Home > Blogs > VMware Workstation Zealot

Windows 7 RC on VMware Workstation 6.5.2


image Yes, it works! Now start downloading the Windows 7 RC and continue reading. Like many of you, the Workstation team scrambled to download the release candidate as soon as it was made available to us. After trying to download it for ½ a day, (MSDN & TechNet crashed) we finally got our copy and started playing with it.

There’s been a lot of buzz flying around about Windows 7 and what better way to try out a new operating system and see how it works than in a virtual machine. I am happy to report that you can run Windows 7 RC in a VMware Workstation 6.5.2 VM with all the great features you have come to love, including file drag and drop, text copy and paste, automatic screen resize, shared folders, and Unity. However, before we go further, I want to remind you that Windows 7 RC, both 32-bit and 64-bit, is not an officially supported guest at this time. We plan to support Windows 7 as a guest OS in a future release. This statement reminds me of the great new Mac ad “Legal Copy”.

By the way, if you do not have a copy of VMware Workstation, now is a great time to download a free trial and give both Workstation and Windows 7 a try at the same time. It’s a great way to find out how well your favorite application runs or application you are developing will run in Windows 7. This is one of those rare times when you can get a Windows OS to try without having to purchase a license upfront.

After going through the process of creating a Windows 7 VM, we decided to share some best practices on how to make this happen with some screenshots and suggestions to make it nice and easy for you. If you want to discuss your experiences with Windows 7 and VMware Workstation in more detail, please visit our VMware Workstation community forums.

Let’s get started. Based on our initial experience with Windows 7 RC with VMware Workstation, we recommend the following VMware settings:

– In New Virtual Machine Wizard, use the “Typical” Configuration
– The wizard will auto detect Windows Vista, let it run Easy Install for Vista
– Dedicate at least 1GB of Memory
– Use 40GB Disk Capacity if you plan on installing Office and some additional applications
– Recommend that all users create a custom Power Management Plan (details below)
– If you do not enter a Windows license key, watch for the Windows install screen asking for which version of Windows to install

For those looking for some additional guidance, here’s a quick walkthrough with some screen shots.


After downloading the Windows 7 RC ISO from Microsoft, open VMware Workstation and create a new virtual machine, the same way I’m sure you have done many times before via “File>New>Virtual Machine”


In New Virtual Machine wizard, use the “Typical” Configuration


Once you point the New Virtual Machine Wizard at the Windows 7 ISO you just downloaded, VMware Workstation will automatically recognize it as Windows Vista. This is okay, since Easy Install for Vista works seamlessly with Windows 7. It will automatically install VMware Tools which is necessary for many of Workstation’s advanced features like shared folders, Unity,etc.


Next, enter your serial key, name, password and click “Next”.


Change the Disk capacity to 40GB if you plan on installing MS Office and some additional applications. Don’t worry; it will start much smaller than 40 GB and only grow to that size if needed.


At this point, you should see your final configuration setup, with 1 GB of RAM assigned, and a virtual hard disk that will expand up to 40GB. Click “Customize Hardware” if you wish to make changes. Click “Finish.” Once you hit “Finish,” Windows Easy Install will be off and running, installing Windows 7. You’ll see some reboots, and VMware Tools will install automatically.


If you didn’t enter a Windows 7 license key, watch for this Windows install screen. I left the install running in the back ground, and after I did not respond for some time, Windows continued the install with Starter edition (first on list).


After that’s all finished, you should be able to play around with Windows 7. There is one Windows Quirk to avoid. The default power management options will suspend the VM every 30 minutes. The solution is to create a new Power Management Plan in Windows:

· In Control Panel search, choose search for Power
· Select Choose a power plan
· Then Create a power plan
· Select High Performance
· Enter a name VMware
· Change Turn off Display to Never
· Change Put Computer to Sleep to Never
· Click Create

Again, Windows 7 RC is not a supported configuration, so there could likely be bugs. Either way please share your experiences in the VMware Workstation community forums. If you aren’t following us already, make sure to follow the VMware Workstation team on Twitter.

38 thoughts on “Windows 7 RC on VMware Workstation 6.5.2

  1. Drew DeNardo

    One of the reasons that I am a big VMWare fan (and keep renewing/upgrading my copy of Workstation) is that you folks are willing to publish stuff like this — even though the RC is not “officially” supported. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  2. Marc Balmer

    Did you also try this with VMWare Fusion on a Mac?
    I installed Windows 7, it runs nicely in Fusion, but it does not detect any network adapter.

  3. Michael Paiko

    Steen – I have not tried installing the 64-bit Windows 7 RC under VMware Workstation running on a Linux host yet. It is next on my list. Please share your experience if you have tried it.

