How to Install Windows 10 on a Virtual Machine


Before committing to Windows 10 full-time, you may want to install it on a Virtual Machine to try it out. It would also be useful to test programs or apps.

Note: A VMware Workstation 11 virtual machine is used here for demonstration. You can use any virtualization application and create a virtual machine on the software. After creating a virtual machine using your favorite program, installing Windows 10 on the VM is easy.

    ■Make sure that the virtual machine is powered off.
    ■Click the CD/DVD (SATA) option from the VM’s settings options list. (VMs created in other applications may have different options. Regardless of the application you choose to create and use a virtual machine, the idea here is to mount a Windows 10 installation disc’s .ISO image or use a Windows 10 installation physical DVD for installation.)

    ■On the Virtual Machine Settings box, from the right pane, click to select the Use ISO image file radio button.
    ■Click Browse, and locate the ISO image of the Windows 10 installation disc.
    Note: You can also leave the Use physical drive radio button selected, insert a Windows 10 installation disc, and choose the active drive from the drop-down list to use it as the installation media.
    ■Once the installation source has been selected, click OK to save the settings.

    ■Back on the previous window, click the Power on this virtual machine option to start the virtual machine. (As before, different consoles by other virtualization software may have different ways to power on their VMs.)

    ■In the virtual machine, on the Windows Setup box, click Next, and on the next window, click Install now.

    ■Check the I accept the license terms checkbox to accept the license agreement and click Next.

    ■On the next interface, click the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.

    ■On the next window that appears, create a new partition by clicking the New option, specifying the partition size and clicking Next, or you can directly click the Next button (keeping the HDD selected from the list) to assign the total space of the HDD to the system drive (C:).

    ■Wait till the installation process starts, completes successfully, and Windows restarts.

    ■On the next page that comes up, click the Use express settings button (used here) to allow Windows 10 to use the most recommended settings while configuring the operating system. Alternatively, you can also click the Customize button to manually enable or disable the features that you want or don’t want in your OS respectively.

    ■On the next page, you can provide the credentials of your Microsoft account in the available fields and click Next. Alternatively you can click the Create a new account link if you do not have a Microsoft account and want to create one.

    ■On the Create a Microsoft account window, populate the fields with the required values and click Next.

    Note: If you do not want to use your Microsoft account, you can click the Sign in without a Microsoft account link from the bottom (used here) to continue.

    ■On the Your account window, specify a local user name, password and a password hint in the appropriate fields and click Finish.
    Note: When using a local account (instead of a Microsoft account), you are not required to stay connected to the Internet. However, you cannot make any purchases from the Microsoft Store using a local account. Even if you have not signed in with a Microsoft account, you must provide your Microsoft account’s credentials along with an authentic payment method to shop from Microsoft Store.

    ■Once you click Finish, wait till your account’s profile (Microsoft or local) is generated and Windows logs you on your account.

    ■After you are logged on, on the VMware console window, make sure that Windows 10 in the virtual machine is running, and you are logged on using an administrator account of the guest operating system (OS installed within the virtual machine – Windows 10 in this scenario).
    Note: Since it is a virtual machine, you must install additional virtualization tools for a seamless user experience. (E.g. Guest Additions in Oracle VM VirtualBox and VMware Tools in VMware Workstation virtual machines.)
    ■Once verified, click the VM menu from the VMware Workstation’s console (keeping the Windows 10 virtual machine tab selected and the VM running).
    ■From the displayed list, click Install VMware Tools.

    ■If the installation doesn’t start automatically, go to the CD ROM of the virtual machine, and double-click setup64.exe or setup.exe file for Windows 10 x64 or x86 operating system respectively.

    ■On the User Account Control confirmation box, click Yes to provide your consent to continue with the installation.

    ■Follow the on-screen instructions thereafter to install the VMware Tools on the guest operating system.

    ■When prompted, click Yes to allow the installation to restart Windows 10, and wait till the OS restarts successfully before you start using it normally.