Friday, March 8, 2013

Creating a Windows 8 Virtual Machine

Now that Advantage supports Windows 8 I thought it was time I got a test system configured. I have been an avid fan of virtualization for many years and I find it to be an invaluable tool in keeping multiple versions available for testing. It is also a great way to keep my machine relatively clean for my day-to-day work.

I have been using VMWare Workstation for several years beginning with a 6.x version. I had upgraded to the 7.x version but I quickly found out that I needed a newer version to install Windows 8. There were several posts on the web that discussed successfully creating a Windows 8 image with version 8.x of workstation but the VMWare tools do not work. So I decided to take the safe route and get version 9, which officially supports Windows 8.

Unfortunately that did not end my troubles when I tried installing I kept getting the following message when the VM started.

your pc needs to restart
please hold down the power button
Error code: 0x0000005D

I did what any reasonable person would do and went straight to Google. My search was instantly rewarded with hundreds of hits from people with the same problem almost all of which were completely useless. Most recommended upgrading to Workstation version 9, which I had already done. Others discussed enabling virtualization in the BIOS, which I had already done since this is required to run any 64-bit OS. The whole process reminded me of an XKCD comic.


At long last I found a post that had the answer. You need to enable the No-Execute Memory Protection option in the BIOS. This option is disabled by default.

I know a long story for a simple answer. Hopefully this post will help others get their own Windows 8 Virtual Machines up and running.

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