How I tried Windows 10

I am very excited about Windows 10 as I have written about in this post here. Unfortunately, I do not own a good computer which I am prepared to take the risk of installing it on as there are still many bugs and Windows 10 crashes quite a lot. However VirtualBox is always there for this specific problem! Here’s what I did:

  1. You sign up to the Windows Insider Program here and you click the “Join now” button. You’ll need to have a Microsoft account for this (If you have a Hotmail or Onedrive account, that should be fine). If you don’t have an account you can always create one.
  2.  After signing up, you will need to navigate to the page that is called “Before you Install”. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and press “Get the preview”.
  3. Now you should be at a page called “Download Windows 10 Technical Preview”, scroll down to your language and click on it. There should be two options to download it, a x64 version and a x86 version. The x86 version should be smaller, and is the 32-bit version. The x64 version should be larger but is the 64-bit version. I downloaded the 32 bit version because I have a slow internet connection, but if you want you can try the 64-bit version. These files are .iso files which when burnt onto a disc, can be read by a computer to install an operating system. In this instance we will be inserting this “disc” into a virtual computer.
  4. Now you have to wait a bit, the technical preview is about 3 – 4 GB, so depending on your internet connection, this step may take some time…
  5. Once I had the Windows 10 image downloaded, I needed to download the program in which I would be running Windows 10, VirtualBox. There are other virtual machine programs available but, so that you can follow my steps exactly (and because it’s free), we’ll use VirtualBox. VirtualBox is quick and easy to install. (Go here, and click on the link for Virtualbox for Windows hosts)
  6. I then opened VirtualBox and added a new virtual machine (click the “New” buttonat the top right of the program or Machine>New…).
  7. You should now have a dialog setup box. Choose whatever name you want but use “Microsoft Windows” for the type and “Windows 8.1 (32-bit)” if you downloaded the 32-bit version. If, however, you downloaded the 64-bit version, just choose “Windows 8.1 (64-bit)”.
  8. In the next step you select how much RAM you give to the virtual machine. This really depends on how much RAM your actual computer has. Windows recommends about 2 GB of RAM for Windows to run properly but you can allocate more if you want. This is important though; do not drag that slider into the red zone, that will allocate most of your computer’s RAM to the virtual machine and your actual computer will run out of memory and crash.
  9. The next couple of steps are to do with setting up a virtual hard drive for keeping files. I don’t really change any of the settings here, so you can happily skip through these and just press “Next” or “Create” etc, until you get back to the original VirtualBox window.
  10. You should now see your virtual machine listed. Press “Settings” (next to “New” or alternatively: Machine>Settings) and on the left hand side click “Storage”. You should see the virtual hard drive that you set up (probably called “something.vdi”) and a CD icon that says “Empty” next to it. Click “Empty” and on the right hand side under “Attributes” click the button that has an icon of a CD. Then press “Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file…”. Navigate to the place where you downloaded the Windows 10 disc image file (.iso), select the file and click “Open”. Now you should see a name like “Windows_TechnicalPreview_x86.iso” next to the CD icon.
  11. Press “OK” at the bottom of the window and now press “Start” (next to “Settings”).
  12. A new window should pop up and your virtual machine should boot up into the Windows 10 installer!
  13. Select your language and currency and click “Next”. Then press “Install now”.
  14. Read the license (or at least, pretend to…) and click the check box to accept it. Then choose the “Custom” installation, and after that press “Next”.
  15. This next part will take quite sometime. It will be installing Windows and may restart a couple of times (the virtual machine, I mean).
  16. Once it’s ready, follow the on-screen instructions. It will ask you about settings for Internet Explorer, error reporting, etc. If you can’t be bothered to choose these settings yourself, just choose the “Express installation”. You may have to enter your Microsoft account details again.

You now have the Windows 10 Technical Preview installed! It may be a bit slow, but it’s fun just to try it out, especially as you don’t have to risk breaking your original computer!



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About tech189

Casual blogger on technology, photography, and science at

2 responses to “How I tried Windows 10”

  1. Hethradyah says :

    Nice – I hadn’t heard about VirtualBox before …

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