Recently we looked at setting up a Virtual Machine using Microsoft's built in hypervisor, Hyper-V which comes built into premium business editions of Windows 8 and later. While Hyper-V is a great out of box solution because of its tight integration and robust performance, it does have certain limitations and complexities. In particular, it does not play nice with other Virtual Machine utilities including VirtualBox itself and VMWare Player if you have it installed. Also, configuring it is not as simple as VirtualBox. For instance, VirtualBox makes network connections easier, I don't have configure switches and configure Internet sharing especially for wireless networks, it does all of that for me. In this article, we take a look at installing the latest Windows 10 build in it.
First step is to download VirtualBox and install it. You can get it at the following link:
Once you have VirtualBox installed, launch it.
Check for the latest updates from the Help menu, if you already had a previous version of Dropbox installed. The latest versions always guarantee the most compatibility, especially with a constantly changing OS like Windows 10 under development.
Click New to start the creation of a virtual machine.
Provide a name and select the type of operating system you are installing, along with the architecture. In this case:
- Windows 10 9926 - easily identify the virtual machine
- Microsoft Windows - VirtualBox supports many types of of operating system, so make the right choice here
- Windows 8.1 - This will depend on the architecture you are using, right now, VirtualBox does not have defined support for Windows 10, but selecting Windows 8.1 closely matches Windows 10 compatibility. I have selected 64 bit, since that is the architecture I am installing.
Next, adjust the slider or enter the amount of RAM (memory) you would like to allocate to the virtual machine. (Hint), the more, the better. This will utlimately depend on how much RAM is available in the machine and how much is available to the host operating system. In my case I have 8 GBs of RAM installed, so I have decided to share half of that. Click Next
At this screen, we will configure storage for our virtual machine. Select the Create a virtual hard drive now radio box, then click Create
This will launch a new wizard specifically for configuring storage type. VirtualBox supports many hard drive file formats. Your choice will come down to personal preference and compatibility. If you believe you might one day switch to Hyper-V, select VHD, if you might switch to VMWare, choose VMDK and any other choice you might feel compelled to use in the future. Click Next
The above wizard is self explanatory, personally, I liked to use a fixed size, but you can have your Virtual Machine grow with your needs, so you don't have to worry about applications or files taking up space. With a fixed size, you must consider future growth.
- Will you be storing or creating lots of files?
- Will you be installing lots of applications?
Once you have made your decision, click Next
At this screen, similar to allocating RAM, we can adjust the amount of disk space we would like to allocate to the virtual machine. The amount is ultimately dependent on how much is available. The max limit is 2 TBs, I don't have that amount. Since I will be using it just for evaluation and installing a few apps, 25 GBs should be more than enough. Also note, if you have another drive or partition with enough storage, you can click the browse button and store it there if the active drive does not have enough space. Keep in mind:
- 32 bit Windows - 16 GBs
- 64 bit Windows - 20 GBs
- Think about future needs: apps, files.
Once you have made your choices, click Create
Wait while the wizard creates your virtual hard disk, this can take some time depending on the size or type of storage device you have (mechanical or SSD).
Configuring Virtual Machine Settings
After you have completed the creation of your Virtual Machine, the next step is to configure it. To do so, click the Settings button on the toolbar.
Confiure all settings as show on screen under System > Motherboard:
Check "Enable I/O APIC
Under Processor, Enable PAE/NX box is checked.
Make sure Enable VT-x/AMD-V and Enable Nested Paging is checked
Enable 3D Accerleration only
Starting the installation of Windows 10 in the Virtual Machine
Now we are ready to install Windows. Click Start on the toolbar.
For the purposes of this article, I am using a .ISO file, you can configure your Virtual Machien settings if you are installing from a DVD or USB thumbdrive. Installing from a .ISO file is way more easier. Just click the browse button and select the .ISO file then click Start
Wait while Windows 10 loads setup files.
Select your Language, Time and Keyboard method then click Next.
Click Install now
Wait while Setup starts.
Accept the license terms and click Next
Selected the drive and click New
Select the Primary partition and click Next
Wait while Windows installs
When this phase of setup is complete, Windows will automatically restart and reboot into setup again.
Windows is detecting and installing your hardware. After this is complete, Windows will restart one last time.
Out of Box Experience
The Out of Box Experience page is where you get to configure detailed settings in Windows, which includes creating a user account, privacy, sync PC settings and install modern applications.
For the purposes of this article, I will choose Use express settings
Windows will prepare to create a user account.
For the purposes of this article, I will create a local account. If you have a Hotmail or Outlook account, you can sign in sync your settings. To select a local account, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the dialog and click Sign in without a Microsoft account.
Enter your credentials and click Finish
Wait while Windows finalizes your settings
Continue to wait while Windows installs modern applications.
There you go, Windows 10 has successfully installed in Oracle VirtualBox
Install the latest Windows Updates immediately
Press Windows key + R
Click Check for Updates
Restart if prompted.
- If you have Hyper-V installed, uninstall it.
- Ensure that Virtualization is enabled in your system BIOS of the host machine.
- Make sure you have enough memory to support both the host and the Virtual Machine.
- Make sure all settings are configured properly.
Where can I get more information about preparing my computer safely for testing Windows 10?
- How to install the latest Windows 10 build
- How to: Create a Local Account during Out of Box Experience Setup
- How to dual boot the latest Windows build with previous versions of Windows
- How to: 10 Tips before installing the latest Windows 10 build
- How to migrate from Windows 10 Preview Releases: Dual Boot Setup and Protect Accumulated Data
- How to: Reinstall or Restore your original Windows installation after evaluating the Windows 10 Previews