Windows 8 can be installed on a virtual machine and with free software
There have been plenty of guides on how to install Windows 8 from a previous OS or through an ISO image, but if you want to install on a Virtual Machine then continue.
If you don’t have another PC to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on, or you’re installing a Mac, then installing Windows 8 on a virtual machine is the best solution.
However, not all applications to install on a virtual machine are free and some don’t even support installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. For example, VMWare Workstation 8 supports Windows 8 but costs $200. Free applications such as Microsoft’s Windows Virtual PC don’t support Windows 8 installation.
However, there are two free applications that can be used: VMWare Player 4.0 or Oracle’s VitualBox support installing the Windows 8 beta.
Basic Walkthrough: Install through VirtualBox (for pictures see link above)
1. First, download the Consumer Preview an an ISO file either as a 32- or 64-bit version. VirtualBox and VMWare Player support the 64-bit version as a guest.
2. Second, download Oracle VirtualBox and install the downloaded .exe file. After installing the program, the steps will guide you along to create a Virtual Machine. Call the Virtual Machine Windows 8, though VirtualBox will also set the version as Windows 8. The minimum amount of memory required is 1GB.
3. Next, choose the option to create a new virtual disk and select VDI as the file type. Choosing a fixed disk size will help Windows 8 to run faster, which will require around 20GB of free space. Barein mind installing apps will require more room, so more space will be required.
4. After you’ve decided, select the option to create the virtual disk. VirtualBox wil take a few minutes to set up the disk. Once the Windows 8 Virtual Disk is listed, click the Start button to power up.
5. After this the First Run Wizard will guide you through the next part of the installation process. Next you’ll be prompted to select the .ISO file, so do. Click Next and the Start.
6. Ater this you’re basically done. VirtualBox will install Windows just as you would on any other computer. VirtualBox will tell you how the VM works