I installed Windows 10 Technical Preview using Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 desktop. Here is how I did it!
I installed Windows 10 Technical Preview using Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 desktop. Here is how I did it! I installed Hyper-V on my Windows 8.1 desktop, which has 32GB of memory, plenty of storage and a motherboard/CPU combination that supports virtualization. Here is how I did it.
Turn On Virtualization On the UEFI Settings
You need to log into the UEFI (or BIOS) utility for your PC and ensure that virtualization is turned on. To do that on my PC, I navigated to Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and Recovery > Recovery > Advanced Startup > Restart Now and then selected the option to boot into the UEFI settings tool. The PC restarted and the UEFI settings tool came up. I had to hunt down the settings for virtualization; on my HP, it was in the Security menu. Enable virtualization, then save your changes and exit; the PC will reboot. Now you’ve turned on virtualization on your PC.
Turn On and Configure Hyper-V
Hyper-V is the virtualization tool for Windows 8 and Server 2012. It is a free add-on, but is turned off by default. To set it up, open Control Panel.
Click on Programs.
Select Turn Windows features on or off. See Hyper-V? Click on the box and ensure that it looks like this.
Reboot your PC to finish applying changes.
Creating Your Virtual Machine
Now that Hyper-V is up and running, we need to create a virtual machine for that Windows 10 Technical Preview build to live in. After restarting, find the Hyper-V Manager app and open it. You’ll see this.
Under Actions, click on New and then choose Virtual Machine. The Virtual Machine wizard starts.
Here, I pointed my virtual machines to a directory on the E drives, which has significant space available. Click Next.
I did not have a dedicated network interface card to dedicate here, so I chose Generation 1. If I had a free NIC, I would have chosen Generation 2. Click Next.
I assigned 4GB of memory to the VM (this machine has 32GB available) and decided to let Windows 8 manage memory dynamically. This should minimize the amount of memory being used by Hyper-V. Click Next.
Hmmm…looks like I have an issue. Click Next.
OK, I assigned a 500GB dynamically expanding virtual hard disk. Click Next.
I told it where it could find Windows 10 Technical Preview’s ISO file. Click Next.
We’re ready to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in Hyper-V, so let’s click Finish and see what happens!
Voila! We’re done. Here is what is sitting in my Hyper-V Mananger.
OK, under Actions on the right hand side, I am going to create a Virtual Switch to allow my VM to access the network. Left click on Virtual Switch Manager.
I selected External and then Create Virtual Switch.
I gave it a name and added some notes, then selected the wi-fi connector for this PC. I normally use ethernet in a wired configuration, so this network adaptor is free. This, of course, will slow performance, but I can live with that on a test system. Click Apply.
OK, click Yes anyway.
Windows 8 installed some drivers.
When done, click OK.
Now, we need to connect the switch to the VM. Under the Actions pane, you’ll see the VM options in the bottom window. See where is says Settings? Click there.
See where it says Network Adapter and Not connected? Click on Network Adapter.
OK, in the drop-down box where it reads Not connected, click and select your virtual switch.
I didn’t bother with bandwidth management here, and I clicked Apply then OK.
Here’s how my settings look:
One thing to note: I failed to update my power settings to Performance, which means that Windows 8.1 was putting this machine to sleep after a period of inactivity, even with Hyper-V running. Make sure that you reset your power settings as virtual environments sometime will lock up if the host machine goes to sleep while the virtual machine is running. Also, update the UEFI drivers to make sure that they are the latest and greatest before you configure Hyper-V to ensure optimal performance.
Still with me? Cool! Ready for the install.
Install Windows 10 Technical Preview
Now that you’ve created a VM, let’s install Windows 10 Technical Preview. The installation files are available once you join the Insiders’ Program at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview. Save the ISO file at the location specified when you created the virtual machine.
Start by opening Hyper-V Manager.
Highlight our new shiny virtual machine and either right click and choose Start or click Start on the action menu at the bottom right hand of the screen.
Now click on Connect to see the install package.
Click on Next.
Now click on Install now.
Accept the license terms and click on Next.
I chose Custom.
Yup, that is where it goes! Click Next.
I missed the restart screen!
I chose Use express settings.
I entered my account data and clicked Next. Note that two-factor authorization worked just fine!
I chose Set this up as a new PC instead and moved forward. I also chose to sync my Start screen layout.
I accepted the OneDrive defaults and clicked Next.
Here’s what is going on with the Hyper-V manager.
And…voila! We have Windows 10 Technical Preview!
Let’s click on the Welcome to Tech Preview link.
Awesome. We get a nice video from Joe Belfiore. One thing I noted: audio is fully supported in this remote desktop environment. Nice!
Right click on the Windows icon on the lower left corner.
Here’s the new flatter icons.
And here is what the notification center looks like. I guess Jordan has gymnastics practice!
Note that two apps are installed that you should familiarize yourself with: Insider Hub and Windows Feedback. Here is the Insider Hub:
Here, Microsoft is giving you one place to go to be aware of changes and updates, and they also ask you to perform certain testing tasks to help them assess the build. This is nicely done.
Here is Windows Feedback:
This is the new bug reporting mechanism that Microsoft wants you to use to report issues. You may also see this app pop up in Notifications and toast notifications asking you for direct feedback. Leverage this and send them all the bug reports that you can! It helps them fix the build. You can also still log bugs on the dedicated forum for those times where this app is not available, too.
By the way, Microsoft also added some fun desktop background images for those in the Insiders Program. Simply save them to C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows and profit! Here they are:
- Windows 10 Technical Preview was a little sluggish with 4GB RAM, so I allocated up to 6GB RAM.
- Allocating a Wi-Fi adaptor is not best practice from a performance standpoint. If you can swing it, allocate a wired ethernet adaptor. I may buy another network card to add that capability to my host system.
- Hyper-V does not like when the host system goes to sleep. As I mentioned earlier, set your power settings to prevent the system from sleeping while running the VM.
- I like having the Start menu back, but also really like the Start Screen. I am a little torn here and will have to play with both to see what I end up using.
- The notification center is a nice touch.
- Desktops look to be really useful and I intend to play with that feature set.
- The approach that Microsoft is taking minimizes the Modern UI for desktop units. This will be much more palatable for typical corporate and desktop/non-touch users.
OK, now you are good to go to test Windows 10 Technical Preview! What are you waiting for?