The last 24 hours in the Windows world has been practically non-stop. During the Day 1 Build Conference Keynote Steven Sinofsky, the Microsoft President for Windows and Windows Live revealed the Windows 8 Developer Preview to over 5,000 developers in Anaheim, CA as well as hundreds of thousands of developers and enthusiasts watching from home. After following the stream of tweets, live blogs and other info spreading out across the web I am convinced that the enthusiasm for Windows 8 and its future is at least equal to that which greeted Windows 7.
During the keynote Sinofsky revealed that the Windows 8 Developer Preview would be available for anyone to download and try out. According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, at the end of the Day 2 Keynote, the Windows 8 Developer Preview had been downloaded over 500,000 times since it was released last night. That is just an amazing number for a developer preview which is typically a pre-beta piece of software. That number also does not account for the number of installs that are happening because I am sure some people will install it multiple times as I have.
Since downloading the Windows 8 Developer Preview last night I have done four installs of the OS with mixed success. The first installation went on my ASUS Eee PC 1000HE netbook without a hitch however, because the max resolution of that screen is below 1024 x 768 I was unable to run the Metro Apps on it. Although I could access the Windows 8 desktop with a keyboard and mouse being unable to test out the Metro interface was a show stopper for me. The installation took about an hour but then the netbook is not the most powerful device either.
Here I must add a quick plug for Windows Home Server 2011 and its PC Restore capabilities. I used these instructions for creating a bootable USB drive that could be used with my optical driveless netbook to restore it. Within an hour my netbook was back to its state before the Windows 8 installation. Always keep good backups when testing software!
The next installation I did was in a dual boot configuration on my main desktop PC with Windows 7. I used the Windows Disk Management Console to shrink my 320GB SATA II hard drive (a spinner) so I could set aside 100GB for a Windows 8 installation. There are tons of sites with info on how to do a dual boot installation with different Windows versions and Windows 8 works in the same manner. Once I had the partition prepared I booted from a freshly burned Windows 8 Developer Preview DVD and did the installation. This was a much quicker installation because my desktop is my performance machine with a dual core processor and 8GB of RAM. I run a SSD drive as my primary Windows 7 drive in this machine but did not install Windows 8 to that 96GB device as I did not want to use up the extra room on it at the moment. The SATA II has proven to be more than adequate for Windows 8. If you have the Windows 8 Developer Preview as the default OS on your system then you will be treated to a very Metro looking dual boot menu which also contains options for Restoring or Refreshing your Windows 8 PC.
This menu can still be edited using BCDEdit or Easy BCD to change the names of the entries, how long of a delay before the default OS boots up, etc.
My next installation attempts were in virtual machines. The first one I used was Virtual PC for Windows 7 and it was over quickly and resulted in this screen:
I am not sure if this is the new Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows but it sure is getting a lot of attention on Twitter since I sent it out last night. One person even labeled it the Beautiful Screen of Death. Suffice it to say Virtual PC did not work and reports on Twitter were that VMWare was not working either. So based on that and some recommendations that were coming across Twitter I downloaded Virtual Box, which is an Oracle open source software for virtualization, and installed it following these instructions by Mr. Goodcat. Installation with this went fine and I was up and running very quickly.
The final method I installed the Windows 8 Developer Preview with was by following these instructions from Scott Hanselman on his Computer Zen website. I knew Windows 7 had this boot from VHD capability but I had never tried it out so this was a new experience for me. Scott provides a very clear step by step guide to get it up and running.
One more piece of advice for those of you who are out there trying to install this, besides keeping good backups before you start, is the error 0x80070750 that quite a few people have experienced. This is usually indicative of a bad ISO download so to check this just compare the SHA1 hash of your downloaded ISO with what should be the SHA1 hash of the ISO. You can see those here. If they do not match you have a bad download and must download the ISO again.
We would like to hear about your installation experience as well so please comment below to let everyone know what you learned in this process.