After the announcement of Windows 8 pre-beta at the Microsoft BUILD conference recently I was dying to install the pre-beta release of Windows 8.
So I downloaded a developer edition from MSDN here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516
Microsoft offer a couple different pre-built ISO images, 32-bit, 64-bit and 64-bit with a early release of DEV11 and a early cut of Expression Blend 5. Which one did you think I downloaded! ? :)
My client VM tool of choice of late is Oracle VirtualBox. I am currently running 3.2.10 on my production laptop and cannot upgrade for reasons that doing this will break existing VM's that I have.
So disappointingly, when I attempted to install the early cut of Windows 8, I got the error in figure 1 below:
Figure 1: Error when attempting to install pre-beta Windows 8 ISO
Also, it seems the VM also consumes aload of CPU resource when the above error occurs until you kill the VM. See figure 2 below:
Figure 2: CPU consumption after Windows 8 fails to start
After searching the internet for this error, I came across the Windows 8 team blog post that lists the Virtualization technologies that are supported by this drop of Windows 8 here.
I recommend you read the blog post link above before installation of Windows 8 pre-beta.
So the next thing I tried was to run the latest version of VirtualBox which is 4.1.2 on another machine as I couldn't upgrade my production laptop. After doing this and attempting the Windows 8 install again, I got another completely different cryptic error message which haulted the installation.
The next thing to try (which is what I should have done to begin with) was to use one of my physical Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper V box to host the OS and thankfully, it worked!!
So shortly after I fired up the Windows 8 install wizard I was presented with the licence terms agreement for this early release:
Figure 3: Windows 8 pre-beta licence agreement with dev 11
So far it seems fairly stable, I haven't seen any crashes yet and really just trying it out. I'm not quite brave enough to put it onto my physical main laptop just yet...