Windows 7 on VMWare Fusion

I finished downloading and installing Windows 7 this weekend. It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would take and I do have to hand it to the guys at Redmond: Good Job! I was able to get the OS installed on VMWare Fusion 2.0.1 with no issues. Other than to play with Windows 7, I did have a purpose to installing the OS — but since installing it I completely don’t need the OS any more other than a play thing on the Mac.

Actually downloading the ISO was the most time consuming part of this exercise — and only because I had to wait a whole another day to actually perform the download. See my previous article Windows 7 Beta Downloading for specifics. In any event, I had the product downloaded in about 40 minutes.

I wanted to give Windows 7 a fair shake so when I create a VM for it, I was generous with the resources. I gave it 2 processors, 2 gigs of RAM, and 40 gigs of disk.

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The screen shot above also details some of the other settings – 1 shared folder and I used Bridged networking as NAT’d networking seems to be a problem with Fusion 2.0.1 and Vista. I figure I’d play it safe. Oh and another important setting:

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I downloaded the x64 bit version so I configured VMWare Fusion to recognize the client OS as Windows Server 2008 since that was the latest version of Windows Fusion seems to know about. This was a total shot in the dark of course. (but it worked.)

I actually kept a log of the installation as I did it because I didn’t want to forget any details. It turns out that there wasn’t much in the ways of surprises – other than it all worked! In any event this is what happened:

4:22pm (Saturday 1/10/09) – Start time

4:23pm – Created VM settings and started the installation process. I am reading the ISO from a cifs share on an Ubuntu server so I anticipated a slightly longer install process as opposed to have the file locally.

4:26pm – the initial expanding of the files taking place and I’m already up to 7% after only a few minutes.

4:33pm – 77% expanded

4:42pm – 100% expanded

4:42pm – setup is installing updates and rebooting for the first time.

4:44pm – GUI is back and “completing installation” message is on the screen. There is a green bar at the bottom of the screen showing you the progress of “completing the installation” – Wish there was a better indicator like a % done message.

4:48pm – Finished installing, setup reboots the machine.

4:52pm – Finalizing the setup — had to enter the product key a couple of times… fat fingers.

4:53pm – First Screen up and I’m in!

Windows Defender starts updating itself and I get the typical Virus protection warning. So I fire up IE 8 (go through it’s setup process – taking all defaults) and download AVG Free version.

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While I’m downloading AVG, Windows Defender starts to scan my system and I don’t know if it’s me or what, but it seemed like it was rocketing through my system. Covered approximately 62,000 resources in 2:32 minutes!

Since this is a VM – I had to install the VMWare tools so that I can change the video, etc. I was dreading this part because I’m not quite sure if the drivers will work on Windows 7. So far I have experienced no issues and everything seems pretty rock solid.

Once all those programs were loaded, I then downloaded and installed Windows Live Writer. Once that was completed, I shut down the machine, snap off a snapshot and restarted the machine.

ROCK SOLID from the very beginning. Very good job guys! I will be playing with this off and on over the next few days and so far I’m impressed. Pretty much like Vista with some additional tweaks. It seems very fast and responsive for now. I’ll lower the resources on it later as I don’t have a ton of uses for a Windows VM right now.

Good luck on your installation – not that you’ll need it.


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