How to create a virtual machine with Windows 10 to test the beta of the Insider program
One of the best things about this new Microsoft and its Windows 10, is perhaps the Insider program. If you like the idea of trying everything before others, and messing with an operating system in development giving your feedback to the company, then it comes as a glove.
Now, becoming an Insider also means that you are going to turn your computer into a guinea pig, and although you enjoy the new and improved before, you also get the bugs and possible disasters that involve using unstable software. So, if you do not have an extra computer that can be given that luxury, an excellent idea is to create a virtual machine with Windows 10 and join it to the beta testers program.
This guarantees an isolated and completely disposable environment in which anything can happen without suffering your main system. And, you have a front row seat for everything new that Microsoft implements in Windows 10 before it reaches stable versions.
You do not need much to create a virtual machine, but it is important that you consider some minimum hardware requirements : Windows 10 requires a minimum of 1-2 GB of RAM and between 16 and 20 GB of disk storage depending on whether you choose to install the 32 version or 64 bits.
Now, when creating the virtual machine, the ideal would be that you will assign at least 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of space for the virtual hard disk. With this in mind keep in mind that your computer must have at least twice those available resources, or the performance of everything will go to hell.
To create the virtual machine you can use VMWare Workstation, or a free and extremely easy to use alternative like VirtualBox. The latter is the one we have chosen to explain the steps.
And, of course, you will need a Windows 10 image. You can download one from the official Microsoft website. You just have to click on “Download the tool now” to download the program that will download the ISO to your computer.
Run the MediaCreationTool and choose the option “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC” and press “Next”.
When it is time to choose the medium to use, check the option “ISO File”. Then select Language, Architecture and edition. Later you will be asked to choose a folder to save the Windows 10 image. Select the one you prefer and then just wait for the tool to do its job.
Create a virtual machine with Windows 10
Download and install VirtualBox on your computer and run the program. Click on the “New” button to start creating your virtual machine.
Give your virtual machine a name and choose the type and version of the operating system. Make sure to specifically mark the 64 or 32 bit version that matches the ISO file you downloaded from the Microsoft website. Then click on “Next”.
The next thing is to choose the amount of RAM that your virtual machine will have available. For Windows 10 64 bits, the recommended amount is 2 GB or 2048 MB. In the graphic you can see all the available on your PC, and when you approach red, it means that you are assigning too much.
Now you must create a virtual hard disk. The recommended size is 32 GB. If you had an existing virtual hard disk file, you could use it. If you do not create a virtual hard drive, you will not be able to install Windows.
The next thing is to decide if you want the hard disk to have a fixed size or that it be reserved dynamically. What you choose here will depend on how much space you have on your hard drive, basically if you choose the fixed size, you will lose all that space at once, if you choose dynamic, only what will fill the system will be occupied.
Then you will have to choose the location and size of the virtual hard disk and you are ready to start your virtual machine for the first time. Remember that the recommended is at least 20 GB, and if you choose a dynamic one, that GB number you choose will represent the maximum size.
Now that the virtual machine is ready, you must tell it where the Windows 10 installation disk is in order to install the operating system. Select your virtual machine from the list on the left and click on Settings.
Navigate to the Storage option and look to the right, under the Attributesoptions * Optical drive **. Then click on the icon in the form of a CD to select a disk drive. Navigate to the folder where you have the Windows 10 ISO file, and select it.
Now you can save and close the configuration and click on Start to start your virtual machine. Once you start the Windows installation program, just follow the instructions of the voice assistant and wait for the process to finish.
Do not worry about the Windows license because as a member of the Insider program you will not need it, and in any case, if you use your Microsoft account associated with a Windows 10 license, it will also automatically recognize it.
Join the Insider program
Now that you have Windows 10 installed on your virtual machine, you just need to join the Microsoft Betas program. Ideally, to avoid errors, first update the system. Open the Windows Settings (Windows key + I), choose Update and security and search and install the updates.
To be an Insider you only need to go back to Update and Security, then to the Windows Insider Program and press the ” Start ” button. You must enter the data from your Microsoft account to associate it with the program.
Choose the frequency with which you wish to receive the preliminary versions. ” Anticipated ” joins you to the rapid development ring, and “Deferred” to the slow. If you want to try everything before anyone else, choose “Anticipado”.
Bring your warning that the Insider program is not for the fainthearted. Confirm and restart the virtual machine. When you return check the updates and install what is necessary. This may take some time depending on the size of the last Insider compilation.