Windows Developer Preview (aka Windows 8) is available for free download from Microsoft; at the time of writing it is a pre-Beta version. So far I can confirm that all my Programmes from the Win 7 environment run smoothly in Win 8.
Windows Developer Preview Installation
(instructions assume a reasonable knowledge of IT; I suggest you back up all data prior to the install)
Prepare an HDD of at least 20 GB; you can always "shrink" a volume by this amount should you lack spare drives.
It might be easiest to use the hard drive on which your current Operating System is loaded.
Right click on the drive in Disk Management, shrink by the required amount - and then create a new simple volume
that you call "Windows 8" or as you wish. You can format in the default Fat 32, but the Windows 7 USB tool will
later reformat to NTFS. Make a note of the drive letter allocated to the new volume.
Have on hand an empty 8 GB USB thumb drive (or at least one which you are happy to wipe.)
Download the appropriate version of the software from Microsoft - 32-bit/ 64-bit (search "windows 8 download microsoft"
- I suggest you download direct from MS.)
Download the Windows 7 USB tool (it works fine for Windows 8)
Install and run the Windows 7 USB tool; now you need to transfer the installation .iso file onto the USB to create a bootable medium
Should you have more than one hard disk, I suggest you make a note of the reference number of your OS HDD - this will be handy when later you revert to the usual boot priority, to boot from HDD.
Once you have your bootable USB drive, leave it inserted and restart your computer in order to enter the BIOS.
You'll need to change your boot priority in the system BIOS to instruct your machine to start from USB. At computer
start up start tapping your F1, F8 or delete key (as appropriate) to access the BIOS. Go to the boot priority menu
and change it from a HDD to USB or, perhaps, external media.
When the BIOS hands over to the new OS, the installation process will begin. Unless you want to wipe your existing OS -
be sure to choose the Custom install (NOT upgrade) and then select the HD volume on which you want the new OS to reside. Complete the regional settings, etc. - navigation is via the tab key, to tick the "agree to license" box, tap on the spacebar.
Now, the PC will need to restart once Win 8 has installed - but remember you have changed the boot priority so be sure to enter the BIOS again (tapping F keys or "del" at start up) and reset the boot priority. Also, remove the USB stick, the OS will not need any other files.
You ought to be greeted by a dual boot screen showing Windows Developer Preview and your regular OS.
Some further questions are asked, e.g. what you want to call the PC, your email address, etc. MS will try to tie up your install with a Windows Live ID - it might be easiest for you to obtain a Live ID account prior to the install assuming you wish to have the link; otherwise you can configure with a regular user name.
Log On ScreenThe new log on screen takes some getting used to as it is essentially designed for a touchscreen device. On a non-touchscreen PC or laptop you can press enter, double click, or click your mouse near the bottom of the screen and push up (as if you were swiping bottom-to-top on a phone or tablet.)
Tags: "windows 8" "windows developer preview" "bootable usb" microsoft