Windows 8 Developer Preview Now Available for Download, but can I run it in VMware Workstation 7.1.4 or ESXi 5.0?

Tuesday Sept 13 8:20pm eastern time, while attending a Microsoft virtualization user group, I spotted this article on, announcing the Windows 8 Developer Preview download availability. This was earlier than the 11pm eastern time the blogs were predicting. So, I remotely kicked off the download at around 8:30pm eastern time, and it took until about 10:30pm to finish. 2 hours, not bad. Next, had to give the version of VMware Workstation, 7.1.4-build-385536 a try, since it’s the latest version and already installed on my laptop.

[learn_more caption="Spoiler Alert:  Click here to jump right to the answers!"] “Windows 8 Developer Preview Now Available for Download, but can I run it in VMware Workstation 7.1.4 or ESXi 5.0?”

Well, it’s complicated, short answer is No and No.  But there’s some good news too.

No, 7.1.4 can’t run it, but 8.0 can!  Download 8.0 here:
Workstation 8.0 tools install fine, and the default install also installs free VMware Player 4.0, which isn’t currently available as a separate free download. But, more good news, Player does run Windows 8 fine as well (screenshots below), not sure what happens after 30 day trial of Workstation ends.

As far as ESXi 5.0:
Maybe has now become a No!

Sep 16 2011 10:00am:  Newsflash, virtuallyghetto author updated his site stating ESXi doesn’t work with Windows 8 after all!)
ESXi 5.0 can run Windows 8, but with tweaks documented here (I still haven’t gotten this to work, neither have the commenters at the site):

tinkererguy:  still nobody getting ESXi5 to run Windows 8 yet, discussed here at VMware forums.  I tried a bunch of stuff too (new Standalone VMware Converter 5.0 that comes bundled with VMware Workstation 8.0 to ESXi, same issues, powers off shortly after boot attempt)  see also the entire timeline below, and jump ahead to the bottom to see just the latest updates

Unfortunately you get the nasty error (see screenshot above) when trying to boot a VM configured for Windows 7 64 bit, using the 64 bit WindowsDeveloperPreview-64bit-English.iso file (see screenshot graphic above). Here’s a cut and paste of the text, where it says:

*** VMware Workstation internal monitor error *** vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1903 Please report this problem by selecting menu item Help > VMware on the Web > Request Support, or by going to the Web page <super long URL shortened to>. Please provide us with the log file (D:\VMs\Windows 8 x64\vmware.log) and the core file(s) (D:\VMs\Windows 8 x64\vmware-core.gz, D:\VMs\Windows 8 x64\vmware64-core.gz, D:\VMs\Windows 8 x64\vmware-vmx-792.dmp). If the problem is repeatable, please select ‘Run with debugging information’ in the Options panel of Virtual Machine Settings. Then reproduce the incident and file it according to the instructions. To collect data to submit to VMware support, select Help > About and click “Collect Support Data”. You can also run the “vm-support” script in the Workstation folder directly. We will respond on the basis of your support entitlement. We appreciate your feedback, — the VMware Workstation team.

Only one hit on Google currently, 11:30pm, looking for: vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED over here. Next, looking at Google hits for the past 24 hours, only 2 results so far, with no answers yet, seen here. Will next need to try this Windows 8 out on ESX 5.0 and/or Hyper-V, and see how that goes…sure wishing I had the beta of VMware Workstation 8.0 installed about now though, public sign-up found here

Sep 14 2011 12:20am:  ESXi 5.0.0 469512 intial test results No success to report.  Upon pressing “Play” in the console to start the boot from the ISO, I get “Loading files…” for a second, then “Windows Developer Preview” on a black background for a few seconds, then the VM turns right back off a few seconds later (see screenshots below). I get this nasty behavior even after changing the initial Windows 7 x64 settings over to the new Windows 8 x64 settings. I’ll need to next make sure my ISO isn’t corrupt by installing on a physical machine, but I doubt is, as others reporting the same issue in Disqus comments below. But meanwhile, I’ll just ask, any ideas on other tweaks to try, anybody?

Sep 14 2011 12:43am: Downloading the 32 bit version now, regretting not kicking off that download earlier tonight, saying it’ll take about an hour for that 2.8GB WindowsDeveloperPreview-32bit-English.iso Will see if I have any better luck with that version in VMware Workstation and ESXi 5.0 (and note, if you’re a VirtualBox fan, it’s known to work fine there, read details here). This feels very much like the tweaking I used to have to do to get ESX running inside VMware Workstation years ago:  once folks tweaked the “.vmx” file enough, we got it working, unsupported of course.  But this time, not seeing anybody else with answers or insight into these particular behaviors quite yet.  And this is whole different animal, of course. I’m also noticing nearly realtime conversation with the folks commenting below (Disqus comments system), my most active night ever, by far (hundreds per hour).  So I’m beginning to  rethink my taking down my prototype IP.Board forum page with its chat function.  Or maybe we go with Google Plus Hangouts?  Or something like it, for just such occasions as this.  Would folks be interested?  Please use Disqus to comment below to speak your mind!

