Here is a quick and simple guide on how to install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation 12. Also, this guide should work with previous versions of VMware Workstation.
Install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation 12
Assuming you have enabled Virtualization Technology in your bios (find guide on this here). And installed VMware Workstation, plus have a copy of the Windows 7 installation media available. It’s time to install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation.
From the main menu of VMware Workstation, Select ”Create a New Virtual Machine”.
Select ”Custom (advanced)” and hit ”Next >”.
You can keep these settings as default and click ”Next >”, if you are using a different version of VMware Workstation, it will show your version instead of ”Workstation 12.0”.
This screen allows you to mount your installation media. For me personally, I like to set up the virtual machines specifications first. So go ahead and select ”I will install the operating system later.” and hit ”Next >”.
Here we need to select the operating system we are going to be installing on the virtual machine. So select Microsoft Windows and find Windows 7 in the ”Version” menu. Once you’ve done that continue by clicking ”Next >”.
Give your virtual machine a name, I’ve chosen to stick with ”Windows 7” as it helps me to identify it. Next you need to select the location you want the virtual machine to be installed too. I like to install my virtual machines onto another hard drive. So that it doesn’t have to compete against my actual Windows accessing the hard drive. And it also improves performances by doing this as well. Anyway, once you have browsed to the directory of where you would like the virtual machine to be installed too.
Select Location for Windows 7 Virtual Machine
This screen allows you to start configuring the specifications of the virtual machine by choosing the number of processors and cores. For this guide I’m going to be using 1 processor with 1 core, but I would recommend if your system can handle it to have 1 processor and 2 cores, but you can experiment on this yourself if you like. Once you’ve decided on the processor settings, click ”Next >”.
Now we need to select how much RAM the virtual machine will use. This all depends on your system and how much you want the virtual machine to access. VMware does give you a maximum it recommends to use for your system, I recommend using 4GB for a Windows 7 virtual machine, but you can decrease or increase at will. For this guide I’m going to set it to 2GB, click ”Next >” to continue.
If you want to use your new virtual machine on the internet, the recommended settings, like in the image below, will be ideal. If you decide you don’t want to have access to the internet, you can select ”Do not use a network connection”, when finished click ”Next >”.
Make sure ”LSI Logic SAS” is selected and click ”Next >”.
For your disk type, ”SCSI” is recommended, and I will be using that in this guide. Hit ”Next >” to move on.
For our new virtual machine, we will need to create a new virtual disk, so select the first option and continue by hitting ”Next >”.
Windows 7 Virtual Machine Hard Drive Type
With the next page, it will give you the option to select how big you want your virtual machines hard drive to be. For this guide I’m going to use 20GB, but this can be set to whatever you prefer, depending on if you have the space or not.
Also for better performance you may want to select ”Allocate all disk space now”, and ”Store virtual disk as a single file”, using these settings, will in a sense give the virtual machine a physical hard drive, but you will not be able to use the disk space for anything else, accept the VM itself.
You can unselect ”Allocate all disk space now” which will enable the hard drive to grow in size when it is required by the virtual machine. But the downside to this is, it demands access to the hard drive when expanding and may conflict or slow down your computers performance, until it has finished.
Once you have decided what options you would like to choose, click ”Next >” to carry on.
Browse to the folder you would like to save the virtual hard drive for your new Windows 7 virtual machine, and click ”Next >”.
Have a quick recap of the specifications you have given your new virtual machine, and when you are happy with them, hit ”Finnish”.
VMware Workstation will now create your virtual hard drive, depending on your systems performance, times may vary at this point, just be patient.
When it’s finished creating the disk, we can start to install a Windows 7 virtual machine on your new VM.
Start to install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation 12
Now we need to mount our Windows 7 installation media. So we can start to install a Windows 7 Virtual Machine on VMware Workstation. To do so, click on ”Edit virtual machine settings”. Select ”CD/DVD (SATA)” from the menu on the left, and on the right, select either ”Use physical drive” and select the drive of the installation media, or if you’re using a Windows 7 image file, browse to the location of the image and click ”OK”.
Now let’s run our virtual machine, select ”Power on this virtual machine” above were you previous click on ”Edit virtual machine settings”. You may be prompted with a message about binary, select ”Do not show this hint again” and hit ”OK”.
When you first boot the virtual machine, you will get a message telling you about removable devices, you can either just click ”OK” (it will pop up every time you boot the VM), or you can select to hide the hint from showing up again. Your choice.
Once you get to the ”Windows Boot Manager” using your keyboard, highlight ”Windows Setup” and hit Enter. Give it a few seconds to load up and we should start to install a Windows 7 Virtual Machine on Vmware.
Select your desired language, time and currency, and keyboard layout and hit ”Next”.
Continue with ”Install now”,
Select Windows 7 Virtual Machine Version
Here we need to choose what version of Windows 7 we want to install on to our new virtual machine. For this tutorial I am going to install Windows 7 Professional x64, you will need to select the version you currently have the 25 digit product code for otherwise you’re not going to be able to activate your copy of Windows. Once you’ve chosen your version, continue with ”Next”.
Carefully read through Microsoft Software License Terms, when finished reading, accept the terms and click ”Next” to continue.
Select ”Custom (advanced)”,
Here we need to create a partition for Windows 7, to do so, select the unallocated space, like in the image below, and click on ”Drive options (advanced)”,
You will be prompted saying that Windows will need to create additional partitions, this is normal so go ahead and click ”OK”.
Now that the partitions have been created, select the larger of the two and hit ”Next”.
Windows will now install a Windows 7 Virtual Machine. Again, depending on your systems performance, the time for the installation may vary, just wait until the installation is complete.
Set Up Your Windows 7 Virtual Machine
Once Windows has installed, it’s time to choose a username, hit ”Next” when done.
You can either create a password now, or add one later, hit ”Next” to continue.
Choose what settings you would like for Windows security, I tend to customise these settings later on in Windows 7, so I usually choose ”Ask me later”, but for beginners, I would recommend selecting ”Use recommended settings”.
Select the correct time and date for your zone, and click ”Next”.
If you selected a network interface during the customisation of the virtual machines specifications, you will be prompted to select whether the network is a home or work network. If you didn’t select a network interface, you will skip this screen.
And there you go, you have successfully followed ”How To Install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation”.
If you want to enhance your Windows 7 virtual machines performance and install ”VMware Tools”, click here to follow my guide.
I hope this guide on how to install Windows 7 on VMware Workstation 12 was helpful. Any problems please let me know.