Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Installing Windows 8

Windows 8 In Videos: An Operating System Reimagined?
By

Microsoft showed off a pre-beta build of Windows 8 at its BUILD conference in last September. We got our hands on a copy and took it for a spin in the lab. Is the company's effort to unify PCs, phones, tablets, and its gaming console actually coherent?

While Microsoft is making Windows 8 available to the public, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. This build (8102) is a pre-beta, which is why it would be premature for us to run any benchmarks on it. Microsoft is trying to highlight functionality as opposed to performance.

The system requirements are pretty tame. If you have hardware that can run Windows 7, you can run the preview version of Windows 8. Fair warning, though. There’s a decent chance that these requirements will change once Windows 8 goes gold.

Windows 8 Preview: System Requirements

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch
  • To run Metro-style Apps, you need a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or greater


There are three developer builds available at Microsoft’s website. Everything is x86-based, so if you were looking to root and experiment with an ARM-oriented version of Windows 8, you’re out of luck. That’s slated for a much later date (most likely next year). 

Versions available for download


If you’re running 64-bit apps and or have a preponderance of RAM, you’ll want the 64-bit version of Windows 8. Otherwise, all three builds are virtually identical. However, the 64-bit build with developer tools includes the following:

  • Windows SDK for Metro-style apps
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
  • 28 Metro-style apps, including the BUILD Conference app


If you don’t have a blank DVD (or dual-layer DVD, in the case of the 64-bit build with developer tools), you’re going to need to create a bootable USB flash drive from the ISO image. Fortunately, the procedure is pretty simple. Just install and use Microsoft's Windows 7 USB/DVD tool, which requires .NET Framework 2.0.

Display all 91 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , October 3, 2011 5:22 AM
    Will this make viewing porn a more enjoyable, efficient task?
  • 19 Hide
    stonedatheist , October 3, 2011 5:12 AM
    inb4 metro haters: it can be disabled!
  • 13 Hide
    noob2222 , October 3, 2011 6:34 AM
    stonedatheistinb4 metro haters: it can be disabled!

    The Metro UI is clean-looking, to be sure. But once you dig deeper, you’ll see a familiar face. Click on the desktop tile and you’re greeted with the old Windows interface. The main difference is that there’s no Start menu, at least not the one with which you're familiar. As a result, opening an application is an unfamiliar process in Windows 8. If you’re searching for a particular piece of software, you now need to move your mouse over the bottom left-hand corner, select Search, and then Apps from the toggled panel.

    Even with Metro disabled, its still lacking heavily on the "standard windows"

    IMO if they move this direction, they should move to 2 style os releases. Metro and windows.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    stonedatheist , October 3, 2011 5:12 AM
    inb4 metro haters: it can be disabled!
  • 7 Hide
    Pyree , October 3, 2011 5:14 AM
    "Even if you don’t own a touch-enabled device, you should expect a completely unique experience."

    Uniquly bad experience if you use mouse and keyboard with Metro.


    "While this interface is clean and easy to use, Adobe Flash Player is missing, and Microsoft doesn’t plan to include it as part of the Metro interface."

    May be because it is already so much like a flash app.

    We are unhappy about the Metro app can only be closed by end process too:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/2-73-thoughts-windows

    There are way too many unnecessary apps on Metro and you cannot multi select the ones you don't want to delete them, which sucks. (Or maybe I haven't work that out yet, correct me and tell me how that can be done please if I am wrong.)

    On the other hand it is light OS with low hardware requirement and boot fast:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/1-73-windows-pros-cons

    Compatibility with old software and driver seems good, although only very preliminary:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/1-73-windows-pros-cons
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/2-73-thoughts-windows

    IMO, it is a big mistake to have Metro activated by default. Metro is not good for device without touch at all. Since the majority of computer still use mouse and keyboard, Metro should be invisible and you turn it on with a button, as oppose to Metro is the default and you have to turn it off by using 3rd party software or going through regedit (many people don't or don't like touching the registry). MS got the GUI priority totally wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    mbryans , October 3, 2011 5:20 AM
    I love Windows 7. But Windows 8 look simple ugly and heavy.
  • 25 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , October 3, 2011 5:22 AM
    Will this make viewing porn a more enjoyable, efficient task?
  • 4 Hide
    americanherosandwich , October 3, 2011 5:26 AM
    I for one don't want to have to navigate by touch and have to clean up a 28" monitor screen from finger grease. Ship it with a newer and better Kinect and have it integrated into Windows 8, and they have something going.
  • 3 Hide
    Pyree , October 3, 2011 5:28 AM
    Forgot to mention the Secure Boot "feature" implemented by window 8 whcih can potentially lock the hardware to window 8 on certified window 8 hardware. If we want the OS locked to our hardware, we have other OS to do that. Linux dual boot users won't be happy with it at all.
  • 4 Hide
    dafin0 , October 3, 2011 5:29 AM
    At first i didnt like metro but after a good few hours of use it really grows on you. i think for most people its going to be great.

