Last week Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, rather than installing the preview onto any of my existing hardware I decided to give it a go on VMware Workstation 8 before trusting it to a dedicated machine.
As this is pre-release software Microsoft advise that there may well be bugs and application compatibility issues (another reason to give it a go on a VM) but generally speaking and after experiencing the Windows 7 preview when that released I am sure that this will be fairly straight forward (the Customer Preview can generally be viewed as a RC with this being close to what the RTM release would look like (unless there are some very serious bugs discovered during testing of this release)).
The recommended specs for running the Windows 8 Customer Preview are :-
1 GHz or faster processor
1 GB RAM for the 32-bit release or 2 GB RAM for the 64-bit release
16 GB available hard disk space for 32-bit or 20 GB for the 64-bit
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview can be downloaded free from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/consumer-preview or via your Technet or MSDN subscriptions.
Follow the step by step process below to successfully install the Windows 8 customer preview on VMware Workstation 8.
Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Run VMware Workstation 8 and click on the Create a New Virtual Machine
Choose Typical and click Next
Browse to the location of the ISO file and click Next
Choose Microsoft Windows and Windows 7, click Next
At this stage it’s a moot point to use the serial as there is a minor bug that causes the installation to fail if you try and use do unattended
Name the VM and click Next
Choose your disk size, I left this as default, click Next
This was the error I mentioned earlier, it’s a simple fix but first you need to power down the VM.
Click on the Edit Virtual Machine Settings tab
Browse down to the floppy drive
Click the Connect at power on button so that it’s empty, click OK
Start up the VM and go through the setup process again
Choose your default language settings
In my case it’s English (United Kingdom), click Next
Click Install now
Enter the product key here.
Read through the License terms, you never know MS may well be giving away $10,000 to the first 100 people who actually bother to read them
Click I accept the license terms button and click Next
Choose your installation type
Choose the disk you want to install the OS on to, click Next
Name your PC, note the restrictions in orange above, click Next
Click Use express settings
If you have a Windows Live ID use that to log in to your PC, click Next
Type your Live ID password here, click Next
Enter the required information here, doing this correctly will mean you get three SMS messages sent to your phone, click Next
Hey presto, the installation completes successfully.
One word of caution when proceeding beyond this point, VMware advise that instead of allowing the VMware Tools installation to install the SVGA drivers you should actually customise the installation and not install them, allow the OS to just install it’s own preferred driver as installing the VMware SVGA driver can cause issues (the same thing has occurred previously with Windows 7 so it’s not entirely new).