Install Windows® 8 on a Windows® 7 PC in a virtual environment
Microsoft has released the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 and the retail edition is likely to be unveiled in October 2012. If you want to try Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your Windows 7-based PC, it would be best to configure a dual boot system or install Windows 8 Consumer Preview using a utility that offers a virtual environment. If you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the earlier installation of the operating system will no longer be there. There are chances of a few bugs in the preview version as the operating system is still under development.
Here’s how you can install Windows 8 Consumer Preview through a virtual machine (VM) program on a Windows 7-based computer.
- First of all, you need to download an ISO file of a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview from here.
- Download and install a virtual machine software such as Oracle VM VirtualBox from this link.
- Now open Oracle VM VirtualBox and click ‘New’ at the top left.
- Click the ‘Next’ option in the wizard that opens.
- The ‘VM Name and OS Type’ page is displayed where you need to enter a name that includes the term Windows 8.
- Don’t change the default options that are shown by the wizard for creating the virtual disk.
- After the wizard finishes, the virtual machine icon will be shown. Double-click it.
- A message regarding the auto capture keyboard appears; clickÂ ‘OK’.
- You will be asked for the installation media when the First Run Wizard starts. Click the folder icon on the right and choose the Windows 8 ISO file that you downloaded.
- Click ‘Start’ to begin the installation.
- Choose ‘Custom’ on being prompted to select the type of installation.
By performing these steps, you will be able to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a virtual drive on a Windows 7 PC. Thus, you can run Windows 8 through Windows 7.
Here’s a demo of Windows 8 Consumer Preview: