Windows 8 Developer Preview - Installation18 September 2011
The Developer Preview build of Windows 8 was unexpectedly (to me anyway) released on Tuesday (13th September 2011).
Three builds were made available: a 64-bit version that includes developer tools, along with 64-bit and 32-bit versions of just the OS (no dev tools). Initially I decided to install the 64-bit + dev tools version in a VM using the newly released VMWare Workstation 8. However, VMWare gave me an error when I tried to setup a 64-bit VM:
The virtual machine is configured for 64-bit guest operating system. However, 64-bit operation is not possible. Long mode is disabled for this vitual machine.
I used the Microsoft Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool (HAV) to first check that my machine actually supported 64-bit HAV. After confirming that it did, the VMWare issue was resolved by enabling HAV in the bios of my HP TouchSmart 610. I then used the instructions here for guidance on installing Windows 8 in a VMWare Workstation 8 VM.
The install was quick and easy. However, performance in the VM was not great (understandable in a pre-BETA release!) so I decided to try a dual-boot setup instead. This was very straightforward. All I had to do was:
- Using the Windows 7 Disk Management tool, shrink the primary partition on my drive (I allocated 60GB for the Windows 8 partition)
- Create a new Simple Disk in the 60GB of newly available space
- Create a bootable USB falsh memory stick and then expand the contents of the Windows 8 .iso onto it
- Boot from the USB drive
My initial notes and observations were:
I used the Microsoft Windows 7
USB/DVD Download Tool
to try and create the bootable USB. However, this kept giving me an error:
We were unable to copy your files. Please check your USB device and the selected ISO file and try againI knew there was nothing wrong with the USB stick, so I used the following method to make the USB stick bootable:
- Open a command prompt with Admin permissions
This will list all the drives attached to your machine. Make a note of the number (n) of the USB drive
- SELECT DISK n
- CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
- SELECT PARTITION 1
- FORMAT FS=FAT32
- The install was quick! Less than 10 minutes in total...
- All my hardware (including wireless mouse and keyboard, touch screen, etc.) were all correctly identified and suitable drivers loaded
- Performance of Windows 8 was really excellent! As a pre-BETA release, I expected it to be a bit sluggish. But no! Everything seemed fast & fluid (I think that's a Microsoft marketing line!), from boot times to starting apps and switching between them. And having used the preview for several days now, I haven't had any crashes or freezing. Nice work Microsoft for a pre-BETA!