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VirtualBox is one of the finest free software available to install and try Windows on a virtual machine. Now that Windows 8 has made its way to the web, many of you might be interested in test driving the new OS without installing it on your primary machine.

You can easily install and test Windows 8 in virtual environment using free software such as VMware Player and Oracle VirtualBox. In this guide, we will show you how to install Windows 8 on VirtualBox virtual machine.

What you will need:

  • Windows 8 installation ISO file
  • Oracle VirtualBox software
  • 20 GB free space on the host machine


Step 1: Download and install VirtualBox software



Step 2: Run VirtualBox software to launch VirtualBox Manager

Step 3: On VirtualBox Manager screen

  • click New to launch
  • create New Virtual Machine wizard
  • click Next, enter a name for your new virtual machine, select operating system version as Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
  • click Next to proceed

Step 4: You need to select the amount of base memory that you want to allocate to your new virtual machine. Slide the bar towards to the right-side to increase the base memory. Remember to allocate at least 1 GB for your new virtual machine.

  • Click Next to continue


Step 5: You need to create a new virtual hard disk to install your new Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system

  • simply select Boot Hard Disk
  • click Create a new hard disk option
  • click Next to open Create New Virtual Disk wizard


Step 6: On Create New Virtual Disk wizard box

  • click Next button
  • select Dynamically expanding storage

  • select a storage type
  • click Next to select the virtual disk location and size
  • select the of the virtual disk in MBs (I would recommend 20 GB) and then select a location with enough free space to save the new virtual disk

  • click Next
  • click Finish to complete the procedure


Step 7: In the VirtualBox Manager

  • right-click on the new Windows 8/8.1 virtual machine name
  • select Settings, Under Settings, click Storage tab
  • click on the CD/DVD icon to select Windows 8 ISO file as virtual CD/DVD drive
  • under Storage, click on the CD icon next to CD/DVD Drive and browse to the Windows 8 ISO file
  • click Ok to select the ISO as virtual CD/DVD drive
  • close the Settings box


Step 8: You have just completed creating a virtual machine.

  • in VirtualBox Manager, select the Windows 8 virtual machine entry
  • click Start to start booting from the ISO file

Step 9: Once you click the Start button, you will see the Loading Files screen followed by Windows 8 boot screen. From here, just follow the general Windows installation procedure to complete the installation