  4. Alain Bruant

    I’ve installed the Win7 64bit on vmware Workstaiton 6.5 and it runs fine except the video card.
    By install vmware tools I got an error installing the video driver. Even following the indication at the end of installation, I didn’t got the driver working.
    So W7RC is running fine but video is extremely slow, I can’t get the thumbnails on the new menubar (for IE8 by ex) and my screen resolution (1400×1050) is not well recognized even in full screen (I have a dell laptop).
    So is this problem to the 64bit installation ? Is there a way to get a video driver that will work better ?
    Hope you can help …

  5. Jed Moulton

    I was able to install the 32 bit version without issues but I am having problems getting the network connections to work. It does not work with wireless or wired.
    Any ideas?

  6. Michael Paiko

    Jed – Have your tried setting your VM network adapter to Bridged? (Change in VM settings). Another thing to try is to go into the “Virtual Network Editor” under the edit menu and navigate to the “Host Virtual Network Mapping” Tab. Use the drop down to specifically select the network card you want to use for VMnet0. For further assistance, please visit the VMware Workstation Froum http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/workstation.

  7. Ambrose

    Hi, I found I needed to rollback to the Win7 standard VGA driver due to issues with stuff that utilizes WPF (as far as I could tell).

  8. jorge 2

    im having trouble with the network adapter. it’s not working on any of the available options.

  9. Matt

    Is anyone able to see the new peek preview thing in the tabs, wen i open ie8 and open a couple of tabs i only get the website name no preview of each tab, im thinking its maybe cause of the way vmware runs the hardware but im newish to wat vmware can do

  10. Andrew Mathenge

    I use VMware Workstation 6.5.2 build-156735 on Linux. I’ve installed Windows 7 and it works exceptionally well, with one exception. From time to time, it will crash my X session causing my Gnome desktop to restart and GDM forces me to login again. I’ve tried to recreate the crash but it looks like a display driver issue. On returning to the VMware window from another application, the screen gets garbled and X closes.

  11. Bob Jones

    Help! I downloaded both VMWare 6.5.2 and the Windows 7 RC. I am running Vista Home Premium 64 bit on a 4 GB ram Toshiba satellite laptop, and yet when I try to install windows 7, it says “You have configured this virtual machine to use a 64-bit guest operating system. However, this host is not capable of running 64-bit virtual machines or this virtual machine has 64-bit support disabled.
    For more detailed information, see http://vmware.com/info?id=152“ and it fails to even load.

  12. Bob Jones

    Hi Michael,
    When I try the link you gave me, it says: “System Error
    ■The specified community does not exist”
    Anyway, I downloaded the 32 bit version and things are working fine. Thanks for your help!

  13. Fernando Fonseca

    i think that message you are getting is because the hardware virtualization is not configured or either not suported on your laptop.
    go ahead and check your bios!

  14. PatrickPace

    I installed windows 7 (32) on vmware workstation 6.5.2 with a vista 64 bit system for the base. I had no problems works great. However taking windows 7 64 bit base system build 7100 then installing xp on workstation 6.5.2 I could not connect with the internet anybody have any ideas if there is a work around for this problem?

  15. Chris

    Hi. I run workstation on a physical 7RC1 machine, and generally run it thru remote desktop from another laptop in another room. Some XP VMs have a mouse that works while using remotely, some I have to run unity to have the mouse work. any thoughts? BTW, it is faster using the laptop running remotely than locally on the laptop.

  16. Wobble

    I am running Windows 7 64 bit as my host PC. When I try to create a Windows 7 64 bit Guest PC, the internet does not work. I can ping out but none of the browsers can browse to any websites.

  17. randal anderson

    How about running Workstation in Windows 7 host? Everything is working for me except network connectivity.
    I see this error in the log file:
    VNET: MACVNetPort_Connect: Ethernet0: can’t get driver version (6)
    Any ideas how to resolve?

  18. Paul

    I’ve hit problems trying to run Win7 x64 RTM both as a client machine (on a Win7 x64, Vista x64 and XP x86) and also getting other VMs (XP x86 etc etc) running as clients on a Win7 RTM host, with VMWare Workstation 6.5.2 installed.. I’ve tried most of the workarounds published in the community forum (http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/workstation), and none work..
    When are we likely to see an upgrade to Workstation 6.5.x or the new Workstation 7.x released which fixes all these networking issues?? I for one am really keen to see this!!

  19. Jason Joel

    Workstation 6.5.3 has released. Windows 7 is still not officially supported with this release, but we have addressed some of the issues mentioned in this blog post and through the comments.

  20. Kaumil Gandhi

    Does any have VMWare Workstation 6.5 or greater version FULL Edition key, if send me to my mail address its (gandhikaumil03@gmail.com)… I wan’t to try install Windows 7 on VMWare Workstation 6.5 or greater editions.
    Kaumil Gandhi

  21. Kaumil Gandhi

    Hi All,
    I have another question, at present I have Windows Vista Business Edition into my personal laptop, also I have Western Digital External HD of 500 GB, so my question is can I install VMWare Workstation into Vista OS by creating “Virtual Drive” into External HD and want to install Windows 7 into this Virtual Drive… Can I do the same? If so which VMWware Workstation editions support Windows 7 installation??
    Kaumil Gandhi

Comments are closed.