Installing Windows Server 8 Developer Preview ~ My blog about Active Directory and everything else

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Installing Windows Server 8 Developer Preview

The Microsoft BUILD Conference is happening this week out in California.

Microsoft is using this conference to mainly talk about the next version of Windows which is Windows 8. There have been some leaked copies of Windows 8 but this week Microsoft released the first official release.

The release is a pre-beta released called the Developers Preview and it is not feature complete and still has some things that need to be fixed but it does give us an image to download and start testing and having fun with.

You can download the image from Microsoft.

I don't have a dedicated hyper-v box at home so I'm using VirtualBox I did try and install it using VMWare Workstation 7.1 but had errors. I may write another blog just on that experience. Again important to note again this is an early version.

If you are running Windows 7 you can also boot into Windows 8 and Scott Hanselman has a great blog entry on setting that up.

Guide to Installing and Booting Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD

I personally prefer virtual machines so that is the method I used.

So off we go for the screenshots of the install

Three Options to select from; for this initial install I'm going with the full install. Future posts will focus on the Server Core and Features On Demand versions.

Obligatory EULA which I fully read :)

Choose Custom (advanced installation)

I usually use around 40 GB for my virtual machines but you technically only need 32 GB of disk space. Additional information on the system requirements can be found here:

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview - System Requirements

The familiar installing Windows dialogue box. Glad some things don't change.

Getting close to being finished.

Enter a password

Moment of truth has arrived, initial screen for Windows Server 8. It gets me excited as I know I'll be spending years of my life using this OS but this is my first install.

There are two screens you will see when initially working with Windows 8. The first is the MetroUI that a lot of people have seen in previews on the Windows 8 blog and other sources. This is the tile interface

MetroUI GUI in Windows Server 8 Developers Preview

You can use the Windows Key to get to the more familiar desktop

It is a new OS with a lot of graphical changes that are going to take time to get used to it. For old timers over 35 like me the transition from NT to Windows 2000 was also dramatic. Remember going from server manager and user manager to AD Users and Computers.

I'm guessing there is a Group Policy to disable MetroUI and that will be a future posts but for now I'm leaving it on and getting used to it.


  1. Thanks Awinish, really hope you can make it to the summit this year. I know it is a long way and a lot of money from where you are.