In this article, we will examine how to set up Windows 8/8.1 on a virtual machine using the VMware Workstation 17 Pro virtualization program on Windows 10 64 Bit operating system.
How to Set Up Windows 8/8.1 on a Virtual Machine using VMware Workstation 17 Pro
You can easily install Linux, Windows, or macOS operating systems on your computer using virtualization programs such as VMware Pro. Although VMware Workstation Pro is a paid program, it is the most powerful and widely used program today compared to other software.
If VMware Workstation and VirtualBox programs are compared, the main difference between them is that one is paid and the other is free. Therefore, people who do not like and do not want to pay for a program may prefer VirtualBox.
However, in a large corporate network, the VMware Workstation program is more widely used and preferred. If you are a system administrator, you should be using this virtualization software.
After installing the Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system, you must also install the VMware Tools additional software. Because this software is necessary for you to use the virtual machine more efficiently and to transfer files between your host and guest machine.
How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows 8.1
First of all, install the latest version of Workstation Pro by browsing this article on your computer, and then download the Windows 8/8.1 ISO file for VMware from this link to your computer, and then follow the steps below in order.
Open VMware Pro and click Create a New Virtual Machine from the options you see on its homepage. When the VM creation wizard opens, select the Custom (Advanced) option and click the Next button.
For the virtual machine hardware compatibility setting, select Workstation latest version 17 and click Next. If the version of the program you are using is old, you can continue by selecting the relevant version in this window.
In the Guest Operating System Installation window, check I will install the operating system later to add and install the operating system ISO file to the virtual machine later and click Next.
Select Microsoft Windows for the operating system to be installed in the Select a Guest Operating System window and Windows 8.x x64 from the Version section and click Next.
In the Name the Virtual Machine window, type the name of the operating system you will install, and if your host computer has an NVMe or SSD disk, click Next without changing the installation location of the virtual machine.
Select one of the BIOS or UEFI / Secure Boot options as the Firmware Type and click Next.
According to the hardware features of your computer, you need to determine the number of processors and cores in the Processor Configuration window. Here, it will be sufficient to set 1 processor and the number of 4 or 8 cores.
Likewise, determine a suitable RAM value for the virtual machine depending on the RAM capacity of your host computer.
Proceed with the NAT selected by default when creating the virtual machine in the Network Type window.
In the Select I/O Controller Types window, configure the SCSI controller type as LSI Logic SAS and click Next.
In the Select a Disk Type window, select the SATA or NVMe disk type and continue the installation. Windows 8/8.1 works fine in NVMe disk structure, but for Windows 7 you need to install necessary Windows hotfixes.
To create a new virtual disk for virtual operating system installation, select Create a new virtual disk and click Next.
In the Specify Disk Capacity window, you can select the Allocate all disk space now option for virtual machine disk performance, but it will create a lot of space on your host’s storage.
- The Allocate all disk space now option allocates space on your disk as much as the disk size you have allocated for the virtual machine.
- The Store virtual disk as a single file option configures the virtual disk as a single file rather than splitting it into pieces.
Configure the size of the virtual disk to 30GB or higher and check the Store virtual disk as a single file option and click Next.
The Specify Disk File window asks where to save the virtual disk. If you want to store the virtual disk in a different location, you can change this setting with the Browse button. Leave the name and location of the disk file in the default setting and click the Next button.
At the last step of the virtual machine creation steps, click Customize Hardware to add an ISO file and edit the graphics memory, or if you want to make any changes after creating the virtual computer.
After selecting the processor hardware in the virtual machine settings, tick the Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI, Virtualize CPU Performance Counters and Virtualize IOMMU (IO Memory Management Unit) options in the Virtualization Engine section.
Click on the CD/DVD device to add the ISO file you downloaded to your computer to the virtual machine. Then, after selecting Use ISO image file, click Browse and select the location of the ISO file.
Go to the location where you downloaded the Windows 8.1 Professional x64 ISO file and select the file and click the Open button.
Enable USB 3.1 for USB Controller hardware and tick Show all USB input devices.
After clicking on the Display hardware, enable 3D graphics acceleration from the options displayed on the right and configure the Graphics Memory size to the appropriate value.
After successfully completing the virtual machine creation steps, click Finish.
Click Power on this virtual machine to run the Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 virtual machine and begin the installation.
How to Install Windows 8
After creating, preparing, and starting a new virtual machine for Windows 8 installation, the setup screen will start as follows. From this step, the installation steps are valid on both VM and physical computers.
