Windows 8 has a quirk that seemingly prevents installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions. This post provides work-around instructions for installing the Guest Additions.
In a virtual machine certain support programs are required to make everything appear like a normal computer. For VirtualBox this software is called Guest Additions, it is installed in the guest, in this case Windows 8. Without the Guest Additions the virtual machine is extremely limited, and in the case of Windows 8 substantially useless.
The current version of VirtualBox is 4.2.4 (November 2012). If you have an earlier version click the image at the right to download the current version. Be sure to select the package appropriate for your system.
The message instructs to “Tap to choose what happens with software and games”. The message is displayed for just a few seconds and then disappears. If you click on it in time you get a dialog where you can select “Run VBoxWindowsAddtions.exe…”. Clicking that gets the installation of the Guest Additions underway.
If you missed the initial dialog, clicking “Install Guest Additions…” in the Devices menu may not have any apparent effect, and the dialog does not come up again.
For this situation here is the way to install the Guest Additions.
Launch File Explorer in the Windows 8 virtual machine (that is Windows Explorer to us oldtimers). Click the CD Drive entry in the navigation pane. Then double-click VBoxWindowsAdditions. Be sure to select the version appropriate for your version of Windows 8 (64-bit or 32-bit).
Installation will proceed from there. At one point you will asked “Would you like to install this device software?”. Click the checkbox to “Always trust software from “Oracle Corporation”.” so you will not see this repeatedly, then click Install.
With the Guest Additions installed you have a beautiful version of Windows 8. You can resize the window to any size and use the clipboard for moving material between the host and guest system (with limits).
© 2012 Ludwig Keck