8?

Got any problem – Tell us.