VirtualBox is an open source software that allows you to create a virtual machine to run a second (or multiple) operating system alongside your current installation without having to change anything, which can come in handy in many scenarios. For example, a virtual machine is the safest way to test upcoming versions of Windows 10 available through the Windows Insider Program.
Thankfully, setting up Windows 10 in a virtual machine isn’t particularly difficult. In this guide, you will learn the steps to create a virtual machine and to install Windows 10 using Oracle’s free VirtualBox.
1.Get the Windows 10 technical preview ISO file:
Head to this page to get Windows 10 technical preview, which is available as an ISO file, all you need is a Microsoft Account and an internet connection. Once you are ready, sign in with your Microsoft Account to join the Windows Insider Program, and then follow the steps to go to the download page. Choose your language and whether you want to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version. For the purposes of this walk-through, I am using the 64-bit version (English) ISO, but go with whatever works for your setup.
2. Install Oracle VirtualBox on your system:
VirtualBox runs on Windows machines, Macs, and Linux machines, so you will be able to install Windows 10 in just about any platform. To get the VirtualBox, just go to the Download VirtualBox page and select the Windows version. Once you have it, the VirtualBox installation procedure is fairly straightforward so that no special instructions needed.
3. Create a new virtual machine:
Once the installation is complete launch the application, press the “New” button, and name your virtual machine (Windows 10 technical preview). Make sure your “Type” is set to “Microsoft Windows” and your “Version” is set to “Windows 10”. Just make sure you match the x64 version with a 64-bit virtual machine, and the x86 version with a 32-bit virtual machine.
4. Allocate RAM for new virtual machine:
As you proceed into the create Virtual Machine wizard, you will configure the memory for your virtual machine. You will be shown a recommended amount of RAM. You can change it if you want, but for the x86 version, you will need at least 1GB of RAM. For the x64 version, you will need 2GB. Whatever you decide, just make sure you stay in the green. If you allocate too much RAM, you will end up with serious performance issues.
5. Create a virtual drive:
Next, you need to create a virtual drive. Microsoft says that 16GB is the minimum space needed for the 32-bit version, but 20GB is required for the 64-bit version. While choosing from virtual drive file types, go with the default i.e “VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI)”. You will then be prompted to choose either a fixed size hard drive or a dynamically allocated hard drive. Since this will most likely be a temporary test system, the 50 GB dynamically allocated hard drive should work just fine. When you get to that point, name the virtual hard drive with the same name that you assigned to the virtual machine, and click the “Create” button. When you complete the Create Virtual Machine wizard, you are ready to install the Windows 10 technical preview.
6. Locate the Windows 10 technical preview ISO:
After you create the virtual hard drive, you will be sent back to the VirtualBox main screen. Now, go into the settings for this virtual machine, and navigate to the “Storage” tab. Under “Controller: SATA,” Select the disk icon, which should probably read “Empty”. On the right side, under “Attributes,” click the disk icon, select Choose “Virtual Optical Disk File”, and then locate the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded earlier. Now click on “OK” button.
7. Finish installing Windows 10 technical preview:
With all of that setup finished on top-left, double click to power on the virtual machine and begin the Windows 10 installation process. From here on in, it’s just like any normal Windows installation, with the usual occasional reboots. The reboots happen inside VirtualBox, not on your machine itself. There is only one important choice you need to make – select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” when you are given a choice between that and a standard installation.
After the installation completes, you will need to go through the out-of-box experience guided by Cortana to finish personalizing your installation.
8. Install VirtualBox guest additions:
Once you are at the Windows 10 desktop, you will need to install all of the proper drivers for VirtualBox. In the VirtualBox UI, go to “Devices,” and then select “Insert Guest Additions CD image.”
Navigate to that disc image in Windows Explorer, and run the installer. Once you have gone through the entire process, you will need to reboot the virtual machine.
8. Your Windows 10 is ready:
Back at the desktop, you can finally use full-screen mode at the proper resolution. In the VirtualBox menu, go to “View,” and select “Switch to Fullscreen.” For the most part, this is now the same experience you would have running it natively. Enjoy yourself, and feel free to poke around all the new features.