How to Install Windows 8/8.1 on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

In this article, we will examine how to run Windows 8/8.1 on a new virtual machine using VMware Fusion 12 Pro on the macOS operating system on a Mac computer.

How to Install Windows 8/8.1 on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

How to Set Up Windows 8/8.1 on a Virtual Machine on Mac using Fusion 12 Pro

If you want to install and run Microsoft’s Windows 8/8.1 version on your Mac computer, you can use Fusion Pro, one of the virtualization software platforms.

VMware Fusion is virtualization software that allows you to create virtual machines on macOS operating systems. Using this software, you can install an additional virtual operating system without restarting your computer.

You can install a Windows system on Apple computers using Boot Camp software, but you will have to restart your computer each time you switch systems.

Therefore, you can avoid these problems by using the Fusion software developed by VMware for Mac computers.

When creating a virtual machine in Fusion, it is important for performance to choose the platform of the system you will install correctly and to make good virtual hardware settings. In this way, you can run a more efficient and performance virtual computer on your host computer.

How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows 8/8.1

After installing Fusion Pro on your Mac and running the program from Applications, you are now ready to create a virtual machine.

You can quickly create a virtual machine by dragging and dropping the ISO image of the operating system you will install on the Fusion homepage. However, you can improve virtual machine performance by manually editing instead of the settings defined by default.

   Step 1

After running Fusion Pro, you can create a VM or add an existing VM to the program by dragging and dropping an ISO image directly onto its homepage.

To manually configure the VM’s settings, select Create a custom virtual machine and click Continue.

Choosing the Installation Method

   Step 2

In the Guest operating system selection window, select Microsoft Windows / Windows 8.x x64 and click Continue.

Choosing the Guest OS

   Step 3

If the operating system you will install on the virtual machine supports UEFI firmware, you can change the firmware type from this window. You should choose Legacy BIOS when you plan to install older systems. But, to increase the security of the virtual machine and enable fast boot, select UEFI / Secure Boot and continue.

Choosing UEFI Firmware

   Step 4

Since you will be installing Windows 8 from scratch, you must select Create a new virtual disk in the virtual disk selection window. If you have a Windows 8 virtual disk that you have installed before, you can add the existing virtual disk to the VM in this window.

Creating a New Virtual Disk

   Step 5

In the window containing the summary information of the virtual machine you have prepared, click Customize Settings to configure the virtual hardware settings, and then click the Save button if you want to accept the default installation location.

Configuring the Installation Location of the Virtual Machine

   Step 6

Click the Processors & Memory device in the virtual machine’s settings and increase the number of virtual processors and configure the amount of RAM depending on the hardware features of your Mac.

If you intend to use any virtualization software within the virtual machine, enable the hypervisor. Also, enable IOMMU for better memory management between host and VM.

Configuring Processor and RAM Settings

   Step 7

You can choose Ethernet to assign an IP address to the guest machine from the DHCP server from which your Mac gets the IP address. With this option, your guest machine will appear as an additional computer on the local network.

Selecting the Ethernet Network Adapter

   Step 8

If you run the Windows 8/8.1 operating system on the NVMe virtual disk, you will significantly increase the virtual machine performance. So, change Bus Type from SCSI to NVMe and click Apply.

By default, the disk size defined for Windows 8x in Fusion is 60 GB. If you want to increase or decrease the capacity of the virtual disk, you can change it in Disk Size.

Changing Virtual Disk to NVMe

   Step 9

To add the Windows 8x ISO file to the virtual machine, click Choose a disc or disc image from the CD/DVD (SATA) device settings drop-down list.

Adding Windows 8/8.1 ISO File to Virtual Machine

   Step 10

Select the Windows 8.1 Pro x64 ISO file you downloaded to your computer from the table at the bottom of the article, and then click Open.

Choosing Windows 8/8.1 ISO File

   Step 11

If you are not going to use your printer on the guest machine, click Remove Printer Port and click Remove to confirm the removal.

Deleting the Printer Port

   Step 12

Change the Troubleshooting property to None in the advanced settings of the virtual computer and disable the Side Channel Mitigations feature.

Disable Side Channel Mitigations

   Step 13

Run your virtual computer to start the Windows installation.

Running the Virtual Machine

How to Install Windows 8/8.1

After creating a new virtual computer for Windows 8.1 and adjusting its settings, you need to boot the system with the ISO image you added and start the installation.

The installation steps of an operating system that you will install on the guest machine on your Mac computer are the same as if you are installing on a real computer.

