VirtualBox - Install Windows 8

How to Install Windows 8 and 8.1 in VirtualBox

information   Information
This will show you how to install either the 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) version of Windows 8 and 8.1 in the free program VirtualBox.

For FAQs and more information about VirtualBox, see: End-user_documentation - VirtualBox

Note   Note
In order to run VirtualBox on your machine, you need:
  • Reasonably powerful x86 hardware. Any recent Intel or AMD processor should do.
  • Memory. Depending on what guest operating systems you want to run, you will need at least 512 MB of RAM (but probably more, and the more the better). Basically, you will need whatever your host operating system needs to run comfortably, plus the amount that the guest operating system needs. So, if you want to run Windows XP on Windows XP, you probably won't enjoy the experience much with less than 1 GB of RAM. If you want to try out Windows Vista in a guest, it will refuse to install if it is given less than 512 MB RAM, so you'll need that for the guest alone, plus the memory your operating system normally needs.
  • Hard disk space. While VirtualBox itself is very lean (a typical installation will only need about 30 MB of hard disk space), the virtual machines will require fairly huge files on disk to represent their own hard disk storage. So, to install Windows XP, for example, you will need a file that will easily grow to several GB in size.
  • A supported host operating system (your computer). Presently, VirtualBox supports Windows (XP and later), many Linux distributions, Mac OS X, Solaris and OpenSolaris.
  • A supported guest operating system (virtual machine). Besides the user manual (see below), up-to-date information is available at "Status: Guest OSes".
warning   Warning
64-bit guests Requirements:
VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest (virtual machine) operating systems, even on 32-bit host (your computer) operating systems, provided that the following conditions below are met. See page 166 in manual.
  • You need a 64-bit processor (CPU) with hardware virtualization support.
  • You must enable hardware virtualization in your motherboard's BIOS settings.
  • If you want to use 64-bit guest support on a 32-bit host operating system, you must also select a 64-bit operating system for the particular VM. Since supporting 64 bits on 32-bit hosts incurs additional overhead, VirtualBox only enables this support upon explicit request.
On 64-bit hosts (which typically come with hardware virtualization support), 64-bit guest operating systems are always supported regardless of settings, so you can simply install a 64-bit operating system in the guest.



Here's How:

1. If you have not already, then you will need the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8 or 8.1 ISO file version you want, and save it to your desktop (ex: Windows 7 or Vista).

2. If you have not already, download and install the latest version of VirtualBox (Windows hosts), download and install the VM VirtualBox Extension Pack (All platforms), then run VirtualBox. (see screenshot below)
VB.jpg

3. In the left side of the toolbar, click/tap on the New button. (see screenshot below)
VB-1.jpg

4. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
VB-2.jpg

5. Type in a name (ex: Windows 8) for the virtual machine, select Windows 8/8.1 if have a 32-bit ISO (step 1) or Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit) if you have a 64-bit ISO, then click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)
VB-3A.jpgVB-3B.jpg

6. Select or type in how much of your computer's RAM (1024MB = 1GB) you would like for the virtual machine to use when it's running, then click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: I would recommend to use at minimum 1GB. Ideally, 3GB for 32-bit and 4GB for 64-bit would be the sweet spot if you have plenty of RAM (ex: 8GB+) installed on your computer and can spare it to be used by the virtual machine.
VB-4.jpg

7. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
VB-5.jpg

8. Select (dot) VHD, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
VB-6.jpg

9. Select (dot) Dynamically allocated, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You could use either fixed or dynamic, but I would recommend using dynamic to help save HDD space.
VB-7.jpg

10. Select how large you would like the VHD file to be, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: The default size is 20 GB, and is fine if you are not going to be installing a lot on the virtual machine. For 64-bit, you might use 25 GB instead since 64-bit uses a bit more space.
VB-8.jpg

11. Click/tap on Create. (see screenshot below)
Vb-9.jpg

12. Click/tap on Create. (see screenshot below)
VB-10.jpg

13. In the left pane, double click/tap on the new virtual machine (ex: Windows 8). (see screenshot below)
VB-11.jpg

14. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
VB-12.jpg

15. Click/tap on the browse folder icon, select the downloaded ISO from step 1, click/tap on Open, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)
VB-13A.jpgVB-13B.jpg

16. Click/tap on Start. (see screenshot below)
VB-14.jpg

17. Now, you will just need to finish installing Windows 8. (see screenshot below)
VB-15.jpg

18. When you are finished installing Windows 8, click/tap on Devices on the VirtualBox menu bar, and Install Guest Additions. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-1.jpg

