A very thought out article with a lot of visuals so I will only post the link:
How To Install Windows 8.1 on a Partition or Virtual Machine(3 posts) (2 voices)
I was going to post this stuff after getting win8.1 going yesterday just so I could add the menu app on GOTD -- great timing BTW :) -- but figured this might be easier & more useful if I commented on the article here.
"Windows 8 users can upgrade to the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview or they can install it on a partition or virtual drive. "
Have not tried it yet from win8, but from win7 64 none of the installed apps were carried over -- it was the same as installing fresh.
"Before you begin the installation either on a partition or virtual drive, you’ll need a few things:
A 20 GB partition on your PC or a virtual machine (such as VirtualBox or VMwarePlayer)"
Haven't done it enough yet to say it's a definite problem, but installed to a win7 64 VM with a 13 GB vhd it actually expanded the vhd to ~40 GB, though in the end used disk space only totals ~10GB. At any rate suspect 20 is not enough, so just in case set your vhd to dynamically expand -- you can fix it later so the partition [& file] is smaller.
"When finished, the quickest way to install Windows 8.1 on your partition will be to make some form of bootable media for the ISO. "
Ummm... In terms of total time spent, it's faster/easier/simpler to just burn the ISO to DVD -- Done. There are some hardware setups where you have to go the USB route, but in most cases I think IT folk prefer USB just because it's easier to store, carry, & customize, e.g. with several setup options or routines.
"Once you’ve created your Windows 8.1 media, you want to restart your computer and head into the BIOS. Depending on the computer, this could be done in a variety of ways, so pay attention to what your computer prompts you to do immediately as it boots up.
In the BIOS, you’ll want to change your boot settings to reflect either a USB drive or the DVD drive based on what media you used."
Note that this is highly hardware dependent... Many [most?] PCs/laptops will already have the boot device order set to CD/DVD -> hard drive, meaning if a bootable CD/DVD is in the drive, that's what it'll use, so if you burn a DVD, try just booting 1st. DO remember that a lot of PCs/laptops are set by default to sleep or hibernate rather than completely shut off & reboot. The bios on many systems has a hot key that brings up a boot menu where you can choose which device you want to boot from -- research & if you have this option, it's faster, safer, & easier that changing the bios itself, & then changing everything back. If you do have to change the bios itself, note that you can often choose hard drive as 1st boot device, but then have to specify which hard drive. And it's common for the initial screens during startup to be hidden, often behind some sort of logo -- again you may have to research on how to make that go away, &/or enter the bios setup & so on. If you can't see the initial screens to know when to press whatever hot keys, if you at least know the hot keys, pressing them repeatedly during startup *may* work -- depending on your hardware you may only have a VERY brief window of time when they'll work.
"Windows will ask you to link it to your Microsoft Account. For Windows 8.1, you are required to use a Microsoft Account to access the preview. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for one. "
If you fill in bogus email & password info, then cancel when it doesn't work, you'll be permitted to carry on with install without tying it to an MS acct.
"VirtualBox would not load the preview for me in its 32-bit or 64-bit versions."
This is the only issue you likely should need to over come -
Note that you're instructed to use this command line input: VBoxManage setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
In win7 you have to be running as admin, so search for cmd, run the result as admin. Where the above command has "[vmname]" that should be the full path & file name for the VM's .vbox file, e.g. win8164.vbox.
That all said, win8.1 is a preview, & the VBox additions will not work. Upgrading from a win7 64 VM I get most functionality, but NO shared folders, NO copy/paste etc. If you've got more than one VM you should be able to network between them however, so that or something like Dropbox may be a workable alternative for now.
"I recommend using the 32-bit version of the preview for your virtual machine. This will eliminate a lot of issues with hardware virtualization on most PCs"
Yes 32 bit is easier in some ways, but if you're doing this to test win8.1, & you'll likely be running win8.1 64 bit on your real hardware, testing the 32 bit version kinda misses the whole point of testing. :)
"... installed to a win7 64 VM with a 13 GB vhd it actually expanded the vhd to ~40 GB, though in the end used disk space only totals ~10GB. At any rate suspect 20 is not enough, so just in case set your vhd to dynamically expand -- you can fix it later so the partition [& file] is smaller."
What I wound up doing was copying the drive with Paragon Drive Copy [prior GOTD] to a new, dynamically expanding virtual disk created with max size set to 120 GB -- the result was a virtual disk file between 8 & 9 GB.
If you start from scratch, setting up a new VM that you'll add the win8.1 Prev. to, if you're in win7/8, create a new .VHD & use that when creating your new VM. You'll have to apply that fix posted earlier before running the win8.1 Prev. install. Then if that .VHD winds up too big, with VBox shut down, you can create a 2nd .VHD in Windows, attach both .VHDs, then use the drive copy software.
I wanted to upgrade win7 to see what if any apps were retained [none were]. Because the win7 VM I used was stored on or in a Vbox .vdi file [the VirtualBox virtual disk format], I had to install Paragon Drive Copy to another win7 VM, attach both the new win8.1 .vdi file & a new .VHD I'd just created, & use Drive Copy to transfer the win8.1 Prev. to the new virtual disk. Then with that VM closed, I swapped the virtual drives the win8.1 VM used.
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