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In this article, we will examine how to set up Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 on a new virtual machine using the Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization program running on the Windows 10 64 Bit operating system.
How to Install Windows 8/8.1 on Windows 10 using VirtualBox 6
The NT-based Windows 8.1 operating system released by Microsoft on April 8, 2014, was released as an upgrade to Windows 8. Windows 8.1 mainstream update support ended on January 9, 2018, but expanded support will be completely terminated on January 10, 2023.
The desktop experience with the metro interface has developed for the Windows 8/8.1 operating system. This distribution of Windows, which allows for high resolutions, features new technologies such as 3D printing functions, Wi-Fi Direct, and Miracast.
Today, Windows 8x versions have been included in newer generation desktop/laptop computers, although Windows XP or Windows 7 systems are still used in personal or corporate computers.
Since Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home or Pro versions to users who have genuine legacy product keys, quite a lot of users around the world have switched to the latest versions of Windows.
If you want to use a great-looking version of Windows 8x instead of Windows 10 on your physical computer, we recommend using virtual machines. Because using Microsoft’s latest distribution Windows 10 system on your host computer offers you security and performance and protects you on online platforms.
With the Oracle VM VirtualBox program, you can run operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and even macOS on your computer and use them easily. It also provides a powerful virtualization solution for business and home users, as it supports both Intel and AMD-powered systems.
VirtualBox works properly on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris operating systems. If you have a Laptop or Desktop computer processor that supports virtualization technology, you can use this virtual machine software.
When installing a virtual operating system with VirtualBox, the operating system’s ISO file is usually used. In addition, it is possible to install an operating system with the DVD/CD drive of your physical computer.
In order to run the Windows 8.1 operating system using Oracle virtualization software, you must first create a new virtual machine. Then, after completing the system setup, you need to install the Guest Additions software in order to use the virtual computer in full-screen resolution or to transfer files between the host and the VM.
How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows 8.1
After installing VirtualBox on your host computer, install the Extension Pack software as well. If you are going to install one of the Windows 8 or 8.1 versions after running the virtualization program later, you must select the relevant system version in the virtual machine wizard.
Download the ISO file of the operating system to your computer from this link before proceeding with the installation of the Windows 8 system with the virtual machine on your computer.
On the home page of the Oracle VM software, start the virtual machine wizard with the Machine / New (or Ctrl + N) shortcut from the tool menu or by clicking the New button.
After opening the virtual PC preparation wizard, type Windows 8.1 in the Name section. After typing the name of your system, the operating system platform will be automatically selected in the Type and Version sections.
With the Machine Folder option, you can change the location of the VM you will install. If you are going to install it on your host’s disk, if you are not using an NVMe or SSD storage device, you will experience performance problems. So you can increase performance by installing your VM on an external USB 3.0/3.1 or storage device with a Type-C interface.
Set the minimum RAM size for the Windows 8x system according to the RAM capacity supported by your host computer. If your host has 16 GB of RAM and you will only use the Windows 8.1 machine on your system, you can configure the RAM value to 8 GB.
In the hard disk settings window of the virtual computer, you can add a virtual disk that you have previously installed with VirtualBox or create a new virtual disk since you will install Windows 8 from scratch.
To create a new virtual HDD for a clean system installation, continue with Create a virtual disk now selected by default.
Select the default VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) recommended by Oracle as the virtual hard disk file type of the virtual machine and click Next.
If you will use a VM you set up with VirtualBox with a 3rd party virtualization program later, you can choose VHD or VMDK (used by VMware).
You can edit how your VM will be stored on your host disk in this window. With the Fixed Size option, you can achieve the performance increase by allocating the disk space to be allocated to the VM from your physical disk, but in this case, it would be more logical to choose the Dynamically Allocated option because the storage capacity of your disk will decrease.
If you want to change the location of the virtual machine’s files, you can change it in the File Location and Size window. Also, here you can increase the size of the virtual disk automatically defined by VirtualBox.
In order to install Windows 8.1 with VirtualBox, you need to add the ISO file after making the necessary settings. Also, open the VM’s settings to check whether the virtualization feature is enabled and to adjust settings that will improve performance.
Configure the Shared Clipboard and Drag and Drop features as Bidirectional in the General / Advanced settings of the virtual computer.
In the System / Motherboard settings, untick the Floppy from the devices in the Boot Order list and lower it to the lower row by clicking the down arrow.
For the Processor virtual hardware, specify the number of virtual CPUs your host can support.
For the Display / Screen device, enable the 3D Acceleration option for better graphic images and configure the Video Memory value to 256 MB.
To improve the performance of your virtual PC, enable the Host I/O Cache feature of the controller of the Storage device.
Configure the Windows8.1.vdi virtual disk file as a Solid-State Drive (SSD).
It says Empty because there is no ISO file in the optical disk drive. To add the Windows 8.1 ISO file to the virtual computer you have prepared, click the CD/DVD icon and click Choose a disk file.