Sep 14 2011 01:37am:  VMware Workstation results testing with Windows 8 x86 Using the WindowsDeveloperPreview-32bit-English.iso version, I get this, dare I say, cute error?  I may need to call it a night soon, but I’d say the frowny face emoticon kind of captures exactly how I feel at the moment.  I don’t accept defeat gladly. Luckily, I’m not alone.  Perhaps somebody knows the answer already, but is too busy playing with Windows 8 to tell the rest of us exactly how to get it working…

Sep 14 2011 02:00am:  Virtual PC results testing with Windows 8 x86 Using the same WindowsDeveloperPreview-32bit-English.iso with Virtual PC (XP Compatibility Mode) resulted in the same happy blue screen.

Sep 14 2011 05:50am:  Totally different, somewhat convoluted method may work? I basically installed Windows 8 Developer Preview on a ThinkPad, installed the vSphere 5.0 Converter on that ThinkPad, then cranked through the wizard to output a Workstation 7.0 compatible image to local SSD drive (so it finished fast). I then copied those files to my VMware Workstation laptop local hard drive, and of course, it fails, same “vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED” error. So now I’m thinking, what if I crank out another conversion, which goes very fast since it’s SSD cloned over gigabit to a RAID0.  But this time, I’ll try a VMware Workstation 8 compatible image.  I realize it’ll puke when powering up on VMware Workstation 7.1.4, but I already found a simple workaround for that last week, explained here (with screenshot): Trying that out now, not holding out too much hope, we’ll know the result soon. Even if I just get a different error than all the other tests above, I’ll have learned something.  And since this VMware Converter 5 was meant to be used with the very recently released vSphere 5 and/or Workstation 8, it seemed like a decent idea to give this physical to virtual idea a shot, especially if it works.  I can then learn from the working .vmx file it produces, and maybe even figure out how to install a VM from scratch (without having to install Windows 8 on a physical machine first).

Sep 14 2011 07:21am:  It still doesn’t work, on VMware Workstation So, changing over to creating a Workstation 8 image from the converter, then tweaking the vmx file by changing from virtualHW.version = “8” to virtualHW.version = “7” did not work, same showstopper “vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED error” problem. Now that reports are in that Windows 8 Developer Preview works fine on VMware Workstation 8.0 beta, so it’s time to call it quits, for now.  But I do still want to try Converter 5.0 to ESXi 5.0 at some point, from the physical ThinkPad running Windows 8 seen here:

Sep 14 2011 09:46am:  It still doesn’t work, on ESXi 5.0 using Converter 5.0 and Windows 8 x64 VM setting Conversion completes without incident, but then the VM dies (powers off) shortly afterpowering on, sigh.  Subsequent boot attempts yield this result, see screenshot.

Sep 14 2011 01:04pm:  Whoomp! (there it is):

VMware Workstation 8.0 available for purchase/download/trial, just visit:

Sep 14 2011 02:57pm:  Doing much better installing Windows 8 Developer Preview with VMware Workstation 8.0, as others have reported, but not done yet…

Sep 14 2011 03:30pm:  There it is, the tweak that should get Windows 8 working in ESXi 5.0 as well, way to go, whoever you really are, seriously, great find, thank you for sharing! So you can run Windows 8 on VMware Workstation 8 (and maybe ESXi 5.0), that appears to be our group conclusion, finishing up first hand tests now.  Here’s here‘s post, it’s the critical missing link we ESXi 5.0 users were hoping for!

Here <> (unregistered) wrote, in response to Avalon111 (unregistered):

Take a look at his:

Sep 16 2011 05:57pm:  Sweet sweet walk-thrus:
If you’ve read this far through this blog, I suspect you’re pretty good at handling yourself with VMware Workstation/VMware Player.  However, I’ve found two particularly detailed walk-thrus for installing Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMware Workstation that you may also enjoy.  Have a great weekend!

Sep 16 2011 06:05pm:  Windows Server 8 also works with VMware Workstation 8!
Thank you for posting the following extremely helpful information in the comments, PGermanus!
Windows server 8 also works fine in VMware workstation 8. Just don’t install the VMtools, because the serverversion doesn’t work correct with the video drivers of VMtools. You get a black screen with only the mousepointer and the notifications.
You can try everything else without the VMtools (internet works) but it won’t run as quick or smooth as you’d like.

