Categories Mac OS X, Windows 7

Virtualise Windows 7 on MacOS X with VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion is a virtualisation software that allows you to run Windows 7 while remaining on MacOS X. Very useful for running your PC applications, VMware Fusion now has an advanced integration mode called Unicity that completely hides the presence of Windows.

Concepts of virtualisation

With the transition to Intel architectures, Apple allowed its users to install via the Boot Camp wizard, a version of Windows. However, it works like any PC in dual-boot: it is up to you to define which system to launch during the start-up phase of the computer.

The advantage of virtualisation lies in the fact that you can run 2 operating systems in parallel. In addition, the virtual machine — Windows 7 in our tutorial, is in no way isolated from the host machine — MacOS X Snow Leopard: shared folders make it easy to transmit data — for example, Office documents.

Also note that one of the principles of virtualisation is the pooling of hardware resources (graphic card, processor, RAM, etc.). As well, it is best to have a powerful computer even if most recent Macs will not experience performance concerns.

Innovative Features of VMware Fusion

Interesting features include:

  • Shared office (for integrated mode only): offers the ability to edit files on both MacOS and Windows. Be careful what you do then;
  • Unicity mode : hide Windows presence and run PC applications from MacOS. An example below with Internet Explorer. Very practical for web developers;
  • Running a Boot Camp partition : physics with virtual! If you have installed a version of Windows via the Boot Camp wizard, VMware Fusion is able to run it directly on MacOS. A truly useful and appreciable feature;
Capture d'écran - Installation des outils complémentaires
Screenshot of screen — Installation of complementary tools

Configuration and use of VMware Fusion 3

Fusion 3 installation

To download the trial version of VMWare Fusion 3, limited to 30 days trial, it is necessary to create a online account. Too bad but most commercial software requires prior registration.

Once you are registered then you can log in and download VMWare Fusion 3.

VMware Fusion 3 (170.8) MiB, 1,547 downloads)

The downloaded DMG file, double-click it to open the disk image:

Capture d'écran - Ouverture de l'image disque contenant VMware Fusion 3
Screenshot — Opening of the disk image containing VMware Fusion 3

To proceed with the installation, double-click Install VMware Fusion — unlike other applications, it is not enough to drag/drop the software into the Applications folder.

Pass the security warning by clicking on Open.

Capture d'écran - Avertissement de sécurité
Screenshot — Security Warning

Again, a warning for which just click on Continue.

Capture d'écran - Deuxième avertissement de sécurité
Screenshot — Second Security Warning

The installation wizard finally appears. The first screen thanks you — it’s normal after all, but don't sneeze and click on Continue.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, écran d'accueil
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Installation Process, Home Screen

Then accept the license agreement by clicking once more on Continue.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, contrat de licence
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Installation Process, License Agreement

Confirm your choice via the button Accept.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, validation définitive du contrat de licence
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Installation Process, Final License Agreement Validation

You are now asked to enter the serial number. Don't panic!

To take advantage of the evaluation version, enter the serial number provided via the activation email and then simply do Continue. You will have 30 days of testing.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, clé de série
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Installation Process, serial key

Unless you want to change the installation location, click on Install then wait.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, choix de l'emplacement
Screenshot — VMware Fusion installation process, location selection

To conclude the installation, click on Close.

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de VMware Fusion, installation réussie
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Installation Process, Successful Installation

Creating a virtual machine for Windows 7

Let’s move on to serious things now: let’s install Windows 7 virtually.

To do this, launch Fusion 3 and then choose Install Windows or other operating system on a new virtual machine.

Capture d'écran - Ecran d'accueil de VMware Fusion
Screenshot — VMware Fusion Home Screen

To install Windows 7, you can do it either:

  • With the help of your DVD : in this case, insert the latter now;
  • With the help of a ISO file : in this case, click on Continue without disc ;

For this tutorial, we will retain the second method. But, be aware that it is practically the same and that you should not be lost if you opt for the first solution.

