You can follow these steps to successfully install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview:
1. First and foremost thing you need to do is to download a copy of the Consumer Preview – You’ll find the download links below:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview 32-bit (x86) (English)
Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit (x64) (English)
2. We will be looking at how to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual box. It would be wise to install Windows 8 on a virtual box since, Windows 8 is still in its beta stage.You can download Virtualbox from here. You’ll see the following once you’ve installed it and started it up
3. The next step is to click on New up in the top left corner. Here you’ll enter in the name of your OS (Windows 8 Consumer Preview) and in the drop down menu below, do not select “Other Windows OS” – instead Windows 8 should be an option now, if not you probably need to update Virtual box. (If all else fails choose Windows 7)
4. Once you’ve completed this step, Virtual Box will ask you how much RAM you want to dedicate to Windows 8. The minimum requirements say you need 1GB, if possible go for 1.5GB but if you’ve plenty of RAM on your system don’t be afraid to give it more. The more the better.
5. You’ll then be asked to set up a new virtual hard drive. This is where Windows 8 will be installed. You’ll need to allocate at least 20GB for this to work, so set at least that for it.The next thing you’ll be asked is what kind of virtual hard drive you want. It doesn’t really make a difference which one you choose, but go for the VHD.
6. After you’ve done this you’ll be asked if you want the drive to be dynamic or a fixed size drive. A dynamic drive will only expand up to the max size you set it as you need it. A fixed drive on the other hand will be the max size you assigned to it i.e. 20GB as we set earlier.You’ll be asked to allocate the drive size after this.
7. Now once you’ve successfully completed the wizard, you’ll see that a new Windows 8 Consumer Preview machine has been added to virtual box. If you click on this and then select Start we can begin installing it.
8. Virtual box will ask you to select an ISO image to install Windows 8.You’ll select the one which we downloaded before.
9. Once you’ve located the ISO image then it’s a pretty straight forward process for installing Windows 8. Just remember to select a custom installation and not upgrade if you’re asked. Then you’ll choose the virtual hard drive that you created to install Windows 8 on.
10. And that’s really all there is too it! Once it’s all done you’ll have a working copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview running in a virtual box for you to play with!