Sep 16 2011 06:19pm
:  For those also interested in dual booting, here’s an approach (that I haven’t tested yet):
Personally, with VMware Tools installed in Windows 8 Developer Preview, I’m fine with the speed it offers, and a commenter on another site is saying it’s faster than VirtualBox, I don’t know firsthand.  But if you instead want to go the dual-boot approach, this guide looks surprisingly straight forward, but I’d still make sure you do a full backup first, and test if you can also a full backup and bare metal restore (to a different drive) after you go dual boot, to know for sure if your backups still work (just sayin!)
Sep 19 2011 10:42am:  For those interested in nesting:
ESXi host runs a VM that is running Windows 7 with VMware Workstation 8.0 installed that runs a VM with Windows 8 Developer Preview
Pretty creative but not idea, still, the best option I’ve seen to date:

Sep 19 2011 10:53am
:  For those looking for what VMware currently has to say about this:
Here’s the latest scoop on this matter:

Today, I’ve noticed that VMware has perhaps pulled down the kb article, as of 10:47 am eastern on 9/19, this site is gone:

However, searches for that kb still work and show the title of the result:

so, here’s the cached version, where you’ll basically read that VMware knows the problem and they are working on it:
but since the actual page is gone, no way to subscribe to notifications when VMware has fixed this that I can find.

Sep 19 2011 11:02am:  Here’s the replacement site, one you can RSS subscribe to for updates/notification:

Nov 04 2011 06:08pm:  Still no answers from VMware about Windows 8 Developer Preview
But note that VMware Player 4.0 still runs fine, even though the VMware Workstation 8.0 it came bundled with has run its trial out

You can also download just VMware Player 4.0 now on its own from here

Feb 29 2012:
Update, new Windows 8 Consumer Preview now works fine on ESXi 5.0 Patch 02, read all about it!





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  • Noel Fairclough

    I’ve just tried to install Windows 8 with VMWare Workstation v7.1.4 build 385536, and I get the same issue.

    • tinkererguy

      Unfortunately, no better luck with ESXi 5.0.0 either, at least with my first tries.  See updates to my blog post above.

      Thank you so much User, Anonymous, and Noel for your comments, now at least we know we’re not alone in trying!

      Pretty darn likely it’ll work fine in Hyper-V, but where’s the fun in that, you know?  ;-)

      • Anonymous

        Got it working with virtual box (which is free).  Seems kinda dirty running a microsoft os on an oracle product ;)

        • Anonymous

          Oh, and I should point out that apparently it’s supported in VMWare player.

          The only downside is that you can’t have workstation and player installed at the same time (or at least, it blocked on install for me).

          Apparently vmware workstation 8.0 will support windows 8 just fine…the beta’s seem to run ok, but I’m not a fan of beta’s, so I’ll stick it out with virtual box for the dev previews!

        • tinkererguy

          Works on Parallels apparently.

      • Noel Fairclough

        My VM host at home is (the free version) of XenServer v5.something with Service Pack 2.  Still a couple of hours before I get home from work – but I’ll try it on that.

        • Noel Fairclough

          Yep – I just tested it on XenServer v5.6 with SP2 (build 47008) and it doesn’t work.  It gets a fraction further through the boot up process than VMWare Workstation 7.4.1

          • Gary Cousins

            According to Jack cobbin ( it should work with XenServer 6 Beta. If you’re going to try 6 you have until the 16th of this month to download the ISO.

  • Anonymous

    Ditto…searched and came across your post.  Please follow up if you find an answer!

  • User


  • Vyas Bharghava

    People have experienced the same error on VMWare Workstation with the Win8 leaked builds before! What I hear is that it works with VirtualBox.

  • Leep

    Same problem.  Using VMWare Workstation 7.1.4 build-385536 with the Windows 8 x64 Dev Preview.

  • Willis

    works fine under Hyper-v

  • Vyas Bharghava

    Did 32 bit work?  Mine’s still downloading?

    • tinkererguy

      25 minutes left on download of 32 bit version…

  • William Armstrong

    On osx Lion, Vmare fusion latest stable has the same error. will try Virtualbox next

  • Jon

    This blog is the first result Googling for “windows 8 developer vmware”.
    I have Workstation 7.1.4 and I’m getting the same error, furthre Googling revealed that users have experienced no problems under VirtualBox.  I tried this and the ISO booted up successfully and I was able to install the developer preview. 

  • Vyas Bharghava

    According to @ghurlman:disqus x64 is installing on VirtualBox…

    • tinkererguy

      Cute new error trying the Windows 8 32 bit version, posting screenshot to blog shortly

      • tinkererguy

        Blog updated, pretty new HBSOD (Happy Blue Screen of Death) screenshots included!

  • Ketil Klepsvik

    VirtualBox does the trick – togheter with 32-bit version of the Preview. 

