Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VMware Workstation 8

Wiz Techie Pinoy Tech Blog – Computer Problems Frequently Ask Question (FAQ) Q&A: How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview in Vmware Workstation 8? I cannot install it successfully as I’m getting a “Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file” error on it. Can you give a step by step instructions on how to install it? I want to install and test Windows 8 using VMware Workstation so that I get to know its feature and learn how to navigate it without installing it in a real machine.

Question:  Help, I want to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview in my VMware Workstation 8. What are the steps I need to do in order to proceed with the installation? Using a virtualized environment such as VMware will help me, as I can just take snapshots are revert from it in case I did something wrong. I tried installing it but I’m getting a “Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file” error. 

Answer:

Windows 8 Consumer Preview can be installed in VMware Workstation. In this case I’ve used VMware Workstation 8 in installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. One key advantage in using a virtualized environment in testing operating systems (O.S.) such as Windows 8, is that you can take a snapshot of the current state of the virtual machine, and just revert from it in case it is needed. Another advantage is that, the virtual machine being “virtual” are just files that you can copy and transfer to any other machine that has a virtualization software like in this case, the VMware Workstation. Read the steps below to successfully install Windows 8 into your VMware Workstation and learn how to fix “Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file” error.

Here is a guide on how to fix Windows 8 Product Key error in VMware Workstation 8 when installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview. If you are getting the error, read the follow the instructions on how to fix it.

Requirements:
1. VMware Workstation 8 (I’m using VMware Workstation Version 8.0.2 build-591240.)
2. Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO file.

vmware workstation 8

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO files here, if do not have them. In this test, I’m using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview English 64-bit (x64) edition, choose the ISO file that suits you.

Step by step guide in installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VMware Workstation 8

Step 1. Create a new virtual machine.

Choose Custom (advanced), and click Next.

vmware workstation 8 new vm

Select Workstation 8.0 for Hardware Compatibility, click Next.

vmware workstation 8 hardware compatibility

Choose Installer disc image (iso) then browse to your Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO file. Click Next.

vmware workstation 8 guest install

Select Microsoft Windows as guest operating system, then if you’re Windows 8 beta ISO file is 32-bit choose Windows 7, if it’s 64-bit, choose Windows 7 x64. Click Next.

vmware workstation 8 guest os

 

For Windows product key, just click Next, and select Yes on the popup message.

vmware workstation 8 product key

Enter a name for your Virtual machine, and browse the the location folder you want to save it. Click Next.

vmware workstation 8 vm name

For the next steps, just use the default settings and keep on clicking Next until you will have a chance to start your Windows 8 Consumer Preview VM.

Step 2. Power on your Windows 8 Consumer Preview VM and start installing Windows 8 Beta.

Windows 8 VMware Workstation 8

Getting the Windows 8 ProductKey error? Read above to know how to fix “Windows cannot read the <ProductKey> setting from the unattend answer file” error.

Enter your language and other preferences, then click on “Next” to continue.

Windows 8 language

Click “Install now” to begin the installation process.

Windows 8 install-now

Enter the Windows 8 Consumer Preview product key. Click Next to continue.

windows 8 product key

Accecpt the License Terms and Click Next.

Windows 8 License Terms

Choose “Custom” Install, then select your Partition, and click on Next.

Windows 8 Custom Install

Windows Setup will continue to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Please wait for the Setup to complete its process. Your machine may restart several times and this is normal.

Windows 8 Windows Setup

Windows 8 Getting devices ready

Windows 8 Personalize

Just wait for the setup to be finished, and if ever you are greeted by the Windows 8 “Personalize” screen, then congratulations! You have successfully installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VMware Workstation. The steps above in installing is just the same if you did this in a real machine. Just proceed with the next steps after the “Personalize” screen. The next steps are just some setting, options, as well as customizations like the Username, Password, etc. on how you want your Windows 8 Beta to run.

Test and play some of the new features and the Metro UI that Windows 8 Consumer Preview has to offer. For now kudos as you have learned how to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VMware Workstation 8. Have fun and enjoy!

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