   Step 1

After running your virtual system, press any key on your keyboard to start the Windows setup wizard.

Press any key to boot from CD or DVD

   Step 2

In the Windows 8 setup wizard, set the system language, keyboard layout, and system time you will use on your system and click the Next button.

Windows 8 Setup Screen

   Step 3

If you have installed the Windows 8x operating system before, you can click Repair Your Computer in this window to repair your system. Click Install Now to start the Windows installation and continue.

Starting Windows Setup

   Step 4

If you have purchased Windows 8 before, type your product key and click Next.

Typing the Windows 8 Product Key

   Step 5

Accept the Windows 8x license agreement and click Next.

Accepting the Windows License Agreement

   Step 6

If you have an older version of Windows, you can upgrade your system without deleting your existing files, settings, and applications. Since you will be installing a system from scratch, click the Install Windows Only option in this window.

Install Windows Only

   Step 7

Click New to edit the unallocated disk space, then click the Apply button to accept the automatically configured disk capacity. Also, click OK in the window informing you that Windows will create additional spaces for system files.

Configuring the Virtual Disk

   Step 8

After creating a new partition for the entire capacity of the virtual disk, select the Primary partition and click Next.

Drive 0 Partition 4

   Step 9

Wait while the Windows wizard is copying the system files required for installation, and do not turn off your guest machine.

Expanding Files for Installation

   Step 10

The wizard will reboot your virtual system within the specified time after copying the Windows 8 system files. Restart your guest machine without waiting for the time and continue.

Restarting the Virtual Computer

   Step 11

Type a different computer name from other computers in your local network and also set the theme color and click Next.

Typing a Computer Name and Choosing a Theme Color

   Step 12

You can give permission by clicking Use Express Settings to automatically connect to other devices on the local network, automatically install Windows updates, protect your personal data with Windows Defender, or help its development by sending user data to Microsoft.

If you want to change some system settings to suit your personal purpose, you can click Customize and enable or disable some settings.

Use Windows 8 Quick Settings

   Step 13

To sign in to Windows 8x, you can sign in with a Microsoft account and back up all your data in the cloud. Since there is no continue without Microsoft account option on this screen, click Create a new account and continue.

Signing in with a Microsoft Account

   Step 14

On the Create a Microsoft account screen, click Sign in without a Microsoft account to enable logging in with the offline account.

Choosing to Sign In Without a Microsoft Account

   Step 15

To create a local user account in your virtual system, type a username and click Finish.

Typing a Username

   Step 16

After installing Windows 8x, press Windows + R to find out the system version and type the winver command in the Run window, and press OK.

Checking Windows 8 Version

How to Install VMware Tools

After installing Windows 8/8.1 with VMware Fusion on macOS, you need to install VMware Tools to enable the VM to run more efficiently, enable full-screen resolution, and transfer files between the host and the VM.

   Step 1

While the virtual machine is running, click Virtual Machine / Install VMware Tools from the Fusion tool menu, and then click the Install button to mount the CD image to the system from the pop-up window.

VMware Tools Installation

   Step 2

After the VMware Tools CD image is added to the virtual machine, click Run setup64.exe, and start the wizard.

Running the VMware Tools Wizard

   Step 3

Click Next in the VMware Tools setup wizard.

VMware Tools Setup

   Step 4

If you plan to use your guest machine with other VMware products later, select Complete for compatibility and click Next.

Selecting the Installation Type

   Step 5

Click Install to start the installation of the Guest machine tools, or click Back if you want to make changes.

Starting the Installation of Virtual Machine Tools

   Step 6

After installing VMware Tools on your Windows 8 virtual computer, restart your system.

Restarting the Virtual PC

   Step 7

Take your guest operating system in full-screen mode and check the resolution.

Checking the Full Screen Resolution on the Guest Machine

   Step 8

Also, check that you can transfer files between your Mac and guest machine by drag and drop.

Drag and Drop File Transfer Between Mac and Guest Machine

How to Check Internet Connection

You may need to check that the guest machine you are running on your Mac can access your local network and the Internet. This way, you can continue with your work in the VM.

   Step 1

Press Windows + R to open the CMD prompt and type cmd in the Run window and click OK. After opening the CMD prompt, execute the ping command and test your Internet connection by pinging the Google servers.

Ping Google Servers with CMD

   Step 2

If you can ping Google or any website, you have an Internet connection. Additionally, open the Internet Explorer browser and try to visit the Google homepage.