  • Mat_atv

    Just note that this Dev Preview WORKS fine on Hyper-V 2008 R2

  • R4ziel

    Had the same problem with ESX 5.0, Windows 8 x64. Downloading virtual box now to test.

    • R4ziel

      Working under Winbox using x64 

  • R4ziel

    Had the same problem with ESX 5.0, Windows 8 x64. Downloading virtual box now to test.

  • PBergstrom

    same vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1903 error on vmware player 3.14 and in Vmware server 2.0.2

  • PBergstrom

    same vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1903 error on vmware player 3.14 and in Vmware server 2.0.2

  • Bruno Nunes

    i really want to try it on vmware theres gotta be a away… i know im stubborn :)

  • Pgermanus

    You can install Windows 8 with VMware workstation 8. Just choose as Windows 7 as OS. (tried with 32bit version)
    You can also run it with virtualbox, but than you can’t install any network drivers and alsmost everything needs a internet connection to work, so this is only a way to look at how beautiful the metro interface looks, how the new desktop works and what kind of settings you have.
    Just install VM tools after installing Windows 8 and use NAT as your network connection. It should automatically connect to the internet (with DHCP).

    VirtualBox has some  freezes while trying to install, so it’s not guaranteed to work. VMware isn’t very fast, but it works.

  • 0xc000005

     Got the same problem. This helped me to find out about Virtual Box – if it works, it may just drive me away from VMware…

  • nicholaelaw

    I had this problem too and in the end I just took out my spare box to have it installed.

  • Dan Stolts (ITProGuru)

    Booting to VHD (DUAL Boot) works great following the same instructions you would use for windows 7 Blog ITProGuru post on it…

  • Leep

    I can confirm that it does indeed work with VMWare 8.  I had the same problem everyone else was having with VMWare 7.  Since I had been intending to upgrade to 8 anyway, I went on and did the upgrade.  I selected Windows 7 x64 as the OS in VMWare and it installed with no problems (Windows 8 Dev Preview x64 w/Dev Tools).

    My impression so far?  I’m not liking it.  I’m afraid MS might have missed the mark here making the desktop computer have a mobile phone interface.  I liked have 60+ icons on my desktop, not 7 or 8 panels that I have to use a scroll bar to see more of.  On a mobile phone with limited resolution real estate, I can see this being great.  On a tablet, maybe.  On a 1080p+ desktop on a 55″ flat panel?  And loosing the ability to arrange the windows the way I want to (tiled, 4 or 5 showing at once, etc)?  Really?  I understand the focus on performance, but the OS is named “Windows” for a reason…  (and yes, I understand that Win32 apps will still run in “windows”, but WinRT apps will not) I’m not sure I can get used to not have tilable windows any more.

    In general, the overall feel was not one of productivity.  Maybe it’s just because I’m used to things as they are. I’ve experienced radical shifts in UI paradigms before (DOS/text based -> GUI/windows based) and I couldn’t go back, so maybe 5 years from now I’ll wonder how I ever lived with icons and tilable windows.  Who knows.

  • PGermanus

    Windows server 8 also works fine in VMware workstation 8. Just don’t install the VMtools, because the serverversion doesn’t work correct with the video drivers of VMtools. You get a black screen with only the mousepointer and the notifications.
    You can try everything else without the VMtools (internet works) but it won’t run as quick or smooth as you’d like.

    • tinkererguy

      Thank you so much, great info (that was my next OS to try out)!

  • tinkererguy

    Thank you Dan, can’t wait to revisit boot from VHD! Quite an honor to see you post here. As usual, found your blog’s article to be clear and thorough. Reading through the Shift+F10 stuff, I was reminded of how I like to tell Windows 7 to not install that hidden partition sometimes (lab machines), keeping backups and restores and clones simpler:

  • tinkererguy

    And the even easier way listed here, nice to not have to remember the commands, only the technique (I’ve tested this method, it works!):

  • buy vps

    I got it to installed without
    any problems in VIrtutalbox but have the same problem with guest
    additions not installing on both 32 and 64 bit. I tried pulling the
    drivers out of the additions install file and when I installed the video
    driver the resolution changed but then I lost my keyboard. The mouse
    was fine and Windows wasn’t locked. I don’t know how these are related
    but I got to do my first system restore in Windows 8. Has anybody else tries extracting the drivers and did you get it to work?

  • tinkererguy

    Even the ESXi 5.0 Express Patch 01 didn’t help, power on of Windows 8 Developer Preview still stops soon after  power on (and powers right back off again). Here’s the info on the path:‘ the command I used to get the update going (without vSphere):

    esxcli software vib update –depot=/vmfs/volumes/1.5TB/

  • USB 3G

    Oh nice, thanks for your

  • tinkererguy

    Thanks for the favorable feedback, see also write-up I created on the exact patching procedure here:

    Let us know how it goes (it doesn’t patch much though)!