    As said in this review, i dont like how you cant close apps. this makes switching from one app to another a real pain

    i think the biggest problem Win 8 will face is people not giving it a chance, sadly most people are really quick to judge and that could be its down fall
  • 12 Hide
    Pyree , October 3, 2011 5:38 AM
    Quote:
    i think the biggest problem Win 8 will face is people not giving it a chance, sadly most people are really quick to judge and that could be its down fall


    I think a successful product is one where it convince people quickly and will like it, not one where you actually have to use it for a long time to get used to a product by adjusting your habit. I give credit for Fruit company being able to achieve that (although their product doesn't work for me). W7 was easy to like, but after trying window 8, I am still not convinced. It is just too much of a change to have Metro showing up when you click window start and that change doesn't let you to be more productive/provide better ease of use with mouse and keyboard. I know it can be disabled, but the priority is wrong. Metro is a feature which you enable on touch device, not a feature where you have to disable on mouse and keyboard. Hopefully MS can change that order. Metro can stay, it is useful in some case. I will disable it because I don't have the hardware to take advantage of it.
  • 6 Hide
    jdwii , October 3, 2011 5:58 AM
    People who used computers for 10 years will hate 8 so much on a laptop and a desktop. I hope Microsoft lets us change 8 to look like 7 unless i'm not buying it. Why can't Microsoft just make a faster smaller more secure windows why do they have to change. Make a W8 lite edition and bring it to the tablets but don't make windows 8 look like media center.
  • -3 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , October 3, 2011 6:12 AM
    whats the use of an article on a piece of software thats still atleast an year in future?
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , October 3, 2011 6:26 AM
    stonedatheistinb4 metro haters: it can be disabled!

    With a caveat:

    Quote:
    Right now, that's only possible through a third party tool
  • 4 Hide
    amdfangirl , October 3, 2011 6:28 AM
    Sure, Windows 8 looks pretty cool with a new interface.

    But is it really different to Windows 7 in what it can achieve?

    I really am not in the mood to shell out $100 for an operating system which looks a little shinier unless it grants me some advantage, like Windows 7 and TRIM support etc.
  • 13 Hide
    noob2222 , October 3, 2011 6:34 AM
    stonedatheistinb4 metro haters: it can be disabled!

    The Metro UI is clean-looking, to be sure. But once you dig deeper, you’ll see a familiar face. Click on the desktop tile and you’re greeted with the old Windows interface. The main difference is that there’s no Start menu, at least not the one with which you're familiar. As a result, opening an application is an unfamiliar process in Windows 8. If you’re searching for a particular piece of software, you now need to move your mouse over the bottom left-hand corner, select Search, and then Apps from the toggled panel.

    Even with Metro disabled, its still lacking heavily on the "standard windows"

    IMO if they move this direction, they should move to 2 style os releases. Metro and windows.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2011 6:36 AM
    I guess Microsoft uses the Odd/Even rule.
  • 0 Hide
    bokuden , October 3, 2011 6:50 AM
    Looks terrible. I won't be buying it.
  • -8 Hide
    Pyree , October 3, 2011 7:19 AM
    I though my 1st comment was fair and in depth, but I am getting -3. I will be really pissed if it gets 1 more negative and hidden. Must be the shock value of my first line and people don't read further.
  • 5 Hide
    stonedatheist , October 3, 2011 7:26 AM
    ravewulfWith a caveat:


    key words: right now. It's because it's in pre-beta state. The real caveat was pointed out by somebody else:

    noob2222The Metro UI is clean-looking, to be sure. But once you dig deeper, you’ll see a familiar face. Click on the desktop tile and you’re greeted with the old Windows interface. The main difference is that there’s no Start menu, at least not the one with which you're familiar. As a result, opening an application is an unfamiliar process in Windows 8. If you’re searching for a particular piece of software, you now need to move your mouse over the bottom left-hand corner, select Search, and then Apps from the toggled panel.Even with Metro disabled, its still lacking heavily on the "standard windows"IMO if they move this direction, they should move to 2 style os releases. Metro and windows.


    This was certainly disappointing to read. It may not be too much of a change because it appears you still can pin programs to the taskbar and of course there's the desktop too but the real change is the versatility of the start menu. I hardly use it at all to open programs even though it has the most used programs there but I have shortcuts to just about everything I need on the computer for management such as having the control panel as a menu. You could probably do most of the same things directly from items pinned on the taskbar such as pinning file locations on the pinned windows explorer menu but it isn't quite the same. It would've been nice to have the win7 start menu when disabling metro but I think I'll live.
  • 2 Hide
    Pyree , October 3, 2011 7:28 AM
    ^Start menu is enabled when you disable Metro.
  • 3 Hide
    stonedatheist , October 3, 2011 7:41 AM
    PyreeI though my 1st comment was fair and in depth, but I am getting -3. I will be really pissed if it gets 1 more negative and hidden. Must be the shock value of my first line and people don't read further.


    well there's also the fact that you don't have to mess with the registry or use 3rd party software to disable Metro (except right now due to the pre-beta status). I pretty much agreed with you on everything else, so a +1 for you.

    Pyree^Start menu is enabled when you disable Metro.


    I never said the start menu is disabled after disabling metro
Display more comments