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VMware Workstation 6.5 Easy Install of Windows 7 Beta

I downloaded the Windows 7 beta DVD and decided to install it in a VM. Since I’ve read a few other blog posts where the soon to be released version of the Windows operating system works great as a VM, I decided I’d try it for myself. On my company notebook I run VMware Workstation 6.5 on Microsoft Vista, and I chose to create a guest there first. I’ll probably try VirtualBox on my Ubuntu desktop soon too.

The installation was very simple and uneventful. I used the Workstation Easy Installer feature to pick all of the VM hardware configurations for me. There was very little to do actually. If you have never tried the Easy Install feature of Workstation it is very impressive and makes building VMs so easy that even a caveman could do it. (Maybe I should copy write that saying? 😉 )

I’ve documented the install with screen shots in this post in case readers would like to see the process, but honestly it’s straightforward. I’ve added some notes and impressions as well.

I started at approximately 6:25 am
You have to love the Workstation Easy Installer feature:

  • Install from: Installer disk
  • auto detected as Vista
Leaving the Windows Product Key blank for the beta
Thanks for the confirmation?
I had to change the default Name from Windows Vista, and I do not keep my VMs in the default location
I kept the suggested virtual disk configuration
Summary screen showed that the

  • RAM was 1024 MB
  • vNIC set to NAT

Easy Install does not ask you to set these, but gives you the button to Customize Hardware if you don’t like. I kept them as is.

VM auto started
I installed the Windows Ultimate Edition.

Not sure if 1GB RAM is enough for all features, but as a VM you don’t need all the visual enhancements anyways.

Installing by 6:30 am

Interesting note:

My mouse passed seamlessly between the VM console and my host notebook during the install. I was not prompted to make any changes or input anything, but I did click inside the console a few times and was able to move the mouse back out without using CTRL + ALT + INS

By 7:04 am I was ready to log in

Windows 7 displays “Preparing Your Desktop” until you are prompted for the usual OS configurations.

Windows 7 networking
Easy Install also installs VMware Tools for you after you log in to the VM. The tools install takes place simultaneously as the Windows desktop is being configured.
When the tools install is complete there is an auto reboot
By 7:19 am I was finished.


The time it took to complete the install was delayed by my documentation in this post

After I logged in I was prompted if I wanted to auto install updates and I chose Yes. Updates began to download immediately. LOL! Some things never change!

Turns out the update was a definition update for Windows Defender.

Unity mode is not supported yet with Windows 7 Beta

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