Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been launched by Microsoft. If you want to have a hands-on experience of working on the Metro interface of the new operating system, just download and install it. But wait, are you sure whether your Windows 7 PC meets the hardware requirements for Windows 8 Consumer Preview? And do you know how to install Windows 8? Well, here we offer all the information to answer your queries.
What are the minimum hardware requirements to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
If your computer has the hardware that is compatible with Windows 7, you need not worry about the system configuration that is needed for Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
The minimum hardware requirements to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview are as follows:
- 1 GHz or faster processor.
- RAM: 1GB for the 32-bit version and 2GB for the 64-bit version.
- At least 16 GB free hard disk space for the 32-bit OS or 20 GB for the 64-bit OS.
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.
- Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.
- For using the ‘Snap’ feature, minimum screen resolution should be 1366x768.
- For using the touch interface features, a multi-touch laptop, tablet, or display is needed.
What’s the best way to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview – upgrade existing Windows 7 installation or dual boot with Windows 7?
If your PC is compatible with Windows 8, you are good to go ahead and install the OS. But you need to make an important decision about whether you want to upgrade your existing Windows 7 installation or set up a dual boot system. If you upgrade the present Windows 7 installation, the PC will boot with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Windows 7 will no longer be there. Moreover, you won't be able to downgrade back to Windows 7 without a full reinstall. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is not the final release; it’s something to which Microsoft will make some changes before the final retail version is launched. There is a possibility of users encountering bugs. So, setting up a dual boot PC with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview is preferable.
From where to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview can be downloaded from this official link of Microsoft. You need to enter your e-mail ID and the country you are in to start the download. Windows 8 Consumer Preview set-up will check if your PC can run the operating system. Depending on your system’s configuration, the set-up file will select the right download version. If your PC has Windows 7 or Windows Vista, there are built-in tools for creating an ISO or bootable flash drive. To configure a dual boot system, you can download an ISO image of Windows 8 Consumer Preview from here. Don’t forget to note down the product key. Now burn the ISO image to a DVD using Windows Disc Image Burner. The instructions for burning the ISO to a DVD are given here.
How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview to set up a dual boot system with Windows 7?
Create a New Partition for Windows 8 Consumer Preview
- As a precaution, backup all your data. If anything goes wrong during the installation process, you can always use the backup.
- Make sure that there is minimum 20GB free hard disk space for Windows 8.
- From the ‘Start’ menu, right click on the ‘Computer’ option.
- Now click ‘Manage’, and in the dialog box, click on ‘Disk Management’.
- Locate your system hard disk in the list shown in the pane at the bottom.
- Right-click on it and then click ‘Shrink Volume’. Shrink it down so you have 20GB of space left on the drive. Click ‘OK’.
- Now click on the ‘Unallocated’ block of that drive and click ‘New Simple Volume’.
- A new set-up tool will open. Keep clicking ‘Next’, and when the ‘Format Partition’ window appears, enter a volume label such as Windows 8.
- Click ‘Next’. The drive will now be formatted.
Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview
- Load the installation media (CD/DVD or USB drive with ISO of Windows 8 Consumer Preview), make sure your computer is set to boot from CD/DVD or USB, and reboot your PC.
- When you’re asked to "Press any key to boot from DVD", press a key. This will boot the system into the Windows 8 installer.
- Select the language and time, click ‘Next’ and then click ‘Install Now’. Now you will be prompted to enter the product key and accept the license terms.
- Select ‘Custom’ when asked what type of installation has to be done.
- The setup will now prompt you for the location where Windows 8 has to be installed. Locate your new partition on the list of drives.
- Click ‘Next’ and the installation will begin. During this process, the PC will reboot several times.
- When the installation is done, your computer should reboot into Windows 8.
- Whenever you boot your PC, you’ll be presented with a boot menu from where you can select between Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
So, now you are ready to enjoy the slick Metro interface of Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your Windows 7 PC.
Watch this Windows 8 Consumer Preview demo video presented by Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management, Windows User Experience: