In this tutorial we are going to see how to install Windows 10 (Technical Preview) on a virtual machine, and how to update to the latest Technical Preview versions without having to download and install again the ISO file.
Download and Installation
The first thing we must do is to have installed VirtualBox in our PC. Now we need to download the Windows 10 ISO image. There are 2 versions, 32-bit and 64-bit. We will download the English version (there are also versions in Portuguese and Chinese):
- Windows 10 32-bit build 9879 (2.98 Gb) http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=518576
- Windows 10 64-bit build 9879 (3.86 Gb) http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=518575
The two following links are from the old Windows 10 Technical Preview version “build 9841”. We recommend not to use this version unless we required it for some reason:
- Windows 10 32-bit build 9841 (2.93 Gb) http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=510225
- Windows 10 64-bit build 9841 (3.81 Gb) http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=510225
The download links point directly to the official Microsoft website, if these links doesn't work, we will be able to download the ISOs images from the following URL: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-iso-update?os=win10
Any of the ISOs have a size of 3 Gb or more, so it will take some time to download if our Internet connection is not very fast.
Creation of the Virtual Machine
- Open VirtualBox and click on the “New” button
- Enter the name of the virtual machine (for example: Windows 10 TP).
On “Type” we chose “Microsoft Windows”.
OnVersion we choose “Windows 8.1”.
“Click " Next”.
- On “Memory Size” we choose 2048 MB. Depends on the amount of memory available on our machine, we will need to choose less memory. Press “Next”.
- On “Hard Drive”, select “Create a virtual hard drive now” and press “Create”.
- On “Hard drive file type”, select “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” and press “Next”.
- On “Storage on physical hard drive” select “Dynamically allocated” and press “Next”.
- On “File location and size” choose 25GB, although you can select a greater amount. Press “Create”.
- The virtual machine is ready to be used
Configuration of the virtual machine
- Select the virtual machine and click on the button “Settings”
- On the left side of the new window choose “Storage”
In the section of “Storage Tree”, select “Empty” that is located under “Controller: IDE”.
In the right side of the screen click on the CD drive that appears next to the drop down of “Attributes->CD/DVD Drive”.
A drop-down will be opened, click on “Select a virtual disk file from CD/DVD”.
A new window will open with a file browser. We must browse the location where the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO has been downloaded. Selecte the ISO file (in our case “WindowsTechnicalPreview-x86-en-US.iso”).
- Now the selected ISO image appears just below “Controller: IDE”.
- Everything is ready to boot the virtual machine.
Installing Windows 10 Technical Preview
- Select the Virtual Machine that we have created and press on the “Show” button. We will see a black window with the Windows blue logo.
If at this point the virtual machine does not start and displays an error, we must check that we have correctly selected the ISO image, and that we have correctly assigned it to the VM DVD drive.
- Windows 10 settings will be displayed. We must select the following options:
Language to install: English (United States)
Time and currency format: English (United States)
Keyboard or input method: English
“Click " Next”
- In the new window press “Install Now”
- Select “I accept the lincese terms” and press “Next”
- In the “Selection of type of installation”, select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)”.
- On the next screen (selection of hard disk) we leave everything as is, and click “Next”.
- The Windows 10 installation will begin and a typical progress screen will appear, where the completed tasks will be checked, and the remaining tasks will shows the percentage of progress.
- Once the installation is complete, the system will reboots automatically.
- When Windows 10 starts, it shows a screen with options that we can setup and configure. Press “Customize”.
- If we're using a virtual machine with a connection to Secure Internet (from home or work), we will select “Yes”, in any other case we will choose “No”.
- On the next screen we leave the default values and press “Next”.
- In the new screen will leave default values and press “Next”.the
- On the next screen we switch all the options to “Off” and press “Next”.
Note: to install this version of Windows 10 there is no need of any kind of product key or license number, however it is possible that in certain specific situations the installation requires us a serial number. In these cases we must enter the following Product key: NKJFK-GPHP7-G8C3J-P6JXR-HQRJR
This serial number can be found on the official website Windows 10 Miscrosoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso
Set up Windows account
On this phase of the installation of Windows 10 we have the option to use a Microsoft account to create a user on Windows, or create an account that is not linked to a Microsoft account. We are going to create an account that is independent of the Microsoft account. To do this:
- In the “Sign in to your Microsoft account”, click on the link “Create a new account” located at the bottom left of the screen.
- In the screen of “Create a Microsoft account” we will not enter any data, and we will click on the link “Sign in without a Microsoft account”, located on the lower left.
- In the new screen, “Your account” we will enter the data with the following information:
User name: Here we introduce our user name.
Password: Here we introduce the password for access to our account user.
Reenter password: Repeat the password we have introduced in the previous field.
Password hint: Here is a text that helps us to remember the password if we forget the chosen password.
Now, Windows will begin to make settings and adjustments to the newly installed Operating System. Some messages will appear indicating that the configuration process is in progress.
After a few minutes of waiting, we will see the new Windows 10 desktop. We can see that the start menu is enabled by default, so in contrast with Windows 8.1, it's not necessary to use the program Classic Shell to activate the start menu.
Update Windows 10 Tech Preview to the latest versions
The Tech Preview version of Windows 10, is a version that allows users to test the new Microsoft Operating System while it is in development, and it is not ready to be launched to the market. This implies that despite to be able to test the Windows 10 functions, there will be certain features that may not work properly or simply will not be available.
There are frequent updates to the Windows 10 TP. The updates are numbered in the following way: build 9860. The version that can be downloaded from the official page is the version “build 9841” (now is available the version “build 9879”). After this release there have been new versions that we cannot download from the official Microsoft website. Let's see how update the version of Windows 10 Tech Preview. In each new update some bugs will be fixed, and new functionalities can be added or removeed, so that we must have in note that there will be certain functions or programs that run correctly on a version, and doesn't run well on other versions.
How to upgrade from the version “build 9841” to version “build 9879“
Note: now there are available ISOs of the version “build 9879“, so if you're installing W10 for the first time, it is better to download the “build 9879“ ISOs (the download links are at the beginning of the tutorial), and this way will not be necessary to carry out the update process.
First of all we will see the version of Windows 10 Technical Preview that we have installed. We can look at the bottom right of the desktop, or we can also run the “Winver” command on “Start->Search everywhere”. A screen will appear with information about the installed version of Windows.
- Go to “Start->PC settings”
- On the new screen, click on “Update and recovery”
- Click on “Preview builds”, and in the right side click on “Download now”
A progress icon will appear which indicates that the Windows update is being downloading. This process takes quite a long time, so we need to have patience. In addition, it will download a large amount of data, so that it is possible that the Internet connection will be saturated.
- After the Windows update download an “Install now” button will appear. We should click on it to start the installation of the update. This process also will take quite a long time, so maybe you want to download and play the classic and free game The Lost Vikings
- Once the installation of the update has been finished, we will see a message indicating that the PC must be restarted. In the drop-down we chose “Now” and press “Ok”.
The PC will reboot, and when it start it will perform the Windows update. We will see a black screen that indicates the progress of update.
- Now we will be able to sign in on Windows.
A small detail to keep in mind is that on the screen for entering a password, we will be able to choose the language of the keyboard.
- After Windows start, the upgrade process continue.
- Once we have logged on to Windows, we can see that in the bottom right side of the desktop the Windows 10 version is “build 9860”.
Now we're going to update to version “build 9879”
- Go to “Start->PC settings”
- In the new screen, click on “Update and recovery”
- Click on “Preview builds” and now we will see another option, which consists of a drop-down where we can choose between “Fast” and “Slow”. If we chose “Fast” we will be able to download the latest Windows 10 updates, even those who are considered unstable and that can cause problems. If we choose “Slow”, only those updates that are considered stable will be downloaded.
In our case we chose “Fast”, because we want to get all the updates of W10.
- Now we must follow the same process that we have done in the first update process. Download the update with “Download Now”, and once downloaded, click on “Install now”. the
This way we will have the Windows version 10 Technical Review ready to be tested and up-to-date with the latest updates. Thanks to W10 is installed on a virtual machine, we will be able to “play” everything we want in this new version of Windows10, without fear of breaking anything or lose any important data.
by Rubén Hernández