Sunday, January 04, 2009

Installing Windows 7 on VirtualBox

I just received a copy of Windows 7 to install and test on a MacBook using VirtualBox. installing a pre-release Windows operating system in a virtual machine is always exciting and not always working.... however, within a blink of a eye I had a running Windows 7 VM on my macbook. Nice to note, in the EULA it states the following: "Time-Sensitive Software. The software will stop running on August 1, 2009. You may not receive any other notice. You may not be able to access data used with the software when it stops running." So a fixed end-date is set for Windows 7 Build 6965.winmain.081122-1150.

The first thing I noticed was that the first screen you get is a black screen with a progress bar telling you Windows is copying files. When it is at a 100% it stalls for about a minute, I think it is still copying files and starting some processes. One other thing I noticed is that it takes a long time before it starts expanding the files, most important is that it is expanding files so no problem here.

After a 'quick' installation I tried to install the VirtualBox guest additions however failed. The current version of windows was not supported by the VirtualBox guest additions was the message I got returned by the installer, this resulted in the fact that for example my network interface for windows 7 was not working in my VirtualBox. The solution for this is simple, go to 'Computer Management' and update the drivers for your network card manualy, select a location for windows to look for the driver and the VirtualBox drivers will be installed and you will be able to use your network card.

Until this moment I am however still unable to get the screen resolution set to 1440x900. Not even when I use the VirtualBox drivers. For a test I can live with this however when Windows 7 comes into production I hope that the combination Windows 7, VirtualBox and my macbook will be supported. I think we can not blame Microsoft for this, we will have to look into the drivers provided by VirtualBox.

I have missed the windows vista 'revolution' and from what I have heard, windows 7 is somewhat similar to vista. I might happen due to this reason that I talk about new things in Windows 7 even do they are already present in Windows Vista. It is my intention to write some blogposts in the upcoming days about my findings on Windows 7.


Drew Martell said...

I'm currently installing it in VirtualBox right now. Hopefully all goes well.

Johan Louwers said...

Hi Drew, please post your findings in a comment if you like... like to hear from you what your experience is... and what kind of hardware you are using to get the job done.

Johan Louwers.

Unknown said...

To install the Guest Addition, make it run in compatibility mode Windows Vista (right clic on the exec file) and run it with Superadmin right.

Tea-bo from France.

Hapana said...

Doing the same. Will let you know how it goes.
-Michael S.

Anonymous said...

I am having troubles setting my display to 1280x800 in 32-bit color. If I increase the resolution beyond 1024x768 it automatically drops to 256 colors. I have set 64MB video memory in Virtual that enough?

Unknown said...

Select the Intel Network card instead of the AMD one and it will install automatically....

Anonymous said...

I also had success in installing Win7 beta on VBox 1.6. Initially, the AMD adapter was not working as its driver was not in Win7 beta. I changed it to Intel Desktop adapter and win7 found its driver and installed it on the next boot. it is really cool to run win7 beta to run as a virtual machine. The host os in my case is Vista. Hope this helps.

Bart Kuik said...

I had to run VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe in Vista compatibility mode and with Administrator rights, everything seems to work now (MacBook 3.1 (late 2007, Leopard) + VirtualBox + Windows 7 build 7000)

Anonymous said...

Check out this site to know how to install the guest additions:

Anonymous said...

Host XP SP2, Virtualbox 2.1.0, guest Windows 7 Ultimate.
The defined share in Virtualbox can't be mapped with net use x: \\vboxsvr\share because the server vboxsvr isn't created.
Here's how you can find your share: look up the ip address of your host (its LAN IP). Then map or connect in the guest with \\hostlanip\share.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the network driver heads up. I couldn't find it right under my nose.

Anonymous said...

I still cannot get my shared folders in the windows 7 on virtualbox...

alevra said...

Installed windows 7 without problem on Macbook with Virtual Box. Guest addition worked flawlessly.
Used the same disk on Imac with virtual box and keep getting error message 0x80070017 during installation.
tried a new disk, etc, but same error message. any ideas?

Unknown said...

Dude! Johan... You are the MAN! Thanks for helping me get the NIC going!

Anonymous said...

Here's how to install the guest tools.

Anonymous said...

Here's how to install the guest tools

Hapana said...

Just got Windows 7 (bld 7000 beta) on my Virtual Box as guest with no problems so far (I found all my drivers ahead of time). I'm running it on my old Macbook (Black) 2 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 1 Gig DDR2 SDRAM, 80G HD, Mac OS X 10.5. I have not tested the new I.E yet and just installed other programs to play with without a problem. Mac OS is still my default OS and will only use Windows7 to print / scan on my old printer cause Mac OS doesn't support Dell A810 drivers.
I'll post if anything else goes bad but so far its much better than Vista in terms of performance.

Unknown said...

Hi all,
I was trying to install windows 7 guest on my fedora 10 host, but i've got the same problem with screen resolution of someone of you.
If someone can solve it, please tell me how.
Thanks a lot


Online Marketer said...

I've installed it on Ubuntu which is light enough to allow me to allocate 2Gb of my 4Gb (3.2 actual) to the VM. Had the same issues with networking driver (which I didn't have with an XP VM), but installing the Guest Additions sorted everything out and love the seamless mouse integration and independent resolution of GA.

First impressions is that Windows 7 is lighter than Vista, although any fresh install will always feel light until it clogs up with programs over time. I'm currently most disappointed with not being able to fully test it by running in Windows Aero. As VirtualBox doesn't currently support Hardware Acceleration.

Would I pay to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7? I can't see much reason to at the moment. I can't see enough there to warrant it other than better performance and as such, think it should be a free upgrade for existing Vista users.

Anonymous said...

See, that's ALWAYS the catch with Microsoft Win products. They're not going to offer a "free upgrade" to Win7 unless you get it some other way than buying online/through the store.

I REALLY did get my copy of Vista Ultimate through a M$ program that was also free. But that's another story I suppose.

Anonymous said...

To alter resolution/color depth:

Assuming you're running VirtualBox with a Unix-based host (ie, one with a terminal), use the following command after your guest machine has booted to desktop: (all one line)

VBoxManage controlvm [nameofyourVM] setvideomodehint [width] [height] [colordepth]

[nameofyourVM] = Whatever you named your virtual machine. Pretty sure you have to encase in quotes if you used a space.

[width], [height] = Width and Height (in pixels) of your desired resolution.

[colordepth] = What bit-depth of color you want to use (16-bit, 32-bit, etc).

Unknown said...

Anonymous, your is a very good hint.
I've tried to use command settings and it works.
So right now the last thing i'm not able to use is the internet connection, cause it show "Local access only".
If anyone could suggest me something to do.
Thanks a lot

My enviroment:
Windows 7 guest on Fedora 10
1024Mb Ram - 128Mb Video - 3D Accel.

Unknown said...

I managed to install virtualbox and I am running Vista32bits in a Ubuntu Intrepid... but a big issue is all the drivers that windows cannot recognise... or even hardware.. ethernet, webcam, headphones output, ummmm! I can only install things from CDs... any ideao how to fix this?

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16GB SD Karte said...

In windowed mode, go to "devices" in the Virtualbox menubar. Under devices, select "install guest additions". In your VM, several UAC dialog boxes will pop up asking for permissions to run the installer. Answer yes, and the guest additions will be installed. After a restart of the VM, Windows 7 should auto detect your display and set it to full screen.