2 Birds, 1 stone—Windows 8 Release Preview

Like many of you I downloaded the Windows 8 Release Preview as well as Visual Studio 2012 RC today.

I knew I’d want to use it in some Virtual Machines as well as Boot to VHD.

So how did I do it and save some time?

  • Download the ISO from Microsoft.
  • Create a new Hyper-V VM.
    When choosing the VHD size, I start small—I can always make it bigger. For Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012 RC, and Office 2010, I make it 32 GB fixed since I know I’ll need that much plus a bit of buffer.
    NOTE: If you’re going to use Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (instead of Windows Server 2012 RC) to host your Window 8 VM, you’ll want to make sure you have this hot fix installed before you try and boot your Windows 8 VM as a guest.
  • Install Windows 8. When I get a chance to create the first account, I only create a local account like Installer since I know I’m going to use sysprep. I wait until I’m using a “real” version before I add my Live ID.
  • I like to enable the local Administrator account and set a password.
  • I then run Windows Update and then shutdown.
  • Export a copy.

Windows 8 Release Preview


Windows 8

  • Install Visual Studio 2012 RC.



Visual Studio 2012


  • Install Office 2010 Pro with SP1.
  • Windows Update and then shutdown.
  • Export a copy.
  • Now start it back up and log into the virtual machine.
  • Log on as the local Administrator.
  • Start a command prompt (elevated if you’re not using the local Administrator).
  • Change directories to C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep.
  • Type sysprep and press return.








Windows 8 Sysprep

  • Pick OOB, generalize and then click OK.
  • Wait for it to Shutdown.
  • Backup the VHD.
  • Now copy to a real machine that I want to use it on with Boot to VHD.
  • Go to Windows 7 for example and mount the VHD .
  • Use System Configuration to make sure I don’t have an existing Windows 8 entry. If I do rename with BCDEDIT.
  • Start an Administrative command prompt.
  • Change to C:\Windows\System32 and type bcdboot V:\Windows where V: is the driver letter assigned to the mounted VHD.
  • Reboot and let Windows 8 do through the OOB experience.
  • Log in with my Live ID, add missing drivers.
  • Visit the Windows 8 store.







Comments (1) -

Wes MacDonald
Wes MacDonald
6/3/2012 8:08:29 PM #

Great advice!  I need some bigger SSDs in my laptop to venture down that road Frown

Comments are closed

About the author

Brian A. Randell is a Partner with MCW Technologies, LLC. Brian is also currently a Visual Studio ALM MVP.

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