How To Install Windows 8 Developer Preview

Friday, December 30, 2011

imageWindows 8 Developer Preview is available for download and is easy to install in a virtual machine or on a test machine – or if you are bold enough, your everyday machine. The installation process is similar to that of Windows 7 and Vista so this method can be applied to those install scenarios as well.


First, you will need the Windows 8 install isos. If you are a developer, there is one with developer tools for you to use. Otherwise, choose the 32 bit or 64 bit version based on preference or current machine. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can find out if you’re running 32 or 64 bit by going to Computer and then System Settings. Scroll down and it will give you all the information that you need to know.


Download Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO

Windows 8 Developer Preview


Now you will need to burn it to a DVD using Windows Image burner in Windows 7 or your favorite app in any operating system or copy the bits over to a USB drive.



I have provided a video with the explanation that you can watch above, but for specifics:

  1. Boot off the Windows Install Media
  2. You will be greeted with a language selection, click next.
  3. You will be given a window with an Install Now button, click on it.
  4. The screen will say Setup is Starting and load for a minute or two.
  5. You will then be prompted to agree to Microsoft’s terms. Click the checkbox and click next.
  6. Now you will be asked to either do an Upgrade Install or a Custom Install. You should always do a clean install of Windows and hence choose Custom.
  7. Choose the Partition that you want to install on or click Advanced Tools to create or format a partition and hit next. Note: You cannot shrink a partition in the installer so if you don’ want to lose another partition’s files, partition your hard drive before doing the installation using the manager in Windows Vista or Windows 7 (type partition in the start menu) or Easus Partition Manager, a free download.
  8. The Windows Install when then automate and install by itself, restart and continue the installation – unless you changed a bios setting, you should be fine to leave the room for 15 to 25 minutes – depending on the speed of your computer.
  9. It will do some configuring and possible restart a few times and then you will be prompted with the first real questions that you will need to fill in.
    1. In Windows 7 and Vista. these questions are easy, straight forward, and are directly related to your account (Name, Password, Time, Date, Network Settings, Update Settings).
    2. Windows 8 presents its second phase a bit differently from Vista and 7. It cuts out a lot of the questions. You will be asked to enter your name and then choose between express settings and custom settings. Express settings places all the default options that don’t require your attention, if you click custom, you will get the opportunity to tweak update settings, security settings, and other very technical settings that the average user wouldn’t have to worry about. In the video I choose Custom just to give you a tour – I ended up changing nothing.
  10. Among the few questions that you will be asked in Windows 8 is to enter your Windows Live ID and its password, there is a link on the bottom to opt out and create a normal offline account. This essentially makes life easier if you install Windows 8 on multiple machines as it syncs certain settings.
  11. In the offline mode, you may be prompted with a chance to take a picture from your webcam but the questions are very straight forward.
  12. It will then Prepare your Desktop as every Windows system does at the first log in and you will be greeted to a new Start menu which is a full screen menu based on the Metro UI. In previous versions of Windows, you will be greeted by the desktop.

Installing Windows 8 is similar to installing Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is very easy to do as the bulk of the installation is automated and the second half asks you easy questions that aren’t technical, but rather based on your preferences for account name and time and that.

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