Capture d'écran - Insérer votre copie de Windows ou préférez une image disque
Screenshot of screen — Insert your copy of Windows or prefer a disk image

On the next screen, check Use the image file of the operating system installation disk then locate it on your hard drive.

Capture d'écran - Localisation de l'image disque ISO
Screenshot of screen — Location of ISO disk image

When you're ready, do Continue.

VMware then asks you to choose which operating system to install. This is normally recognised automatically, i.e.: Windows 7.

Capture d'écran - Choix du système d'exploitation à virtualiser
Screenshot — Selecting the operating system to virtualise

The following screen will allow us to facilitate the installation of Windows. By checking Use easy installation, you will save time by filling in the different fields.

Capture d'écran - Configuration de l'installation facile de Windows
Screenshot of screen — Set up the easy installation of Windows

Note that you don‘t have to enter the product key, so you’ll have a time-limited evaluation version.

In fact, a window warns you that Windows requires an activation key. Make Continue without key to have the test version or Enter product key otherwise.

Capture d'écran - Confirmation de la saisie ou non de la clé de série
Screenshot of screen — Confirming whether or not to enter the serial key

The next screen is particularly interesting and deserves to stop for a moment. It will allow us to choose between an integrated mode or on the contrary isolated from the virtual machine:

  1. The first has the advantage of merging the two operating systems (Mac and Windows) by sharing applications and documents in particular;
  2. The second, on the other hand, remains a classic mode with a VMware window running Windows on a virtual basis;
Capture d'écran - Choix du mode d'intégration de VMware
Screenshot — Choice of VMware integration mode

Here we arrive at the last stage of the virtual machine creation assistant. Check the information and click on Finish.

Capture d'écran - Finalisation du processus de création de la machine virtuelle
Screen capture — Finalise the virtual machine creation process

An ultimate parameter all the same! Indicate the location where your virtual machine will be saved and then do Save.

Capture d'écran - Choix de l'emplacement de la sauvegarde
Screenshot of screen — Choice of backup location

A folder having been specially created for this, leave it as it is or opt for a faster external hard drive if you run VMware from a MacBook with a hard drive limited to 5.400 rpm.

Apart from the choice of the Windows version you want to install, the installation will take place without any action required from you.

Capture d'écran - Démarrage du programme d'installation de Windows 7
Screenshot of screen — Starting the Windows 7 installation program

As announced, you are asked to select the version of Windows. Although it is possible to install and therefore test any version, note that it is your license key that will determine the validity of your copy.

Capture d'écran - Choix de la version de Windows 7
Screenshot of screen — Choice of Windows 7 version

Wait about 30 minutes for installation. Take the opportunity to read 2 or 3 tutorials on!

Capture d'écran - Processus d'installation de Windows 7
Screenshot — Windows 7 installation process

When installation is complete, log in using the identifiers defined during the easy installation mode. From the first connection, VMware offers you to install VMware Tools: useful tools in particular to improve performance.

Do so. OK to install them.

Congratulations, you now have a fully operational virtual machine integrated with MacOS. In short, the best of the worlds together! And you friends readers, do you practice virtualisation?


Leave a Reply

  • Philippe

    yes I practice virtualisation from a mac under bones x 10.6, but I am disappointed by the behavior of 7, sharing devices is a real head break and opening the 7 plant environment with an administrator account protected by a password...

  • Ratan

    I have a 27′ I3 with virtual, but I stay cautiously on xp, which works very well, I will never buy a Win computer, virus, not very flexible and less reliable; certainly less expensive...

  • IUSE

    Good morning,

    I wonder by reading this article if it is possible to install Windows and Fusion on an external hard drive?
    I read this part of the post “A folder having been specially created for this, leave it as is or opt for a faster external hard drive if you run VMware from a MacBook with a hard drive limited to 5.400 rpm.”
    >>> but this is the virtual machine... in short I have a doubt what do you think?