Step by step instructions to install Windows 8 on VMWare Workstation 8

After several failed attempts to install Windows 8 developer preview build on Windows Virtual PC, VMWare Player and Oracle Virtual Box, I was able to successfully install Windows 8 today on VMWare Workstation. Read this post to learn how to install Windows 8 on VMWare Workstation.

As soon as Microsoft announced Windows 8 installer today, I started downloading and installing. After few failed attempts to install on Windows Virtual PC and VMWare Player, I was able to get it right. If you like to install Windows 8 from USB drive, read our article on how to install Windows 8 from a USB drive.

You may want to read how to install Windows 8 Release Preview on Oracle VM VirtualBox, which provides step by step instructions to install Windows 8 Release Preview on VirtualBox.

Step by step instructions on how I installed Windows 8 on VMWare Workstation:

[This article was originally written for Windows 8 Consumer Preview but the same steps would work fine for Windows 8 Release Preview as well.)

Step 1. Download Windows 8 installer from the official Microsoft Windows website -

The process to download VMWare Workstation is bit tedious. You need to first register in their website during the process. In addition, before you can download the software, you need to obtain a product key by following the instructions you receive from the automated email from VMWare.

Step 3. Install VMWare Workstation
The installation is a pretty straight forward process. During installation, you will have to provide the VMWare product key you received in the email. (I deleted the email without reading, but luckily I could recover it from the Trash folder).

Step 4. Launch VMWare Workstation. You can find the shortcut to launch VMWare Workstation on your desktop or start menu.

Step 5. Create new Virtual Machine by clicking on the appropriate link in the welcome screen or in the File menu.

Step 6. When you create a new virtual machine, choose the option "I will install the operating system later.". The option to install from the Windows 8 installer ISO image may not work since VMWare cannot recognize the Windows 8 operating system yet.

Step 7. Choose Windows as the operating system. Since you won't find Windows 8 in the list, choose Windows 7 or Windows 7 64-bit, whichever is appropriate. Choose the default options or appropriate options in all other screens.

Step 8. After you complete creating the new virtual machine, VMWare will open the new virtual machine with a blank screen.

Step 9. Click on the "Power on this virtual machine". It will try to boot the virtual machine, but will fail to start the operating system since there is no OS installed yet.

Step 10. The next step is, mount the ISO image as DVD drive and install Windows 8 from it. To mount the Windows 8 ISO image, click on the tab for your virtual machine in VMWare window and select "Removable Devices" >> "CD/DVD (IDE)" >> "Settings".

Step 11. Click on the CD/DVD (IDE) settings on the leftside. On the right side, choose the option "Use ISO image file" and select your Windows 8 installer ISO image file.

You are all set to install Windows 8 on the VMWare Workstation. All you have to do is, click on "Restart VM" in the bottom of the VMWare Workstation screen and it will restart the virtual machine and boot from the Windows 8 ISO image.

The whole installation process takes only about 10 minutes, depending on your computer and resources available for virtual machine. The Windows 8 installation process is straight forward and you can choose default options or select obvious settings. It will ask for a Windows 8 product key, which you can skip and choose to provide it later.

Few key points to note during Windows 8 installation:

1. In the screen "Choose the installation type", there are 2 options:
- Upgrade
- Custom (Advanced)
Choose the "Custom" option.

2. In the network sharing screen, you may choose "Yes, Share and Connect".

3. If you choose the advanced settings and you are prompted to associate a Windows Live id, you may skip it and choose to create Local Account with Windows.

If you were able to do up to here successfully, you will see the following Windows 8 installation screens.


Article by Tony John
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Guest Author: Microsoft windows17 Nov 2011

Windows 8 developer preview installer is currently available for download from the official microsoft Windows website. If you would like to get first hand experience on what is new in Windows 8, I strongly recommend that you install it on a Virtual Machine rather than trying it on your primary computer.

Guest Author: Paul Naber28 Jan 2012

This also works for VMWare Player, I almost gave up hope getting this to work on my pc.

Kusjes en zo.

Guest Author: Gazgaz1115 Apr 2012

If you need a authorisation key you will find one on

Guest Author: Stella22 Apr 2012

Dear DhanushkaI have some problem on above note. As My dkowlenge above two systems that OVM & VMW are use for hardware virtualization. ]I have t any experience about the Microsoft ones. Theose softwares use for the virtualized the hardware and get out the maximum capability of the hardware. In other words those software use for the make several virtual systems not for the software virtualization. For the software virtualization, in world use Citrix. It is virtualized most of softwares but not hardware. In most of Telecommunication organization & airlines use Citrix even Google also.any way its good and fine blog

Guest Author: SUNHD02 Jun 2012

Thank you so much for your help, I've got the Win 8 Release Review on my VMWARE WORKSTATION 8 successfully. Before I could not install it directly from DVD with ISO file. Thanks again.

Guest Author: raghu03 Jun 2012

after installing win8, the network adaptor is not identified..
any workaround for this

Guest Author: Daniel18 Jun 2012

Hmm, it's still asking for a product key. i've removed the floppy drive as directed above, to no avail. help?

Guest Author: Daniel18 Jun 2012

ok...went back to the MS dev preview page and the key was provided...should've read more..sorry

Guest Author: Sebi14 Aug 2012

Thank you so much; its work for me

Guest Author: Abhijit Chatterjee29 Nov 2012

Whenever I am trying to install Windows 8 in VMWare, it's showing the error "it supports Intel vtx but intel vtx is disabled. You need to change BIOS/Firmware settings.."

Please help me to resolve this problem.

Author: wisemaster19 Jan 2013 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 0

Thanks for the Instructions.It works for me.

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