Creating a Windows 10 Preview Virtual Machine with VMWare Player

Having a long weekend enables me to get things done that I otherwise wouldn’t have time for. One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is create a Virtual Machine with Windows 10 on it, so I can use Windows 10 and also start looking at application development for it. I’m glad to say that I’ve now had the time to create the virtual machine and it went fine. I thought I would write this post to detail the steps I took to create the VM.

You will need to download the Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO which can be found here – You will need to be signed up to the Windows Insider Programme before you can download, but that’s not a lengthy process at all.

Creating the Virtual

I have used VMWare Player Version 7.1.0 build-2496824 to build the Virtual Machine. Follow the steps below and you should end up with a working Windows 10 virtual.

Step 1 – Create New Virtual Machine

From the VMWare Player menu, select Create New Virtual Machine. You will then see a dialog box similar to the one below.

New VM
Browse to the location where you saved the ISO file and select it. Then click on Next >. Type in the name you would like to give to the VM and select the location where the VM files will be stored. This should look similar to the settings below.

New VM 2

Again, click Next > to go to the next page of the wizard. This next page allows you to further customise the VM settings. The most I did here was change the amount of RAM given to the VM. I’d recommend giving the VM as much as you can. Obviously, don’t give the VM the same as you have in the host machine.

New VM 3

Click on Finish and the VM should start to be created.

Hyper-V Issues

When I first tried to create the VM, I received a VMWare and Hyper-V compatibility error as shown below.

HyperV Error

This is easy enough to overcome, just do the following:

  1. Open  Hyper-V Manager and select stop service
  2. Run a command prompt as an administrator and issue the command bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off
  3. Reboot and create the virtual again

To enable Hyper-V simply issue the command bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto at the command prompt, again run this as administrator.

When the Windows 10 install starts, you should see similar to the following in VMWare Player.

Windows 10 Installing

For me, the install took around 35 to 40 minutes with a couple of reboots. Once the install is done, make sure you install VMWare Tools in the same way as you would for any other Windows VM.

Installed and Running!

You should now have Windows 10 happily installed and running. I’m even writing this post using the VM and the Spartan Browser!

Windows 10 Running

I quite like what I have seen so far. If you have come from Windows 8.1 you should have no problems finding your way around. I think for people who have never used Windows 8.1 it will be a bit of a shock to the system, but maybe not as much as Windows 8 and to a lesser extent 8.1 would have been.

My plan now is to install Visual Studio 2015 and start looking at application development, this really has been my main motivation for creating the virtual.

As you can see, creating a Windows 10 virtual is pretty much the same as any other, the only little gotcha I had was Hyper-V, but this was easily solved. As I start to get into Windows 10 and application development, I’ll blog further about how I am getting on.

I hope you find this post useful, and if you create yourself a virtual I’d really like to hear what you think of Windows 10.

 

 

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Windows Phone 8 Emulator running in VMWare Player

A couple of evenings ago, I decided to build a Windows 8 64 bit virtual machine with Visual Studio 2012 and the Windows Phone 8 SDK, so I could have a look at writing apps for Windows Phone. The main tool I use for creating and running VM’s is VMWare Player, its free and does exactly what I need. Now, its certainly possible to build a Windows 8 VM through VMWare Player as long as you have Version 5. I downloaded the latest version which is 5.0.2 build-1031769.

I went ahead and built my Windows 8 VM. Installed Visual Studio 2012 which went fine, and then installed Windows Phone 8 SDK. This is where I did have problems, the installation did fail with the usual unfriendly error message we have come to know with some software. After a search on Google, I did find some instructions on how to do this for VMWare Workstation, so thought I would give it a try for VMWare Player, and with a little modification, I’m pleased to say I now have a VM through Player working happily allowing me to test Windows Phone 8 apps through the emulator. I have detailed below exactly what I have done to build the virtual, so if you have had the same problem, following these instructions should sort out your problems.

Make Sure your Host system is good enough

The first thing you need to do is make sure your host system is up to the job. You need to have Hyper V running on your Windows 8 virtual, so your host systems needs to support SLAT – Intel Extended Page Tables. The easiest way to find this out is to use the Coreinfo.exe application. You can download this from the link http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/cc835722.aspx. Run a command prompt as administrator and from the directory that has Coreinfo.exe in it, run the command Coreinfo -v. If all goes well, you should see something like the following:

coreinfo

Looking at the last line, if this says Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT) all is looking good. If SLAT is not supported, don’t continue with this, as I would say it isn’t going to work. Note: The asterisks are important here, if you see a hyphen instead of an asterisk it means the feature is not supported.

Creating the Virtual Machine

Ensure you have VMWare Player V5, as this will allow you to create Windows 8 VM’s. From within VMWare Player, select the option to create a new Virtual Machine, and make sure your dialog looks like the following:

Create VM

Click Next > and for the Guest Operating System select Windows 8 x64. Click Next > and give your VM a machine name. For the disk capacity, keep whats been offered (60 Gb for the disk size). Click Next > again and then click the Customize Hardware button.

For memory select, select 4 Gb if you can, this is what I have used and is what has been recommended in various posts I have read. Hopefully you will be able to allocate this much space. If you can’t select an amount that you can allow, but bare in mind that you should ideally have 4 Gb as a minimum. An example of this is shown below.

VM Memory

The from the list configuration options, select Processors. Select the number of cores you want to allocate, I have selected 2 and then ensure that the option Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V.RVI is selected. The screen shot below shows my settings.

Processor SettingsClick Finish to save your new VM. Don’t start your VM yet!!!

Editing the VMX File

Before we carry on and start our VM, we need to edit the vmx file that has just been created. Navigate to where you have saved your VM files and look for the vmx file. Mine was called Windows8VM.vmx but yours will be called whatever you have called your VM. Open the vmx file in an editor like Notepad, and add the following line:

hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE”

The v0 is a v and a zero.

My vmx file looks as follows. The added line is circled.

vmx file

Save your vmx file. We are now ready to start the VM.

Before you start the VM

Before you start the VM, select it in VMWare Player and edit the virtual machine settings. Select the CD/DVD (IDE) settings and for the Connection, either point this to the ISO for Windows 8 or a physical drive. As I’m installing from an ISO, my setting looked as follows:

CDDVD Settings

Click on OK and then start your VM. The Windows 8 installation should then start. When your Windows 8 installation has finished, you will need to install Visual Studio 2012 and then download and install the Windows Phone 8 SDK. You can get the SDK from this link http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/downloadsdk.

Conclusion

The above worked for me fine. It’s a mixture of installing for VMWare workstation and a bit of bespoking for VMWare Player through trial and error, hopefully this will work for you too and get you on the road to using the Windows Phone 8 emulator for testing your apps.