This exclusive article for the MPUG Newsletter describes how to install and configure the Microsoft 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine using the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview release. This approach provides an exciting and responsive alternative to installing a separate bootable partition with Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.

In this article:

  • Where to obtain all of the required software (i.e. Windows 8 Consumer Preview, 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine, Project 2010 SP1 Demonstration and Evaluation Pack).
  • Enabling the Hyper-V capability in Windows 8 Consumer Preview
  • Installing / configuring the Virtual Machine Demonstration Platform
  • Installation of the Windows Classic Start Menu (optional)
  • My observations to date

I am providing this article on the basis of my personal experiences working with the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview as a demonstration platform for the Microsoft 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine. In no way should readers consider using this trial software for anything other than evaluation and demonstration. There is no warranty implied or expressed in installing any for the aforementioned products (other than what comes from Microsoft). Please do so at your own risk (and on a machine that is NOT critical to your daily job / role!!).

  1. Where to find the Required Software

    I have provided the following steps to help you fast-track through the software installation process.1. Windows 8 Consumer Preview- Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. You can download the software and required Product Key by visiting http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso. Be sure to specify the 64-bit release as the Evaluation VM will only run on a 64-bit platform. You will want to burn this image to a blank DVD disc and then install on either a fresh machine or spare partition or disk drive (I have not tried an upgrade in place of a Windows 7 machine yet, so I cannot comment on how successful that would be …I have only experienced the native install).

    2. 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1) The following link contains a three Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V Virtual Machine set for evaluating and demonstrating Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010 – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspxid=27417. The primary download is some 24 zip files that will require approximately 27.5 GB (hey, I didnt say that this was for the faint at heart now did I). When fully unzipped the 2010-10a VM will require approximately 55.6 GB of space to expand when you install it to the VHD image directories. Keep in mind that you will also require additional space for the other VMs (i.e. Microsoft Exchange and Lync 2010 Servers) although these VMs are optional, as well as space for any snapshots you may want to take of the VM.

    3. Project 2010 SP1 Demonstration and Evaluation Pack The following link will download a large file called “ProjectContentPack-2010-10a.iso” file (i.e. approx. 242 MB) – http://go.microsoft.com/linkid=9788615. You will want to burn this image to a blank CD-R disc for installation in the upcoming section Installing

  2. Enabling Hyper-V in Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    The Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes Hyper-V, the machine virtualization technology that has been part of the last 2 releases of Windows Server. Hyper-V lets you run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same computer. Instead of working directly with the computers hardware, the operating systems run inside of a virtual machine (VM). I encourage you to review the excellent blog entitled “Bringing Hyper-V to Windows 8“.

Enabling the Hyper-V capability is very straightforward however simply go to the Settings- Control Panel- Programs and Features and select Turn Window Features on or off:

Project Server 2010 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Expand the Hyper-V features (click on the + sign) and check the 3 boxes as shown below. After you click the OK button you will be prompted to reboot Windows 8 Customer Preview edition.

Project Server 2010 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

3. Installing / Configuring the Virtual Machine Demonstration Platform

Now that you have a fully functional Windows 8 Consumer Preview Hyper-V enabled platform, all the necessary Virtual Machine (VM) software downloaded and unzipped, you are now ready to start the fun part …of importing the VHD image into Hyper-V and configuring the setup to include the necessary networking adapters etc.

A)Install the 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1) downloaded in section 1 of this article. Simply follow the instructions entitled Setting up Hyper-V located at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspxid=27417 (about of the way down the page). You can skip item 1 (installing the Hyper-V role) as we just completed that in the in the previous section. You will most likely have to set the startup RAM to 5796 MB (the upper limits of memory permitted in this Hyper-V implementation). You will require a PC that has a reasonably fast processor and at least 8GB of memory – my primary setup was a Dell E6520 with a 256 GB SSD.

If everything went well, you should see something closely related to the following image:

Project Server 2010 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

B) Now install the Microsoft Project Server 2010 Demo Content Pack.

Once you have successfully installed the Content Pack you should be able to run PWS, now on Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

Project Server 2010 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

4. Installation of the Windows Classic Start Menu (optional)

The Windows 8 Start Menu is certainly very attractive and obviously designed for the new tablets, however I immediately needed a more familiar (and comfortable) approach to navigating the significant amount of functionality within Windows 8. I turned to to ask the question “How do I re-enable the classic start menu?” and discovered the following article from Neowin.net on how to regain the classic start button functionality:

 

http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-8-how-to-re-enable-the-classic-start-menu

 

I also learned about the free download “Classic Shell” which a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but are removed from Vista and Windows 7. It also has a classic start menu for Windows 8:

 

http://classicshell.sourceforge.net

 

Note: be sure to install version 3.5.0 as it provides support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Project Server 2010 on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

5. My Observations to-date

My list of issues is relatively short as I have been working with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for only a month a month or so. I must say however that I am favorably impressed by its stability, performance, and consistency with former versions of Windows.

I have not yet purchased a tablet although I have implemented it on 3 separate machines (I even had my daughter of 14 install it on her PC, which I believe to be to be a pretty good testament to its ease of installation).

I have encountered only a couple of critical issues thus far:

  • According to the WebEx Support Article ID: WBX58627 Windows 8 is currently in Consumer Preview beta release and not supported by WebEx.
  • Occasionally a web browser will freeze-up and the only thing you can do is use Task Manager (greatly improved by the way) to delete the hung Internet Explorer task.

On the positive (and encouraging) side:

  • In general, everything appears to just work …I was pleasantly surprised to see how really transparent running Hyper-V on Windows 8 really was …just faster and easier than working with its predecessor.
  • The performance of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is substantially better than the Windows 8 Server R2 predecessor.
  • Startup times are also noticeably faster (for those on the spot demos) with Windows 8 Consumer Preview taking less than 15 seconds to start from a cold boot (1-2 seconds from a “deep sleep” :)).