In this article, we will examine how to set up Windows 8/8.1 on a new virtual machine using Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization software on the Windows 10 64 Bit operating system.
How to Install Windows 8/8.1 in a Virtual Machine using Hyper-V
Windows 8.1, a more advanced version of Windows 8 and released as an additional update package, was made publicly available by Microsoft on October 17, 2013.
Windows 8.1 has basic features compared to version 8 such as integrated OneDrive application, Bing search engine with Internet Explorer 11 browser, and re-enable start button.
Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization program is built into Windows 10 and server systems. So, without having to download this software from anywhere to your computer, you can activate it using the Turn Windows Features On or Off tool.
In this way, you can install and experience one of the Windows or Linux operating systems on your physical computer that supports the virtualization feature.
How to Create a New VM for Windows 8/8.1
After installing Hyper-V on your host computer, you must correctly create a virtual computer for the operating system you want to use. In order to use your host’s hardware resources effectively on the VM, you need to set the settings correctly.
From the Actions pane, open Virtual Switch Manager and select New Virtual Network Switch and then External network adapter and 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.
If you want to create a VM according to the program’s default settings, you can directly click the Finish button in this window. However, continue with Next to make manual settings to create a more professional virtual PC.
After typing the name of the operating system you will install on the VM if you want to back it up in an external location, change the installation location via the Browse button.
If you are installing one of the older systems, you can choose the BIOS-based Generation 1, or if you are installing a newer system such as Windows 10, select Generation 2 that supports the UEFI firmware type and click Next to continue.
If you are going to run and use two or three virtual machines simultaneously in your Hyper-V program, you can enable the Dynamic Memory feature. This way, when one of the VMs needs more memory, the RAM size will be increased automatically by the program and better resource management will be provided.
If you are going to run only one virtual computer on your computer, do not activate the Dynamic Memory feature and 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.
Since you will be installing from scratch, you need to create a new virtual disk for the Windows 8.x virtual machine. 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.
Click the Browse button to add a bootable Windows 8/8.1 ISO file to the virtual machine.
Select the ISO file you have or downloaded to your computer from the link here and click Open.
After adding the Windows 8.1 Professional x64 ISO file to the VM, click Next in the installation options window.
After preparing the virtual machine, you can see a summary of all the settings you have made in this window. If there is a setting you want to change, you can go back to the previous steps and make the change.
Before starting the installation, open the settings of the VM to configure the number of virtual processors depending on the hardware performance of your host computer.
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.
After connecting to the Windows 8.x virtual machine, click the Start button from the tool menu.
How to Install Windows 8/8.1
After running the Windows virtual machine, you can boot from the ISO image and install the system as if you were installing it on a real computer.
Press any key on your keyboard to boot the VM with the ISO image.
When the Windows 8 setup screen opens, configure the system language, time zone, and keyboard layout you want to use, and click Next.
In this window, you can start installing Windows 8 directly or start repairing your system.
To activate Windows, type your Windows 8.1 product key and click Next.
To accept the Windows 8.1 license agreement, select the relevant option and click Next.
Since you are installing from scratch, select the Install Windows Only option on this screen.
Click New to configure the Virtual Hard Disk, then click the Apply button to confirm 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.
Wait while the necessary system files for Windows are being copied.
Windows will restart within the time 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 automatically confirm some system settings, such as sending location and other information to Microsoft for better results on the web, or automatically installing Windows updates.
You can log in with your Outlook mail account to ensure that all your settings are automatically synchronized to your Microsoft account in your virtual system. Or if you want to create an offline account, click Create a new account.
On the Microsoft account creation screen, click Sign in without a Microsoft account again.
In the screen to create a local user account in your guest operating system, type your user name and click Finish.
Configuration of system settings may take some time at this stage, so do not turn off your virtual computer.
After connecting to the Windows 8/8.1 virtual machine, the screen resolution does not enter full-screen mode by default. As Windows 10 is an up-to-date system, Enhanced Session is enabled by default on the remote desktop connection.
To enable Enhanced Session on the Windows 8.x VM and fix the screen resolution, open the settings and select Integration Services and enable the Guest Services feature.
Restart the guest operating system for the changes to take effect.
You can see Display Configuration 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. If your host has a 2K or 4K display configuration, you can set this value to a higher resolution.
When you get the virtual machine in full-screen mode, you can see that it is adapted to full screen on your host computer.
How to Check Internet Connection
After installing a guest operating system, you may need to check your network and Internet settings. Since you have created an External Switch for the VM’s network adapter, you will receive an IP address from your DHCP server on your local network.
Search for CMD (Command Prompt) in the start menu and test your Internet connection by pinging Google servers by executing the ping 188.8.131.52 command.
If the ping to Google servers is successful, open the Internet Explorer web browser and check if there are any problems by visiting its homepage.
How to Use USB Flash Memory in Virtual Machine
In order to use your USB flash memory on guest machines in Hyper-V, you need to 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.