Today I decided to setup Windows 8 VM on my laptop to make it easier to convert my existing project for Windows Phone to WinRT. The first one I wanted to update was isolated storage database. So, I wanted to document my experience so that I could do it again if I need to. There are some posts on the internet on how do it, but they seem to lack enough details, and I still had to figure a few things out. So, here we go.
I decided to go with Oracle’s Virtual Box software to hos my VM. I downloaded the latest version of it here, and it actually has an option for Windows 8 already. I also downloaded Windows 8 Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64)8 ISO here. Now I am ready to go.
First, install Virtual Box. Process is painless and self-explanatory. Now, run the software and create new machine:
Just pick Windows 8 as option and give your machine a name. Click next
If you have a luxury of 8 GB or RAQM on your machine as I do, pick 4 GB. You have to have at least 2 GB for decent enough performance. Click next
Choose to create new disk and click Next
Pick your disk type, I went with default.
Fixed disk offers better performance, so I went with that.
Now pick disk size. If you pick 20 GB, you will have about 5 GB left after you install the image. Pick more if you would like. You will get a warning later installing the ISO because it recommends more hard drive space, but it will install without issues anyway. You can also pick a directory for the location of the disk file by clicking on folder icon (indicated by the hand cursor in my screenshot). Click next
Click Create on the next screen. The process takes a few minutes.
Once it is done, you have to mount the ISO on your virtual disk. Go to properties of you new VM and click on Storage (indicated by a hand cursor on screenshot below)
Click on CD icon next to DC/DVD drive label, select first option – Choose Virtual CD/DVD File and browse to your ISO image. Then click OK.
Once you are back to Virtual Box window, highlight you new VM and click Start button. Windows 8 install will start automatically, just follow the steps. Voila, once it is done, you can run Windows 8 on your Windows 7 desktop.
A few final tips when running Windows 8 without touch.
- To pull up charm for application search hit Windows key plus Q
- To pull up the charm for settings hit Windows key plus I
- To pull up desktop hit Windows key plus D
I will post on my experience converting WP 7 project to Win RT in a week or so when I am back from speaking at VS Live next Thursday.