Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Settings Necessary to Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox

In my last post I mentioned that I couldn’t get Windows 8 to install on VMware Player, which is how I discovered the new Blue Screen of Death. I found out that I was not alone. Next I turned to VirtualBox, and discovered that installing Windows 8 on that was a bit tricky too. Apparently, there are a few conditions that has to be fulfilled before you can successfully install Windows 8 on VirtualBox. The following article will guide you through the important steps.

Installing any operating system in VirtualBox is a relatively straight forward issue, so I won’t be going into the details and every step. I assume you already have the experience of installing and running virtual machines on your computer. Instead I will focus on those settings without which installation fails.

The first requirement is that your processor must support Virtualization Technology. You can’t install Windows 8 if your processor does not support Virtualization. In order to find out if your CPU supports hardware Virtualization download the Intel Processor Identification Utility. If you are running an AMD based machine use the AMD-V Hyper-V Compatibility Check tool. You can also use Microsoft’s Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool.

You also have to make sure that Hardware Virtualization is enabled in BIOS. For instructions on how to do that, you have to checkout your motherboard/BIOS manufacturer's website.

To install Windows 8 on VirtualBox set aside at least 1024 MB or 1 GB of RAM and a hard drive space of about 20 GB. After installation, Windows 8 will occupy only about 6.5~7 GB, but setting a large drive will allow you to install programs and drivers later without running out of disk space.

After you have created the virtual disk, highlight the new virtual machine and click on Settings on Virtual Box Manager. In the Settings dialog box, click on System and under the Motherboard tab, check the box Enable IO APIC.


Move to the Processor tab, and check the box Enable PAE/NX.


Finally on the Acceleration tab, click on both Enable VT-x/Amd-v and Enable Nesting Paging.


You are now set. Install Windows 8 from the ISO image or from a USB drive.

Thanks LessThanDot


  1. I guess it is not needed to allot 1024 mb ram.It worked fine with 512 mb!

  2. Yes, the memory requirement for a fresh Windows 8 install is quite low. 1GB is just the recommended one.

  3. I do not have Hardware acceleration available on my computer (System-Acceleration). Will Win 8 work on virtual box? I tried but it fails after initial loading of the files.

  4. @jethana: It probably won't, since hardware acceleration is a requirement to run in a virtual environment. You won't need hardware acceleration when you install it on a real machine.

  5. It doesn't like the sata storage port on VOXB.

  6. @jethana
    it probably will virtualization technology is a must but hardware accelataion just improves performance


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