How To Install Windows 8 Developer Preview

Windows 8 Developer Preview VersionHow to Install Windows 8

Here are details of how to install the Windows 8 Developer Preview, September 2011 ‘BUILD’ 8102 version.

Now superceeded by the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8.

How to Get Started with Microsoft Windows 8


Microsoft Windows 8 Developer Preview

I haven’t said this for a while: ‘This install is easy’ you don’t need to be a developer to get this preview version of Windows 8 working.  This is all you require:

  • The url to download the Windows 8 .iso file. (see below)
  • An ISO burner, Windows 7 has one built-in.
  • A blank 4.7 DVD  (DVD-9 for the 64-bit developer version)
  • A test computer, or a virtual machine.
  • You don’t need a product key for this pre-release version.

Please note: The only problem is that you cannot uninstall this September 2011 pre-release version of Windows 8.

Windows 8 System Requirements

Processor – 1 GHz
RAM – 2 MB 64-bit
Disk Space – 20 GB for the operating system
Graphics Adapter – Supports Aero
DVD – To install your Microsoft operating system.

Recommendations:  For an overview install this BUILD beta version of Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine, or on an old laptop.  To really get to grips with the Metro UI install Windows 8 beta on one of these systems: HP Elitebook 2760p convertible, ASUS EP121 tablet or a Dell Inspiron Duo convertible.

Beware:  Window 8 won’t install here: Microsoft Virtual PC, Windows 7 XP Mode  VMware Workstation 7.x or older

Good News:  These Virtual Machines Are Supported

  • Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
  • VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows
  • VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows

Strange but true: People asked for 64-bit versions of Windows 8 (and 7) to run in Virtual machines, but when Microsoft deliver 64-bit compatibility most people choose to install 32-bit versions for ease of use and performance reasons.

Windows 8 Beta Download

Microsoft has made these three pre-beta versions freely available as .iso images.

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New Install Strategies for Windows 8

Streamlined Setup
Many want a fast no-hassle install, or more likely an upgrade.  Those who take this option get a web browser interface and can download the files from the internet.  These users sacrifice the ability to customise, but gain in speed and simplicity.

Advanced Setup
For techies it’s important to control what’s installed.  They are happy to install from a DVD, or possibly a USB stick. Speed of choosing the settings is not a primary consideration, indeed these users love to explore all possible options.

See how to install Windows Office 2013 »

Preparing a Bootable Windows 8 Disc

I began by downloading the 32-bit .iso file of Microsoft’s Windows 8 onto my Windows 7 machine.  I chose this version because at 2.8GB I knew it would fit on a regular DVD.  Once it finished downloading, I right-clicked the .iso, selected ‘Open with’ and chose the native Windows Disc Image Burner.

Just in time, I inserted a 4.7GB DVD and allowed the burning to proceed.  Incidentally, I could have used a USB flash drive to create this bootable disk.  I hear that the 7 Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool will prepare your USB stick for the .iso image.

Choice of Test machine
Keep in mind that you cannot uninstall this beta version of Windows 8, so when you have finished with it you’ll need to format that drive. I found each of these configurations worked for me:

  • A clean install on an old laptop.  Setup reformatted my C:\ drive as part of the install.
  • Install on a virtual machine inside Windows Server 2008.
  • I started with an existing Windows 7 machine and asked the Windows 8 setup to preserve the old settings, this meant I kept my user accounts, machine name and IP address.
  • See how to create a bootable USB drive known as: ‘Windows 8 to Go’

Summary How to Install Windows 8

Getting started with this developer version of Windows 8 really was a straightforward operation.  I liked the option to over-write an old Windows 7 laptop, the benefit was that I could keep the old machine name IP address and user accounts.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Install Related Topics

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