Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting

Windows 8 Release Preview step-by-step guide installation in VirtualBox. Includes a short troubleshooting guide for common errors too.

I made a guide for Windows 8 Consumer Preview using VirtualBox before. So this is just an update. If you have followed that guide before, it\’s very similar except that I am using an updated Virtual Box and Windows 8 installer.

First, update to the latest version of VirtualBox. At the time I wrote this, version 4.1.16 is the latest. Then download Windows 8 Release Preview.

Now, let\’s start with the creation of virtual machine.

Using the steps below, create your Wondows 8 Release Preview Virtual Machine.

Windows 8 VirtualBox Guide

Install Windows 8 Release Preview

Installation is easy as pie. Just enter your preferred language, time and date format as well as keyboard or input method.

You\’ll be asked to enter serial key. If you are read the instruction on the ISO download page you should be able to find the serial key already. Just look for the Product Key.

Anyway, Windows 8 Release Preview Serial Key is  TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF

Further Setup

From here you can customize your settings already. In my example here, I used local account instead of using Microsoft account. I haven\’t warmed up yet with the idea of using it yet.

I noticed that sending info to Microsoft is an opt-in instead of an opt-out. You can see from the Settings configuration that it does not track anything you download from Windows Store nor track your location.  However, location platform is on by default so apps can ask your location if you permit them.

When you first logon you will get this lock screen. Much like the swipe to unlock screen guard in some Android phones.


You can setup the picture password later. I like this idea better than Android\’s pattern lock because it does not force you to make a visible pattern using lines or grids. You just click and point to the area you wish to use. I wish you can setup more than 3 clicks but perhaps it is too much to remember for normal people so 3 clicks should be good enough.

One thing I noticed, when you start typing at the start screen it automatically searches for whatever you are typing. No need to look for the search text box.

The glaring issue that I still find in Windows 8 Release Preview is the invisible start menu. You have to hover the corners to get the start menu from the lower left corner and side bar menu from lower right corner. I am not sure if the experience will be different if you are using tablet but I am still skeptical on hiding the start menu. Yes you can bring it up easily using Windows key on your keyboard but it still does not make sense to me or to any average person I know. I had this opinion even before I saw Chris Pirillo\’s rants about the missing start menu.

Windows 8 Metro Apps

I tested Internet Explorer 10 with Flash 10 support. Nothing fancy about it.

Then there are 3 new apps added like News, Sports and Travel. These 3 apps share common interface and I think they will be the standard reference for Metro apps in terms of design and technical implementation. If you swipe down, you will get a pull down menu at the top. This serves as the menu of the applications. For example, in the Sports app — the default sport is basketball. At first you will think that it only displays basketball news but when you bring up the menu, you have an option to choose from different sports including golf, F1 race and football.


If you are installing and you get the error \”Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8.” — you are not alone. Related issue to this is error code 0x000005d. Specially if you are working on VirtualBox, you will get this error if missed several prerequisites before installing Windows 8. You have to make sure that you enable NX (No eXecute bit) option in your BIOS.

I was able to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview before without this option so it came as a surprise that I could not install Windows 8 Release Preview without enabling this option.

If you enable NX,  Windows 8 VirtualBox error code 0x0000005D will not occur on your installation again.

Related error 0xC0000260 is cause by disabled PAE (or PAE-NX) virtualization option so you must enable PAE (or PAE-NX)  as well.

If you are interested to upgrade from Consumer Preview, it is possible but there is no simple method  to retrieve your data easily. Since I am only testing Windows 8 I do not install this in any live (production) machine. It\’s never wise to use beta products on work environment. However, if you are one of those who are too excited to use the latest version of Windows 8, you can use Easy Transfer to migrate your personal files from an old installation.

Microsoft Answers has a wealth of information about many problems you might encounter with Windows 8. Reporting problems will help Microsoft squash more bugs before the final retail version comes out.

I will not recommend installing the Guest Additions Tools because it makes my Windows 8 Release Preview unstable. Maybe it has something to do with the graphics driver but I will leave it for now until it becomes stable.

Have you experimented with the Windows 8 yet? Let me know your opinion below the comment section.

By Marck V.

Filipino IT consultant on enterprise software. On his spare time he do web project management, photography and blogging. Web 2.0 enthusiast.