In the Setup window, after configuring the system display language, time zone, and keyboard layout you want to use, click Next.
Click the Install Now button to start the installation.
To activate Windows, type the product key specified on the installation media you purchased and continue. If you do not have the product key you want to enter during the installation phase, you can get it in a short time by searching on Google.
Accept the license agreement of the operating system and click the Next button.
Click Custom: Install Windows Only (Advanced) to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 from scratch.
In the virtual machine disk configuration, first, click the New button and then do not change the Size value to use all the disk space and click the Apply button. Click the OK button in the warning window where additional fields will be created for Windows.
Select Drive 0 Partition 4 to install Windows 8.1 and click Next.
Wait while the files are being prepared for installation.
After the installation copied the necessary files, click the Restart Now button to restart the virtual machine immediately.
Wait while setup prepares the VM for configurations.
Type the computer name for the Windows 8 virtual machine and click the Next button.
Click the Use quick settings button.
If you want to log in to your virtual system with a Microsoft account, enter your personal information in the Email and Password fields. If you want to use it with a local user account, click Create a new account and continue.
In this step, you can create a new Microsoft account through the operating system. However, if you do not want to use the Microsoft account for the new user account, click Sign in without a Microsoft account.
Specify a username and password for your local user account and click Finish.
During the installation, the necessary applications for your system are installed. After this step, the Windows 8.1 desktop screen will appear in a few minutes.
Finally, to check the Windows version, right-click on My Computer and click Properties, and you can check the system version from the window that will open.
How to Install VMware Tools
After installing any operating system on the virtual machine with VMware, one of the software you must install is VMware Tools. Thanks to this software, you can use the virtual computer more effectively and efficiently. It allows you to use hardware such as USB, and webcam, available on your host device.
Click VM / Install VMware Tools from the tool menu to install the drivers for your guest operating system.
After the VMware Tools installation image file is automatically mounted to the system, click on the DVD drive. Click on Run Setup64.exe of the image file on the DVD drive.
Continue by clicking Next in the installation wizard.
In the Choose Setup Type window, select the Complete option and click Next in order to use the virtual computer you have installed with other products developed by VMware.
Click the Install button to start installing the Windows 8/8.1 drivers.
In order to use devices such as USB mouse or keyboard that are available on your host and that you use externally, wait while the relevant drivers are installed on the VM.
After the necessary drivers for the virtual machine are installed, click Finish and restart your VM for the changes to take effect. After your system restarts, you can check the version by clicking the VMware Tools icon in the lower right corner.
Click View / Full Screen from the VMware tool menu and check that your guest system is running in full screen resolution.
After the VM Tools installation, the file transfer from the host machine to the virtual pc works smoothly by drag and drop method.
How to Create and Configure Shared Folder
After installing Windows 8/8.1 with VMware, you can use the Shared Folder feature to create a common folder that you will use constantly between the host and the VM.
To create a Shared Folder in Windows 8.1, click VM / Settings. Select Shared Folders from the virtual machine settings and tick Always Enabled from the Sharing section.
Then, if you want the public folder you will create to appear as a network drive on My Computer, also check the Map as a network drive in the Windows guest option and click the Add button to select and add the public folder.
Click the Browse button and select the folder you specified, and in the Name field, type the name of the folder on the host that will appear on the VM, and then click Next.
In the Additional Attributes section, check the Enable this share option to activate the public folder and click Finish.
Open the Network and check if vmware-host computer exists. When you click VMware-Host, you can see that the Shared Folders feature is running and can be accessed over the network.
How to Use USB Flash Memory
If you want to transfer files to your virtual machine via USB flash memory or a portable HDD, you need to plug your USB into one of the host ports according to the controller type in the VM settings.
After inserting your USB memory into your PC, create a folder named Backup as an example.
To connect your USB to your VM, click VM / Removable Devices / Name of your USB / Connect from the tool menu.
When your flash memory is automatically mounted to your virtual system, you can view the contents of your disk and transfer your files quickly.
How to Delete the Virtual Machine
If you want to delete the Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 operating system that you created using the Workstation Pro software, right-click on your VM from the left panel of the program and click Manage / Delete From Disk.
In the This action is irreversible warning window that opens, click Yes to confirm completely deleting your VM from your host disk.
Installing Old Versions
You can install and run Windows 8.x versions on your host computer using 12, 14, 15, and 16 old versions of Workstation Pro.
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