19. When the new CD drive notification pops-up at the top right corner, click/tap on it to open AutoPlay. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-2.jpg

20. Click/tap on the Run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe option. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-3.jpg

21. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-4A.jpg

22. Run the VBoxWindowsAdditions-amd64.exe (64-bit) or VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe (32-bit) file that you selected in step 21 that is the same as the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 8 ISO you are using, then click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-4.jpg

23. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-5.jpg

24. Click/tap on Install. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-6.jpg

25. When prompted twice, click/tap on Install each time. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-4B.jpg

26. When finished, select (dot) Reboot now, and click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)
Guest_Additions-7.jpg


That's it,
Shawn


 

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Last edited:

antares

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I have VirtualBox installed in a Windows XP 32bit OS machine with a 32bit CPU (old Pentium 4). Can I install Windows 8 (32bit) in the Virtual Box? Thanks

Hello Antares, and welcome to Eight Forums.

Yes, you should be able to. :)

Don't forget Shawn that there is a problem with guest additions with W8CP 32-bt in Virtualbox so it won't run very well.

The reason for my post is that I was unable to install it, the installation halts with a frozen screen right from the start (a fish inside a pond with bubbles) and after a while a BSOD shows up with the following message:

Windows Recovery Environment
Your PC needs to be repaired
An unexpected error has occurred.
Error code: Oxc0000260
You'll need to use the recover/ tools on your installation media. If you don't have any installation media (like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer.
Press Enter to try again
Press F8 for alternate boot options


If I press ENTER or F8 it won't do anything, just show the same BSOD.
 
Last edited:

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whs

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That seems to be a Windows 8 installer special. I had this problem too - both when trying to install in vBox and also when I used a partition. But after a few tries the fish unfroze.
 

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whs

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Here is an interesting WEI comparison of Win8 in Virtual Box and Win7 native

2012-03-02_1802.png




2012-03-02_2140.png
 

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whs

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The ones in the red frames are only warnings - no error messages. I got those too but my system works perfectly.

The blue stuff is a bit more serious. There was apparently a problem with your virtual machine. How much RAM and dynamic disk space did you give it. I gave mine 3GB of RAM and 25GB disk space - would have liked more but my 60GB SSD has only so much room.
 

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Infinite

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The ones in the red frames are only warnings - no error messages. I got those too but my system works perfectly.

The blue stuff is a bit more serious. There was apparently a problem with your virtual machine. How much RAM and dynamic disk space did you give it. I gave mine 3GB of RAM and 25GB disk space - would have liked more but my 60GB SSD has only so much room.

I gave it 2GB of RAM with my system running 4GB even though my system actually has 8GB :(. I allocated 40GB of disk space.
 

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whs

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So are you up and running now or are you still stuck. I am not sure how to interpret your "Edit" in your previous post.
 

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Yes it is running since when I edited the post linking the solution.
 

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mickey megabyte

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thanks shawn, i'm a complete virtualisation virgin, so it's good to see that you are carrying on your tradition of excellence with this new OS!

now it's time to play with this puppy...
 

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Brink

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Have fun Mickey. :)
 

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Update:

I had no issues installing the latest VirtualBox 4.1.10 guest additions with the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a 64-bit Windows 7 with default settings. :)
 

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kado897

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I had a problem. It automatically installed the experimental 3D WDDM driver which cause my VM to to freeze before the logon screen. The 3D driver was autochecked and greyed so I could not deselect it. The workaround was, immediately after the install before the reboot, to go into device manager and uninstall the WDDM driver.
 

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whs

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I had problems with the latest VirtualBox 4.1.10 guest additions. They just did not install. But since my vBox works flawlessly, I did not persue it.
 

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kado897

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I had a problem. It automatically installed the experimental 3D WDDM driver which cause my VM to to freeze before the logon screen. The 3D driver was autochecked and greyed so I could not deselect it. The workaround was, immediately after the install before the reboot, to go into device manager and uninstall the WDDM driver.

In the VirtualBox Forum, Win 8 thread. Several people have had this problem and the devs are working on it.
 

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DJC

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When we run Windows 8 CP via VirtualBox and after some time we want to shut them down, we must shut down Windows 8 first and then close the virtualbox or just the Virtualbox?
 

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kado897

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Shut down Windows 8 just as you would if it were on a real PC otherwise you could have problems with Windows 8.
 

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whs

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The vBox window you can shut down as soon as Windows is launched. It is only needed for start.
 

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kado897

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but you should not manually shut down the guest window. You should shut down Windows 8 which will then close that window..
 

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