How to Install Windows 7 Virtually using Virtual Box



It’s been quite a long time since Microsoft released Release Candidate of Windows 7,successor to Vista.I didn’t want to install along with my Windows XP (by creating a dual boot machine) but just try by installing it virtually on top of my Windows XP.

So here is a step by step guide to Windows 7 installation using Virtual Box.If you do not have any idea about what I am talking then kindly look at What is Virtualization and How to Use Virtual Box

Step by Step Guide to Installing Windows 7 virtually

What you will need

  • Virtual Box (Free virtualization software)-Download now
  • Windows7 RC ISO file (Release Candidate of Windows 7) Download now

(You will get Windows 7 as an ISO file.If you don’t know what to do with an ISO file then have a look at-How to open an ISO,BIN,CIF or cue file?)

Step 1

Download Virtual Box and install it.Initial steps are outlined here.Once you run the program and get the first screen.Click on New to open New Virtual Machine Wizard.Click Next to get the screen where you have to enter the information about the OS you have to install.Name it anything you like and select Windows and Windows 7 from the dropdown menu as shown in the figure.

Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure1

Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure 2

Step 2:

When you click next after putting OS information,you get option to define memory for the virtual OS.If you have 2 GB of RAM then it’s okay to allocate 800MB to 1GB of system RAM to the guest operating system-Windows 7 here.After clicking next.there is option to choose the boot hard disk,choose ‘create new hard disk’ as shown in the figure.In this way a new virtual Hard Disk will be created for the installation of the guest operating system. Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure 3 Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure 4

Step 3

This will open “Virtual Media Manager”.Click one ‘New’ to open “Create New Virtual Disc Wizard” as shown in the figure.

Virtual media magaer 1 virtual media manager 2

Create virtual hard disk 1

It will ask for “Hard disk storage type”

Click “Fixed Size Storage” and next. In the next window you have to choose the size of the hard disk.Make it at least 10 to 12GB for Windows 7.

This virtual hard disk is by default created in the primary users “Documents and Settings” folder in in drive C:/ .You can change the location as shown in the following figure. Create virtual hard disk 2

You should now get a summary of what are you going to create as shown in the figure.It will begin creating a new virtual hard disk as soon as you click finish.

virtual disk creation 1

virtual disc creation 2

Now you get the main screen outlining the properties of the virtual machine as shown in figure.

Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure 11

This way you have created a new system complete with a hard disk,RAM and all necessary things.Now it’s time to install Windows 7 on this system.

Installing Windows 7 to Virtual Machine

On the above screen select ‘My Windows 7’ as click settings.Navigate to CD/DVD ROM to get the following screen.Tick ‘Mount CD/DVD drive’ and select ISO image file and click on the folder icon to select the ISO file as shown in figure.

Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box -figure 12

Clicking on folder icon will show you virtual media manager.Select the CD/DVD tab Add virtual media

and click ’Add’.

Now navigate to the place where you have kept Windows 7 RC ISO file .Select the file and click select again at the bottom of Virtual Media manager window.You will be taken back to the settings window where you have to click OK.

You should get the final window now with Windows RC image file showing in the CD/DVD ROM.

Installing Windows 7 using Virtual box

If you have reached this screen you have everything correct and are ready to explore the world of Windows 7.Just select ‘My Windows 7’ and click start.Your virtual machine will start and Windows 7 will boot from the ISO file to begin installation.The installation will go as normally as it goes on a new computer.It can take 30-45 minutes depending on you computer configuration.

How to use Windows 7 virtually.

Once the installation is finished,you can start Windows 7 by clicking start.To shutdown select shutdown from the start menu as you do in Windows normally.Your keyboard will be automatically mapped to this virtual system.Mouse function is special.When you click ‘inside’ the Windows 7 window it will be trapped inside with a warning message.To bring it outside Windows 7 press the default ‘Right control’ button on your keyboard.

This way you can enjoy Windows 7 without touching your existing operating system.

Leave a comment if you find any step confusing or need any clarification regarding installation.

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