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.
Outline of this post:
- Get Windows 10 technical preview ISO file from Microsoft
- Install Oracle VirtualBox on Windows 10 PC
- Create a new virtual machine for Windows 10 technical preview
- Install Windows 10 technical preview on VirtualBox
- Install VirtualBox guest additions
How to get 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, we are going to use 64-bit version (English) ISO, but go with whatever works for your setup.
How to install Oracle VirtualBox on Windows 10
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.
How to create a new virtual machine
Follow these steps to create a new virtual machine to install Windows 10:
Step 1: 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.
Step 2: 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 1 GB of RAM.
For the x64 version, you will need 2 GB. 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.
Step 3: Next, you need to create a virtual drive. Microsoft says that 16 GB is the minimum space needed for the 32-bit version, but 20 GB 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.