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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.

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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

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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.

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Choose Operating System

Choose OS "Microsoft Windows" version "Windows Vista"

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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.

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Sharing Settings

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

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Customize Settings

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

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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.

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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.

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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