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Installing Windows 7 Beta in VMware Fusion

January 20, 2009 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

I installed the Windows 7 Beta in VMware Fusion on my Macbook Pro. Actually, it took several tries, but it was pretty quick and easy, once I understood the process. I am still getting used to VMware, so that might have been a bit of a hinderance.

This tutorial takes you through the steps I took to install. It should be noted that I am still new to VMware, so my experience might be slightly different than others that are more experienced with the program.

First, download the Windows 7 Beta at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7.

Burn DVD – Optional

This step is optional.

Even though it states in the Windows 7 Beta instructions that you need to burn a DVD of the ISO file, VMware doesn’t need a DVD to install, You can use the ISO file directly.

But if you do want to burn a copy of the ISO (which is a good idea for backup purposes) launch Disk Utility, then choose Images>Burn. Browse to the ISO file on your hard drive, then click the Burn button.


Start Install Without Disk

To create a new Virtual Machine with Windows 7 Beta, launch VMware, and click File > New

Click the "Continue without disk" button


Choose the ISO File

Choose "Use operating system installation disk image file" and browse to where the downloaded Windows 7 beta ISO file is saved on your Mac hard drive.


Choose Operating System

Choose OS "Microsoft Windows" version "Windows Vista"


Account Settings and Product Key

check "use easy install" and type in your account name, admin password and the Windows 7 beta "Product key".

IMPORTANT Note: As far as I know, you can only use a product key once. I installed the beta once, and the installation connected to the Internet and activated. I deleted the Virtual Machine and tried to install again, and it would not accept my product key for a second installation. I had to sign up for a new key. I don’t know if it was just my experience, or if others have been able to use the key again, but it makes sense that Microsoft only allows it once.


Sharing Settings

I didn’t want to share any of my Mac files just yet, so I chose "None" – make your own choice.


Customize Settings

If you click on the button to "Customize Savings" you can change the "Save as" name and the other settings (see below)


Other Settings

It’s just my own preference, but I make sure I initially disable the network. I also changed the hard drive space to only 11gb. It is easy to change later if you need additional space. I found when the hard disk is left as the default 40gb, I couldn’t decrease it afterward to a lower amount. So, I started with 11gb.

I set my RAM amount to 1gb, and it seems sufficient for now. I have even read others online using Windows 7 with only 512mb of Ram.


Start the Virtual Machine

When you are done tweaking the settings, Start up the virtual machine by clicking the little green arrow

Windows Launches and Installs

The Windows 7 Beta launches and starts the installation process. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a long time to "expand files" – it was several minutes for me. After the files are expanded, the rest goes fairly quickly, with one restart.


Final Thoughts

So what do I think about Windows 7?

My experience with Vista has been limited, but during the little time I used it, I found it to be annoying. I haven’t worked w/ Windows 7 for long, but so far so good. It seems lighter than Vista and just cleaner. No, it won’t make me switch back from Mac OS X to use it full time, but I find it pleasant to use inside a Virtual Machine in VMware.

There are 2 comments

  1. Thanks much!. I got Win7 installed on fusion. Liking it so far 🙂

    Comment by Vinod on July 8th, 2009
  2. Cool, Vinod. I like Fusion too!

    Would you believe I STILL haven’t installed a copy of the NEW Windows 7 RC!? I have a nice install CD made and everything!

    I am thinking I would love to use a copy of Virtual Box for that. Just to test it out!

    Thanks for commenting! Glad the tutorial helped!

    Comment by debbie T on July 9th, 2009