Use Of ISO Image for Installation of Windows8 Virtual Machine

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In the past, the only way that a Windows consumer could acquire the Windows OS was to purchase the installation media on a CD-ROM, floppy disk, or physical computer accessory, which had to be ordered online or bought from a local bricks and mortar store. Now with the recent release of Windows 8, Microsoft is continuing to extend its installation platform to digital media on a large scale. Windows 8 simplifies the process by using a web platform installer called Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which makes it easier to download, burn physical copies, and create a backup copy of the installation media. This form of digital distribution allows Microsoft to deploy products at a faster speed to the market, and increase its capacity to meet consumer demands.

Getting ready

To proceed with this recipe you will need to download Windows 8, so go to

How to do it…

In the first part of this section we will look into downloading the Windows 8 ISO file.

Skip these steps if you have already downloaded the Windows 8 ISO file in advance.

  1. Visit the Microsoft website to purchase Windows 8 and then select the option to download the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant file. Launch the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant file and proceed with purchasing Windows 8. After completing the transaction, wait while the Windows 8 setup files are downloaded.

    The estimated download time varies, based on your Internet connection.speed. In addition, you have the option to pause the download and resume it later.

  2. Once the download is complete, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will verify the integrity of the download by checking for file corruption and missing files.
  3. Wait while the Windows 8 setup gets the files ready to begin the installation.
  4. You will see a prompt that says Install Windows 8. Select the Install by creating media radio button. Select ISO file, then click on the Save button.
  5. When prompted to select a location to save the ISO file, choose a folder location and type Windows 8 as the filename. Then click on the Save button.
  6. When the product key is revealed, write it down and store it somewhere secure. Then click on the Finish button.

The following set of instructions explains the details of installing Windows 8 on a newly created virtual machine using VMware Player. These steps are similar to the installation procedures encountered when installing Windows 8 on a physical computer:

  1. Open the VMware application by going to Start | All Programs| VMware. Then click on the VMware Player menu item.
  2. If you are opening VMware Player for the first time, the VMware Player License Agreement prompt will be displayed. Read the terms and conditions. Select Yes, I accept the terms in the license agreement to proceed to open the VMware Player application.

    If you select No, I do not accept the terms in the license agreement, you will not be permitted to continue.

  3. The Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard screen will be visible. Click on Create a New Virtual Machine on the right side of the window.
  4. Select the Installer disc image file (iso): radio button. Then click on the Browse button. Browse to the directory of the Windows 8 ISO image and click on Open.
  5. You will see an information icon that says Windows 8 detected. This operating system will use Easy Install. Click on the Next button to continue.
  6. Under Easy Install Information, type in the Windows product information and click on Next to continue.

    You now have the options to:

    • Enter the Windows product key
    • Select the version of Windows to install (Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro)
    • Enter the full name of the computer
    • Enter a password, which is optional

    If you do not enter a product key, you will receive a message saying that it can be manually entered later.

  7. Enter a new virtual machine name and directory location to install the virtual machine. For example, type Windows 8 VM and then click on the Next button to continue.
  8. Enter 16 as the Maximum disk size (GB) and store the virtual disk as a single file. Then click on the Finish button. This is because Windows 8 requires a minimum of 16 GB of free hard drive space. The Windows 8 virtual machine will power on automatically for the first time. At the Ready to Create Virtual Machine prompt, click on the Finish button.

    Remember that Windows 8 requires a minimum of 16 GB hard disk free space for the 32 bit installation and 20 GB space for the 64 bit installation.

  9. VMware will prompt you to install VMware Tools for Windows 2000 and later, click on the Remind Me Later button.
  10. The virtual machine will automatically boot up to the Windows 8 setup wizard. Wait until the Windows installation is complete.

    The virtual machine will reboot several times during this process.

  11. You will see various Windows 8 pictorials during the installation; please be patient. Once the installation is complete, your virtual machine will be immediately directed to the Windows 8 home screen.


This article introduced you to downloading of the Windows 8 operating system as an ISO, creating a new virtual machine, and installing Window 8 as a virtual machine.

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