Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Win 8.1 Preview VM (Free & Pre-configured) from Microsoft

  1. #1


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10

    Win 8.1 Preview VM (Free & Pre-configured) from Microsoft


    I hope this may be useful to someone.

    There's an interesting detail hidden away in this News thread announcing IE 11 Developer Preview

    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Oddball View Post
    Today, we are also updating our popular modern.ie site with new tools that help reduce the stress and time commitment for testing and building interoperable sites:
    • We are providing new VM images for IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, so developers can test their sites on their Mac, Linux, or Windows device.
    There's more some info on this Windows blog page announcing the updates.

    Although the site is intended for testing browsers, I think it means that if you just want to have a quick test of Windows 8.1 (rather than installing it properly), and you have one of the popular Virtualisation hosts, you can download a pre-configured virtual machine running Windows 8.1, free from Microsoft and just run it with very little setup.

    The licence only allows testing and non-commercial use, and I believe it will expire after 30 days (but you can extend to 90 days by re-arming it).

    It's possible the Win 8.1 install is feature-limited. However this blog post suggests they're full Windows installs and 'not crippled in any way'.

    I've used the Windows XP VM from this site with the free VirtualBox and it seemed to work pretty easily. Annoyingly though, the old laptop which I use for this kind of playing is so old that it lacks some essential processor feature which is required to run Windows 8.1 virtually, so I haven't been able to verify for myself that 8.1 works.

    It may be useful to someone though...

    The VMs are here: Cross-browser testing simplified | Testing made easier in Internet Explorer | modern.IE

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    Doesn't say whether it's X-64 or the 32 bit version though -- would be nice to get this info BEFORE download (unless choice is available when the VM is set up on your machine).
    Downloading for a quick test -- will use the VMware version -- I'll see what happens as I have very fast download time.

    To save opening a separate PDF document to get the password and user account it's as follows

    IEUser
    Passw0rd!

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    On the VMPlayer version, it's 32-bit and licensed until 15 January 2014...Click image for larger version


    I am not sure about the rearming though - there are 999 rearms available. I think if you wish to continue "evaluating IE 11 on 8.1" after that date, you will need to revisit the Modern.IE - test across browsers virtualization page again and download a new VM. Still, it only takes a few minutes compared to a full reinstall.

    It is also a good, though temporary, solution for those people who want to try or use "XP-Mode" on Windows 8 or any version of Windows in-between.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Thanks for taking a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafhrd View Post
    I am not sure about the rearming though - there are 999 rearms available. I think if you wish to continue "evaluating IE 11 on 8.1" after that date, you will need to revisit the Modern.IE - test across browsers virtualization page again and download a new VM. Still, it only takes a few minutes compared to a full reinstall.
    Maybe the 999 rearms is because the 8.1 Preview version can be evaluated by everyone without buying a licence anyway?

    My bet is that sooner or later (and it could be any time, now that 8.1 RTM is 'out there') the Preview will be replaced by the 8.1 RTM and have the same sort of rearm policy as the XP/Vista/7 versions on that site.

    I've found these VMs pretty useful if I want to test something on a different version of Windows.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    I don't know David, but my full Windows 8 Upgrade from last October also has 1000 rearms, as did the Windows 8 DP and CP versions, if I remember correctly - it's unlike the rearm facility in previous versions of Windows, where you only got 3 or 4 more chances.

    I am just loading the 8.1 RTM into VMWare Player to see what that looks like. I have just discovered that you can still use a local log on, without giving an email to the setup program, by starting to sign up for a new email, but selecting sign on without using an email account from that screen. Now the wait while the screen turns every shade of colour it can.

    Click image for larger version

    No, it is still 1000 rearms in the leaked retail RTM version, but it took much longer to create the VM from the setup .iso.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Annoyingly, the IE 10 Windows 8 test VM is 64-bit, and just needs a bit more memory than I can afford to give it in a VM.

    Sorry about that, it seems that VMWare player has a problem with this VM. It would not restart with an internal error, so I downloaded it again with the same result.
    I have downloaded the hyperV .vhd, and it is clearly 32-bit. I will try hyper v with that. It's a bit of a mess with HyperV not coexisting with VMWare.

    Another question - why is the vmware USB arbitration process persistent, even when VMWare is no longer running (vmware-usbarbitrator64.exe) - even when the process is forced to end, several times, it just restarts.

    It got even strangerer than that - none of my VMs worked, and I had to reinstall VMPlayer. Spmehow I had completely screwed it up, just by trying to install 3 different versions of Windows 8 over a couple of hours.

    It turns out that theIE 10 Windows 8 test VM is actually the 32-bit enterprise evaluation! Timebased activation for 90 days.Click image for larger version

    now to see if everything else still works...
    Last edited by fafhrd; 11 Sep 2013 at 18:45. Reason: Wrong info, bad VM
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Win 8.1 Preview VM (Free & Pre-configured) from Microsoft
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