Visiting the Google Homepage with Internet Explorer

How to Configure Shared Folder

You can transfer files by drag and drop with the guest machine on your Mac, but this sometimes takes time. Therefore, you can exchange data over the location you specify by activating the Shared Folder feature in Fusion.

   Step 1

Open the settings of the Windows 8.1 guest machine and click Sharing.

Viewing Sharing Settings

   Step 2

Enable Shared Folders and then click the + button and specify a location on your Mac. After configuring the public folder, you will see that the VMware Shared Folders shortcut has been created on the guest machine.

Enabling Shared Folders

   Step 3

Click the Shared Folders shortcut on your guest machine and create a text document in it and check if it has been created at your Mac’s location.

Checking Shared Folder Availability

How to Use USB Flash Memory

Another way to transfer files with a VM on your Mac is to use a USB flash drive. USB sticks that you use on your Windows computer cannot normally be used on macOS, because macOS does not run devices with the NTFS file format. So you need to format NTFS to ExFAT format.

   Step 1

After you plug your USB flash drive into your Mac, the Fusion software will ask you where you want to connect the device. In this window, you can choose to connect either to your Mac or to your Windows guest machine.

To make the flash drive writable, you need to format the file, so connect your device to your Mac.

Connecting USB Flash Drive to Mac

   Step 2

Open Disk Utility and click the right button / Erase option on your flash memory from the External section.

Changing the File Format of Flash Memory

   Step 3

Select ExFAT from the Format section and click the Erase button again.

Formatting NTFS USB Drive as ExFAT

   Step 4

Check that it is writable by creating a new folder in the USB memory named KINGSTON.

Verifying that Flash Memory Is Writable

   Step 5

Click Virtual Machine / USB & Bluetooth / Connect (Name of Your USB) in the tool menu to connect your USB stick to the Windows 8 guest machine.

Connecting USB Memory from Mac to Windows Guest Machine

   Step 6

You can now use your USB stick on both macOS and Windows 8 virtual PC.

Checking the Contents of USB Memory on a Windows Guest Machine

How to Connect from a Mac to a Windows Guest Machine using Microsoft Remote Desktop

You can remotely connect to your guest machines via LAN or WAN using the Microsoft Remote Desktop application on your Mac computer.

   Step 1

After downloading the Microsoft Remote Desktop application from the App Store, double-click the setup file to start the installation and click the Continue button in the wizard that opens.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Setup

   Step 2

To accept the license agreement of the remote desktop application, accept the agreement after clicking Continue.

Confirming License Terms

   Step 3

Select Install for all users of this computer and continue.

Install For All Users On This Computer

   Step 4

After clicking the Install button in the window that states that the installation will use 145.8 MB of disk space, type your user account password and click Install Software.

Typing User Account Password

   Step 5

After installing the Microsoft Remote Desktop application on your macOS system, close the wizard.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Installed Successfully

   Step 6

Open Applications on your Mac and run Microsoft Remote Desktop.

Running the Microsoft Remote Desktop Application

   Step 7

If you want to use your host’s camera and microphone device on your guest machine after installing the remote desktop application, give access permission.

Allow Camera and Microphone for Remote Desktop Connection

   Step 8

Right-click on My Computer on your Windows 8x virtual machine and click Manage. When Computer Management opens, click Local Users and Groups / Users and right-click / Set Password on the username you created for your virtual system, and then click the Proceed button in the window that opens.

Creating Password for User Account

   Step 9

Create a new password for your user account and click OK.

Creating a Password

   Step 10

To allow remote connections on the guest machine, open the computer properties and then click Remote Settings in the left pane.

On the Remote tab of the System Properties window, check the Allow remote connections to this computer option and click OK.

Allowing Remote Desktop Connections in Windows 8

   Step 11

Find out the IP address that your Windows guest machine automatically gets from the DHCP server in your local network.

Checking the IP Address of the Virtual Machine

   Step 12

Click the Add PC button in the remote desktop application.

Adding PC for Remote Connection

   Step 13

After typing the IP address of the virtual machine in the PC Name field, click Add User Account from the User Account drop-down list.

Typing the VM's IP Address and Entering User Account Information

   Step 14

Type the user account name and password in your virtual system as well as the VM name and click the Add button.

Adding User Account

   Step 15

After clicking the right button / Connect on the guest machine you added, click Continue in the window that shows the certificate warning.

Establishing a Remote Connection to the VM

   Step 16

After establishing a remote connection to the VM, you can check the IP address of the guest machine.

Managing Virtual Computer with Remote Desktop Connection


Windows 8x ISO Download

Windows 8.1 Professional x64 EN


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