Start screen on Windows 8 Pro

As Windows 8 and IE10 have recently been released, I thought I’d better get myself a working Windows 8 system, asap. Will be very useful to be able to see how Windows 8 operates, plus also test IE10 websites as thats already either a requirement (or likely to become a requirement) in some projects I’m working on.

I’m actually writing this blog post on my Windows 8 Pro system, in IE10 – so it has been successful, but after many false starts and problems here and there.

MSN News on Windows 8

So, Windows 8 Pro is running on my iMac OSX 10.8.2, on VirtualBox 4.2.4, having upgraded a previous Windows XP SP3 virtual.

It took me many tries to get this working and the main things learnt were:

  • I tried to upgrade an existing XP virtual on VirtualBox but it would not work, however many ways I tried to change the virtual’s settings. It didn’t matter even when I had the latest copy of VirtualBox – it just wouldn’t work – the Windows-8-Setup and Windows-8-Upgrade-Assistent just wouldn’t run.
  • I then canned my existing XP virtual, which was only for test runs anyway.
  • I then got the very latest VirtualBox – v4.2.4
  • I created a new XP Virtual machine, with the settings as follows:
  •    2 CPUs
  •    Enabled PAE/NX (Important setting to avoid related errors / bootup errors)
  •    Hardware Virtualization – both options left checked
  •    Memory 2048Mb (my iMac has 12 Gb so plenty to spare)
  •    Hard Disk Space 30 GB (THIS WAS VITAL – FIRST TIME I HAD 20 GB – TOO SMALL!)
  • I then created the Windows XP virtual – from a genuine Windows XP SP2 DVD
  • I then had to 1) upgrade the browser to IE8 and 2) update Windows XP to SP3
  • I then downloaded Windows 8 Setup from the email where I’d purchased the Windows 8 Pro upgrade (for £24.99)
  • This time it ran perfectly, unlike on previous attempts, where it started but immediately exited
  • Then entered the Product Key
  • It then downloads Windows 8, which took a while but not that long really for a whole O/S download
  • Then the messages ‘Installing Windows 8’ then ‘Getting a few things ready…’ which continued for a while…
  • Then it was time to accept the License Terms
  • Then clicked Install and off it went.
  • Note: First time I got this far, it went wrong, as the iMac went into Power Saving mode and this screwed up the install process – at this point, it regressed back to Windows XP!  In readiness for the next time, I turned off all Power Saving.
  • Eventually, on the next try, it all worked.
  • I then started up Windows 8 Pro on my VirtualBox and – it started ok.
  • First problem though was that there was no network connection/adapter.
  • I Googled this and found an answer – so shut down the Windows 8 Pro virtual and changed the Network settings for it in VirtualBox. This was to to ensure in the Network settings screen that ‘Attached to:’ said NAT and Adapter Type said ‘Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM)
  • I then started up the Windows 8 Pro virtual and bang – it all worked fine, network and all (having changed a network setting on the main Start screen)

So now I have a fully functioning Windows 8 Pro setup for the price of a £24.99 upgrade – not bad! Now I just need to work out how the hell Windows 8 works!

First thoughts of Windows 8 are that its a bit unusual, but I actually like it – and thats using a mouse to get around it and not touch screens etc.

Below are screenshots of the various settings screens in VirtualBox for the successful Windows 8 Pro virtual machine.