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How To : Install Windows 7 on VirtualBox

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I am assuming you are using the latest version of VirtualBox.

Note : I took these screenshots on Windows XP running on Bootcamp, however, VirtualBox runs identically on Mac OS X and Linux. Therefore , all Options and Menus are the same across various platforms. I have already installed Windows 7, hence you see the Windows 7 entry on the left of the screen. Ignore that if you are beginning with a new installation.

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Click “New” and the following wizard will appear :

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On clicking “Next”, you are presented with options for the name (can be anything) and Type (Presumably Windows 7)

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If you select “Windows 7” in the above screen, VirtualBox will choose the best options for the OS by default. You are only required to accept them or increase the resources available to the virtual machine if your computer has a huge free resource bank. I recommend not reducing these settings.

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Next, VirtualBox will ask you to create a virtual hard disk for the virtual machine. Click “New” to create the new hard disk.

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This launches the Virtual Hard Disk Wizard.

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You can choose to have the virtual hard disk automatically expand as the Virtual Machine grows and accumulates data through use, or have it limited to a fixed size.

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Finally, you have to provide a value for the Hard Disk space – remember, if you chose “Dynamically Expanding storage” in the above screen, the hard disk will grow larger from the size you set here as and when the VM needs it.

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“Finish” to create the Hard Disk.

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“Finish” to create the virtual machine.

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At this point, you should see a new virtual machine on the left. Of course, this is still just an entry and no OS is installed in this VM. Select the VM, and from the Machine Menu, Click Settings.

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Under the CD/DVD ROM section , you can now define the where the Windows 7 install CD is located. If you burnt it and have a physical CD, insert the CD and choose “Host CD/Drive”, defining the drive letter. This is your real DVD drive. If you have simply the downloaded ISO file like most people, point the ISO image file field to this file.

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This should give you the following screen. The VBoxGuestAdditions ISO will be there by default. Leave it alone for the time being. Simply click “Add” and point to your Windows 7 Install DVD ISO.

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Finally , accept all Settings by click OK and click the Start Button. The VM will now start and go through the Windows 7 installation procedure. Keep your Windows 7 key handy as you will need it during installation.

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When you finish, you will see Windows Boot up as seen below.

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It is now a good idea to go to the Devices menu and install Install Guest Additions. While not necessary for using the OS, this adds support for Seamless Mode, additional display resolutions, direct file copy/paste etc between your VM and real computer.

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Look under the Machine Menu for various options regarding the style you want to use the VM in. In case you get stuck in Fullscreen mode, Right Ctrl + F (by default) will put the VM back into a window.

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Enjoy your Windows 7 experience. As you can see, VirtualBox is powerful enough and offers all the features of commercial virtualization software such as Parallels.


Written by Nash

February 3, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Posted in how to

Tagged with , ,