If you have an image file of an existing Windows 8 system, select it or select the ISO file you downloaded to your computer and click the Open button.
After adding the ISO image to the virtual computer, close the settings window.
Click the Start button to begin the Windows 8.1 installation.
After starting your virtual PC, select the ISO file in the Start-Up Disk window and click the Start button.
How to Install Windows 8.1
After booting your virtual computer with the ISO image, you need to set up your system with the Windows setup wizard. You can also install it on a physical computer using the setup wizard.
Select your system language, time zone, and keyboard layout on the Windows 8 setup screen and click Next.
Click the Install Now button in the Windows Setup window.
If you have a genuine Windows 8/8.1 product key, type in your relevant license key and click Next.
Accept the license agreement of the Windows 8.1 operating system and click Next.
Since you will install a system on the virtual PC from scratch, click on Install Windows Only in this window.
You must select the disk where you want to install Windows and create a new Partition. Since you have added a disk to your virtual computer, you will only see Drive 0. Click the New button to create a new partition on Drive 0, and then click the Apply button to use the disk size automatically adjusted by the system.
Finally, when the information window appears that Windows will create additional fields on your system, click OK and continue.
Select the partition of the disk drive you just created and click Next.
Wait while the Windows wizard prepares the files for installation.
Windows will restart your computer at the end of the time counter.
Wait while the system is preparing your devices.
You can choose the user interface and theme color of the Windows 8.1 system on the Personalize screen. In the PC Name section, type a name for your guest computer and click Next.
You can click the Use Express Settings button to quickly configure the settings of your virtual system, or you can view the relevant settings of the system by clicking the Customize button and change them at will.
Click Create a new account in the Windows wizard window that prompts you to sign in with a Microsoft account.
On the Microsoft account creation screen, click Sign in without a Microsoft account.
Type in your username and click the Finish button to continue.
Wait while your system’s store applications are being loaded.
When you encounter the desktop screen of your guest system, right-click on My Computer and click Properties on the start menu.
How to Install Guest Additions
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After creating a new virtual computer with the VirtualBox virtualization program, the first thing to do is to install Guest Additions.
After installing Guest Additions, you can use the virtual machine as a full screen. And you can also seamlessly use USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 devices and share files with your physical computer.
First, right-click on the start menu, open the Device Manager, and check the drivers that are not installed on your system.
You will see that an unknown hardware driver is not installed, as in the image below, and you will also see that VirtualBox’s video card driver is not installed properly under Display Adapters.
To install the Guest Additions plug-in, in the Windows 8.1 VM window, click Devices / Insert Guest Additions CD image.
If the image file is not recognized automatically by the system, open My Computer and click VBoxWindowsAdditions-amd64.exe in the content of the image file. If you are installing a 32-Bit Win8, you should select VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86 here.
Continue by clicking the Next button in the Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions setup window.
Leave the installation location as the default option and click Next.
To install the virtual machine guest additions, click the Install button.
When the Windows Security window opens, check the Always trust software from the Oracle Corporation option and click the Install button.
Restart your virtual machine for the changes to take effect.
When your guest system restarts, you will be able to see that all the drivers installed this time in Device Manager.
How to Check the Network and Internet Connection
After installing your Windows virtual computer, you should check that the local network settings are working properly. NAT is selected by default for the network adapter type in the VM creation wizard. If you want to get an automatic IP address from an ADSL modem or router on your local network, you can use Bridge mode.
Open the CMD command prompt on your guest machine and ping the Google servers using the ping 126.96.36.199 command and check your Internet connection.
If the ping test is successful, visit the Google website on a web browser.
How to Configure Shared Folder
By creating a Shared Folder on the Windows 8/8.1 VM, you can provide an easier method of file transfer with the host.
Click on Devices / Shared Folders / Shared Folder Settings on the guest machine.
After opening the Shared Folders settings, click the Add button and open the Add Share window. Firstly, create a folder on your host computer that you will use in common with the VM and add the location of the folder in the Folder Path section.
Configure the public folder as a network drive in the VM, enabling the Auto-mount and Make-Permanent options.
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When you view My Computer, you can see that the shared folder has been added to network locations.
Likewise, you can see Shared Folder when you view VBOXSVR content under Computer after clicking on the network.
How to Use USB Flash Memory in VM
To be able to use a USB stick or a portable storage drive in your VM, you need to enable VirtualBox’s USB hardware.
First, plug your USB device into your host machine and check if the device is connected to My Computer.
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Click on Devices / USB / Kingston DataTraveler (Your USB Device Name) on VirtualBox.
The USB memory attached to the host will automatically connect to the virtual computer.
Installing Older Versions
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♦ How to Update VirtualBox
♦ How to Install Windows 10 with VirtualBox
♦ How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu
♦ How to Install Windows 7 with VirtualBox
♦ How to Install Windows 10 with Hyper-V
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