How to create a Windows 8 VM quickly?

Use Convert-WindowsImage and create a Windows 8 VM quickly.

Written in PowerShell, Convert-WindowsImage is a tool to quickly create a Windows installation on a VHD virtual hard disk or VHDX, from a Windows installation ISO file.

This tool can be used from the command line or GUI, it’s your choice. No installation required since it’s a PowerShell script.

In terms of compatibility, it can be used in Windows 8, but is recommended for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Then you can work with the ISO Supported OS, specifically Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 and newer OS.

At the starting of this tutorial, I’ve mentioned Convert-WindowsImage can be used to create a VM quickly, but surely, one can easily create a VHD file to start it directly as Windows 8 on VHD boot support. Moreover, one can also consider a creation that will be exported to the Azure platform of Microsoft.

Before you start, make sure you’ve downloaded Convert-WindowsImage free tool from the Microsoft website.

Creating a VHDX from an ISO

Here, we will create an installation of Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (it could have Windows 8) on a VHDX, from an original ISO installation.

For starters, it runs the tool in graphical mode. To do this, open a PowerShell console as an Administrator.

Enter the following command:

Then follow the below steps:

1 – Select an ISO in the field “Choose a source”

2 – Select Publishing / type of installation you want in the “Choose a SKU from the list”.
“Choose” ServerStandard “install Standard Edition GUI”.

3 – Select the size of the virtual disk VHD or VHDX in the field “VHD Format”. Then, type of provisioning disk space for the “VHD Type”. Finish by filling the field “VHD Size” where you have to specify the size of the virtual disk.

4 – Specify the storage location for your virtual disk by completing the field “Working Directory”.

5 – Give a name to your VHD / VHDX by filling the field “Name VHD”. Warning: If you choose the format “VHDX “, specify “.vhdx” at the end of the file name or you get an error.

6 – Optionally specify a response file “unattend” to XML if you have one and want to customize the installation. This is done in the “field Unattend File”.

7 – Run created by clicking the “Make my VHD”.

8 – Wait until you see the message “Closing VHDX “,” Closing Windows Image “and” Done “in PowerShell console.

9 – Start the VM and finalize the installation (Machine name, product key, user, etc.). The biggest is already done!

Note: Do not hesitate to look in the background which is indicated in the PowerShell console. If errors occur, they will be listed directly in the console, and it gives you an overview of what is happening.

On the Tool download page, you will find help for command line use (with some examples the key). This can allow you, for example, to make a script that will be enough to run to create a VM quickly, without repeating the command manually or through the GUI.

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About Paul Lopez

Paul Lopez, a technology writer and sales & marketing executive at bodHOST.com, a cloud & dedicated server hosting company based in New Jersey.
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