Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview Release

Microsoft released the second version of Windows 8 to public on 29th Feb, 2012. This version is named Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I try to install it onto the Virtual PC and configure 2Gb ram, 20Gb Virtual Hard Disk and DVD mount to theWin8CP ISO file. Like this,

And then I run the Virtual PC and getting a “golden fish” screen and then a blue screen with message,

“Your computer ran into a problem and needs to restart.
If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this code: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED
It’s collecting error info and will restart in: 0 seconds”


I wait and wait, the virtual PC does not restart. I try to turn it off and run again. The same happen. Why??? After searching online and found the follwing info which is a blog titled Running Windows 8 Developer Preview in a Virtual Environment writen by Steven Sinofsky, Head of Windows. And I think that it applies to Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Forum members are reporting success using a few products. Of the most popular options, our baseline assessment is as follows:


  • Hyper-V in Windows 8 Developer Preview
  • Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
  • VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows
  • VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows


  • Microsoft Virtual PC (all versions)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server (all versions)
  • Windows 7 XP Mode
  • VMWare Workstation 7.x or older

 So then I try to install VirtualBox and configure the setting like this,

And then start running the VirtualBox VM. This time it shows the same first screen as what I have seen in running VirtualPC. And then the Windows 8 setup wizard comes up. It looks like the same as Windows 7 one. It ask you to select the Language, Time and currency format, Keyboard or input method.

 Once you selected the options that you would like the Windows 8 to be, then you click the Next button. The next screen again, same as Windows 7, a button with “install now” shown.

 After you press the “Install Now” button, the windows setup manager will display the mesage, “Setup is starting”. The next screen shown, again same as Windows 7, and asking you for the product key.

After entering the given product key, you can press Next button to continue the Windows 8 Setup. The next screen is asking you to read the license terms and you must accept it before you can press the Next button to continue the installation.

Then the next screen shows. It ask you which type of the installation do you want. I tried to click upgrade but it then ask you to restart the virtual VM and it will prompt up the very first screen of the installation again.

So we should click “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” option in this testing propose. I think that we could upgrade from Windows 7 after Windows 8 is RTM.

Then you can specify the disk partition that you want the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to be installed on, in my case, the only 20Gb disk in my Virtual VM.

After you selected the partition where you want the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to be installed to, you can press “Next” button. The setup wizard will the do the same as Windows 7, copying Windows files, Expanding Windows files, installing features, installing upgrades and Almost done installing Windows.

After that, the Virtual VM will reboot for the first time. You will see the “Windows golden fish” again. Then the Windows 8 installation wizard will continues and display messages to inform you that the latest situation of the setup process. So far, all of the screen I found out that they are pretty much the same as what I have seen in the installation of Windows 7.

The next screen I found, which is new to me, “Personalize” page is shown. It asked you to pick a color you like and the PC name.

After entering the PC name (someone mention that you cannot create the same name for a user same as the PC name. So don’t just key in your wanted username as the PC name), the “Settings” page of the installation wizard comes.

I selected the “express settings” as I wanna try to finish the installation in the simplest way and try and feel the Windows 8. For advanced users, you may try to click “Customize” to do more difference settings with difference value.

The next screen, is asking you for the Microsoft account. What is Microsoft account, I guess it is the same as the Windows Live account or hotmail or live mail account. This is a new feature which is introduces with Windows 8. Using Microsoft Live account is an alternative way of creating and using Windows users to log on to the Windows 8. Using Microsoft Live account, you can share information, i.e., IE favorites, your PC looks and feels features….etc. So if you have multiple PCs and tablets, you can share all these settings. This feature of Windows 8 is working like a roaming profile features for Windows users.

You can also create a new Microsoft Live account with email address at this point. Or you can also skip Windows Live account this feature, click the last option to just creating a Windows user account. In my testing, I key in the email address of my personal Windows Live Account.

The next step is “Enter your Microsoft account password”.

The next step is “Enter security verfication info”. In this page, you have to select your country code and also your mobile number. I key in my personal phone number in this step.

After all these, Windows 8 setup can say to be going into the very last step and these are all the data that I have to key into. Now Windows 8 is going to create the user account and preparing the windows to be running in the very first time.

 And the next screen is……READY!!! The new Microsoft Windows 8 Start screen displayed. Instead of traditional Windows Desktop, the new start up screen named Windows Start screen. The Windows Start screen is built using Metro style applications and designed for multi-touch usage. So if you have experiece on Zune, Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 7.5, you are already used to the screen usage, Now it is the same user interface in your PC.

You can click the Internet Explorer to open up the IE and browse the web page.

But wait, where is the desktop? what if I am a developer and I need to open Visual Studio? You can found and click the Desktop Metro to open the Desktop screen. (Well, will there be a Visual Studio Metro in the coming version? ).

You can press “Windows key” on your keyboard to go back to your Windows Start screen. You can also pass “Alt+Ctrl+Del” to the Virtual VM to display the same screen as pressing “Alt+Ctrl+Del” in Win7, you can switch user, lock, sign out and open Task Manager, you can also turn off the PC.

If you choose Sign Out, the welcome screen will comes. This is also the default screen in the next time you turn on your PC.

By pressing “Alt+Ctrl+Del” again, you will see your login screen again.

2 Replies to “Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview Release”

  1. Great, thanks man!!!

    It’s working like a charm 🙂

    My guess is that Microsoft blocked any VM software and forget the Oracle VM VirtualBox…

  2. Well, I think that Microsoft Virtual PC and Virtual Server team is going to stop supporting on these 2 products. They only focus on Hyper-V now. They are not going to block any VM software. Windows 8 CP can be installed into, Hyper-V, VMWare Workstation8.0 or above, and VirtualBox 4.1.2 or above.

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