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How to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview: Everything you need to know

Brad Chacos | Oct. 2, 2014
Are you ready to walk on the wild side? Windows 10 is on the horizon, and even though it’s still roughly three-quarters of a year away from completion, Microsoft’s giving IT Pros and PC enthusiasts an early taste of what’s to come with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Hard disk space : 16GB

Graphics card : Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Some additional notes: Youll also need a Microsoft account and Internet access. And if you want to access the Windows Store or use Windows Apps, your monitors resolution will need to be at least 1024x768. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is available in English, Chinese Simplified, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Still here? Now head over to and click the Get Started button. After registering for Windows Insider, youll be prompted to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Download the appropriate Technical Preview build for your machine the This PC or My Computer Properties window can also tell you if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit processor under the System type field.

Jot down the product key for the Technical Preview, too. Youll need it to install the operating system.

With all that done, its time to get the Tech Preview on your PC! But since its a very early pre-release build of the operating system, you wont want to overwrite your PCs operating system with Windows 10especially since doing so renders Windows Media Player incapable of playing DVDs and removes Windows Media Center entirely from upgraded Windows 8.1 Pro installations.

If you have a superfluous computer lying around, sure, feel free to install the preview on that. But most people will want to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview either in a virtual machine, or on its own hard drive partition.

In a virtual machine

Installing it on a virtual machine is the easiest option. Grab VirtualBox, Oracles stellar no-cost VM tool, and youll be ready to rock. Download the Windows 10 Preview and configure it in VirtualBox using mostly the same steps outlined in PCWorlds guide to test-driving Windows 8 in a virtual machine.

But there are three very, very important differences when you're creating the Windows 10 VM when compared to the article above. First, when you're initially setting up the Windows 10 VM, select "Windows 8.1" as the operating system type. And once youve got the Windows 10 VM set up, you need to open its Settings > System. In the Motherboard tab, ensure the box next to Enable EFI (Special OSes only) is checked, as well as the Enable PAE/NX box under the Processor tab.

It's worth noting that I encountered troubles installing the 64-bit version Windows 10 on VirtualBoxthe installation hung right after the "Press any key to boot" screen, stuck forever on the Windows logo against a black background. Several others have been successful in getting it to work, however, and I was able to install the 32-bit version of Windows 10's Technical Preview successfully.


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