This article will explore installing Windows 8 on a new virtual machine. It will leverage the Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization software compatible with Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
How to Install Windows 8 (8.1) in a Virtual Machine using Hyper-V Software
Publicly released by Microsoft on October 17, 2013, Windows 8.1 emerged as an enhanced iteration of Windows 8, offering advanced features and functionality as an additional update package.
Windows 8.1 has basic features compared to version 8, such as an integrated OneDrive application, Bing search engine with Internet Explorer 11 browser, and re-enable start button.
Built directly into Windows 10 and server systems, Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization program provides seamless integration and functionality. So, without downloading this software from anywhere to your computer, you can activate it using the Turn Windows Features On or Off tool.
This approach lets you install and explore various Windows or Linux operating systems on your physical computer as long as it supports the virtualization feature. You can gain firsthand experience with different operating systems.
How to Create a New VM for Windows 8 OS
Setting up Hyper-V on your computer is the first stage. Creating a virtual machine to run your preferred operating system is best. Ensuring the settings are correct can help use the host’s hardware better in the virtual machine.
Before forming a new virtual device using the Hyper-V virtualization platform, it is necessary to make an External Switch. This step ensures seamless connectivity and networking capabilities for the virtual machine. Because Default Switch, which the program defines by default, connects VMs to your local network using a NAT connection. But in most cases, Default Switch is not commonly used as it can cause network problems.
Open Virtual Switch Manager from the Actions pane. Select “New Virtual Network Switch” and an external network adapter option. Then click the “Create Virtual Switch” button.
Type a new name for the External Switch you created, and make sure your physical computer’s Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter is selected in the External Network section. After clicking OK to save the settings, click Yes in the window that states that your network connection may be momentarily lost.
Click Action / New / Virtual Machine to start the virtual machine wizard or start the wizard from the program’s quick access menu.
To create a VM with the program’s default settings, click the Finish button in the current window to proceed. However, continue with Next to make manual settings to create a more professional virtual PC.
After typing the operating system’s name, you will install it on the VM; if you want to back it up in an external location, change the installation location via the Browse button.
If installing an older system, you can choose the BIOS-based Generation 1. However, suppose you are installing a newer system like Windows 10. In that case, it is recommended to select Generation 2, which supports the UEFI firmware type. Click Next to proceed with the installation.
Suppose you will run and use two or three virtual machines simultaneously in your Hyper-V program. In that case, you can enable the Dynamic Memory feature. This way, when one of the VMs needs more memory, the program will automatically increase the RAM size, and better resource management will be provided.
If you run only one virtual computer on your computer, do not activate the Dynamic Memory feature. Type a suitable RAM size for the operating system in Startup Memory and click Next.
Select the External Switch you created on the Virtual Switch Manager in the network adapter settings of the virtual machine and continue.
As you perform a fresh installation, creating a new virtual disk specifically for the Windows 8.x virtual machine is necessary. You can increase or decrease the 127 GB disk capacity automatically specified by Hyper-V according to the operations you will perform in the VM.
To add a bootable Windows 8 ISO file to the virtual machine, click the Browse button.
Select the Windows image file you downloaded to your host PC using the provided link, then hit the Open button.
After adding the Windows 8.1 Professional x64 ISO file to the VM, click Next in the installation options window.
Once you have prepared the virtual device, an overview of all the sets you have configured will be displayed in this window. Should there be any setting you desire to modify, you can conveniently revisit the previous steps and make the necessary adjustments.
To get started, open the settings of your VM and adjust the number of virtual processors based on your computer’s power before installing.
Select the Processor device in the VM’s settings and increase the number of processors to 4 or higher in the right section.
To start the Windows installation, you can start the VM directly from the Virtual Machines section or connect first.
Upon establishing a connection with the Windows 8.x virtual computer, proceed by clicking the Start button located in the tool menu.
How to Install Windows 8/8.1
Upon launching the Windows virtual machine, you can boot from the ISO image and initiate the system installation process, mirroring the installation experience on an actual computer.
Pressing any key on your physical keyboard will boot the ISO image into the virtual machine.
Once the Windows 8 setup screen appears, you can proceed by configuring the desired system language, time zone, and keyboard layout. Upon completion, click the Next button to proceed.
This window lets you directly install Windows 8 or repair your computer.
Activating Windows is as simple as typing your Windows 8.1 product key and click Next.
Accept the Windows 8.1 license deal by selecting the appropriate option.
Installing Windows Only on this screen is a good choice since you will be forming from scratch.
Click New to configure the Virtual Hard Disk, then click the Apply button to ensure the automatically allocated disk capacity. When the window stating that Windows may create additional disk space appears, click OK to continue.
Select the Primary drive where you will install Windows and click Next.
Please wait patiently as the required system files for Windows are being copied.
Windows will automatically restart within the time frame specified by the installation wizard.
On the Personalize screen, type a different computer name from other computers in your network environment.
Click the Use Express Settings button to simplify the process. This button applies system settings automatically. Microsoft may use location and other data to make web results better. They can also automatically install Windows updates.
You can ensure all your settings are synced by logging in with your Outlook email. Alternatively, click Create a new account to make an offline version.
On the Microsoft account creation screen, click Sign in without a Microsoft account again.
Type your username in the designated field of the screen when creating a local user account on your guest operating system. After entering your username, end the process and click the Finish button.
Configuration of system settings may take some time at this stage, so do not turn off your virtual computer.
By default, when you connect to the Windows 8.1 virtual system, the screen resolution may not enter the full-screen way. As Windows 10 is an up-to-date system, Enhanced Session is enabled by default on the remote desktop connection.
To fix the screen size, turn on Enhanced Session in the Windows 8.x virtual machine settings. You can do this by going to Integration Services and turning on Guest Services.
It is necessary to restart the guest operating system to apply the changes.
Display Configuration is enabled when the virtual PC’s desktop screen is ready.
After setting the VM to 800×600 screen resolution, it will be fully compatible with the host’s screen resolution. You can set this value to a higher resolution if your host has a 2K or 4K display configuration.
Your host computer adapts the virtual machine to full-screen when you get it in full-screen mode.
How to Check Internet Connection
After installing a guest operating system, check your network and Internet settings. You will receive an IP address from your DHCP server on your local network since you created an External Switch for the VM’s network adapter.
Search for CMD (Command Prompt) in the start menu. Test your Internet connection by pinging Google servers by executing the ping 220.127.116.11 command.
If the ping to Google servers is successful, open the Internet Explorer web browser and check for any problems by visiting its homepage.
How to Use USB Flash Memory in Virtual Machine
To use your USB flash memory on guest machines in Hyper-V, choose which local resources to use when connecting to the VM.
When you try to connect to the VM again, click Show Options when the advanced login screen appears.
Click More in the Local Resources tab, and in the window that opens, under Drives, tick the flash memory you have inserted in your host and click OK.
After viewing My Computer, you can access your flash memory under Devices and Drives.
You can see all the files and folders you have copied to your flash memory on the virtual computer simultaneously on your host computer.
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