After last week’s Windows 10 briefing, a brand new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview was released publicly. Anyone can sign-up for the Windows Insider program and get a taste of Windows 10. Of course, pre-release builds should never be used as a primary OS, so today I’ll walk you through how to run the Windows 10 Technical Preview in a virtual machine.
Under normal circumstances I would do this walkthrough with Oracle’s VirtualBox. It’s free, open source, and works on just about any operating system. Sadly, the drivers appear to be broken for the time being. I couldn’t get sound or networking to work at all, and the screen resolution is severely limited. A quick peek at the community forums shows that other people are having the exact same problems, so hold off using VirtualBox for Windows 10 until these major kinks get worked out.
Instead, I’ll be using the free VMware Player application. It works like a charm, but it’s only available for Windows and Linux. VMware does offer premium virtualization solutions for OS X, but that’s a large investment just to test a preview build of Windows. I can’t recommend dropping $70 if this is all you’ll be using it for. With all that in mind, let’s jump in.
1. Download the Windows 10 ISO
First off, head over to the Windows Insider site, and sign up. Once you’ve agree to the terms of service, proceed to the download page, and pick which disc image you want to download. For the purposes of this walkthrough, I’m using the 32-bit English ISO, but go with whatever works for your set-up.
2. Create a new virtual machine
Now, you need to install VMware Player. Head to the download page, pick which platform you want, and complete the installation.
Once the application is installed, launch it, and navigate to Player > File > New Virtual Machine to get this party started.
3. Find your Windows 10 ISO
Next, you need to tell VMware Player where to find the Windows 10 ISO. Select the second option labeled “Installer disc image file (ISO),” and then navigate to the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded earlier.
4. Choose your save location
Pick out a name for this virtual machine, and then select where you’d like it to be saved.
5. Configure your virtual hard disk
On this screen, you need to choose how big you want your virtual disk to be. 60GB is the default, but you can increase it as needed. Just make sure you have enough free space on your actual hard disk.
By default, VMware Player will split your virtual disk over multiple files, and I recommend leaving it that way. Unless you have a specific reason to change it, keep it as is.
6. Customize your hardware configuration
Next, click the “Customize Hardware” button before we finish the initial set-up.
7. Allocate RAM
The default here is 1GB, but more would be better. I have 16GB of RAM in my machine, so I decided 4GB was an appropriate allocation for this virtual machine. Follow the guide on the right of the screen, and don’t go above the maximum recommended memory. If you outstrip what’s available, you’ll end up paging to the hard disk, and making everything slow to a crawl.
8. Configure the CPU
Switch over to the CPU tab, and choose how many cores you want to dedicate to this machine. One is the default, and that’s probably a safe starting point. My machine has four cores, so I usually end up bumping it to two cores for virtual machines, but your milage may vary.
Now, take a look at the button labeled “Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI.” If you’re using the 64-bit version of Windows 10, this is mandatory. Of course, your CPU needs to support this functionality, so use this tool from Microsoft to verify that it will work with your processor.
9. Begin the installation
Close out of the hardware configuration, and “Finish” the initial set-up. Now, boot up your virtual machine, and install Windows 10 just like you would normally.
10. Install the VMware tools
Once Windows 10 has finally booted up, navigate to Player > Manage > Install VMware Tools. It will mount a virtual DVD, and pop up a notification in the bottom right. Navigate to the disc in Windows Explorer, launch the appropriate executable, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Note: If you don’t already have the VMware tools on your PC, follow this process to download them.
11. Reboot your virtual machine
When it’s finished installing, reboot your virtual machine.
And you’ve virtualized Windows 10!
Finally, your Windows 10 installation is ready to use — even in fullscreen mode. Poke around, download the OS updates, and enjoy the cutting edge of Windows. And when something inevitably breaks, it won’t matter. This is just a virtual machine, so toss it, and start over.
Courtesy – Extreme Tech