Installation of Windows 7 using VMWare Player

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To setup a Windows 7 VM up you need to obtain Retail (or Volume License) Installation Media. Retail Installation Media can be Downloaded from Microsoft’s Techbench following the instructions here for Volume License/Enterprise licenses you will need to obtain Installation Media from your IT department. Since this installation media is 5 years out of date you may wish to update the installation media as instructed here if you are setting up a lot of VMs (for a single VM use the WSUS Offline Update as later discussed). You will need a Retail or Volume License Product Key to activate.

OEM Editions and Upgrade Only Editions are not supported as you will experience Microsoft Product Activation issues (although Upgrade Only license will work if Full Installation Media is used, the Product Key skipped and Windows 7 is activated via the Command Prompt).

Setting up the VM Hardware:

Select Player → File → New Virtual Machine:


Select Installer Disc Image File (iso) and select Browse:


Load your Full Retail or Volume License Windows 7 .iso:


VMWare should autodetect that this is a Windows 7 .iso and hence will install using Easy Install. Select next:


Then input your Product Key and Full Name. Enter a password if you desire. Select next:


Use the default name for the VM and location or amend these to desired. I will select Browse and move the VM from my HDD to my SSD:



I want to use the E: Driver so I will select this drive and opt to make a new folder. I’ll call this folder VMs and then make a Win7Pro subfolder:





The specified Disk Capacity is set to 60 GB by default but you have the option to increase it depending on your disk space. I will use the default setting to split the virtual disk into multiple files then select next:


I will now customise the hardware:


I will change the memory from 2048 MB to 4096 MB:


I will change the number of processors to 4:

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For the Network Adapter (Virtual Ethernet) as Windows 7 has extended support until 2020 I will leave it Connected at Power on however since Service Pack 1 was released in 2011 and is hence 4 years out of date some users will prefer to leave the NIC disconnected by unchecking Connect at Power On until they have updated Windows Offline:


I shall leave the default settings for USB controller (Windows 7 doesn’t have native USB 3.0 support), Soundcard and Video:

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Once the hardware is setup select Close and then Finish:


VMWare Player: Windows 7 Easy Install (Automated)

The easy install will automate most of the screens of the Windows 7 setup:

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You will see the VMWare Virtual BIOS:


The Windows setup will begin to load files:


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The setup will restart:

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You will see the VMWare Virtual BIOS:


The installation will continue:

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The Windows 7 VM will restart again. You will see the VMWare Virtual BIOS:

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You will be logged into the Windows 7 Desktop. The installation of VMWare Tools will be automatic:

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After VMWare tools has installed your Windows 7 VM will again restart:

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You will see the VMWare Virtual BIOS:


The starting Windows screen:

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Finally you will reach the Windows 7 Desktop:


Resizing the VM

You can resize the VM by aerosnapping it or resizing it on the host Windows 10 Desktop. With VMWare tool’s installed the VM will readjust to match the resolution of the resized VM. e.g. Aerosnapping to the top:


Gives this:


The full screen button can also be pressed:


This will bring the VM’s Taskbar on top of the Windows 10 host taskbar:


Updating Windows 7

Since Windows 7 SP1 was released in 2011, 4 years of patches need to be downloaded and installed. Needless to say the patching process takes substantially longer than the installation of Windows itself.

Its advisable to update Windows 7 Offline Using the WSUS Offline Update which saves a good amount of time. See Updating Windows Offline with the WSUS Offline Update.

Connecting Online and Checking Windows 7 is Activated

After Windows has been updated you can connect online by going to Player → Removable Devices → Network Adapters → Settings:


Then by checking Connected and/or connected at Power On. Then pressing ok:


Its important to check that Windows 7 has activated online automatically. Go to start and right click computer and select properties:


Check the Windows Edition and Activation status:


If Windows is not activated see the Retail and Retail Upgrade Only Notes in Windows 7 Product Activation OEM and Retail License. If you opt to stay offline you will need to activate by phone.

Checking the Device Manager

Left click Device Manager:


VMWare tools should have installed system drivers for all the hardware:


Changing Language

VMWare Player’s Easy Install unfortunately gives no language options and installs Windows 7 using English US by default. I am from the UK so want to change the language and keyboard to proper English.

Go to start → Control Panel:


Select Clock, Language and Region:


Select Change the Date, Time or Number Formats:


On the Formats tab change English (United States) to your desired language format in this case English (United Kingdom):

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Select Apply:


If you want you can go through the additional settings and customise to your preferences:

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On the Locations tab change English (United States) to your desired language location in this case English (United Kingdom):

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Again select Apply:


On the Keyboards and Languages Tab select Change Keyboards:


On the General Tab change English (United States) to your desired Keyboard (input) language in this case English (United Kingdom). If your desired keyboard (input) language is not shown then select Add and you will get a list of additional keyboard (input) formats:

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Once you have made your selection select apply. You can then highlight the English (United States) keyboard (input) format and select remove:

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You may also change the settings for the Language Bar and Advanced Key settings:

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Close this Window and you should retun to the parent Region and Language Windows. Select the Administrative Tab. Select Change System Locale…:


Then change from English (United States) to your desired Region and Language Settings in this case English (United Kingdom):

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Select Ok and then select Restart now when prompted:

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You will see the shutting down screen and then the VMWare Virtual BIOS screen and then the starting Windows screen and the Welcome Screen. You will be automatically logged in or prompted to select your username or password (if they are set):

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Again go to start → Control Panel:


Again select Clock, Language and Region:


Select Change the Date, Time or Number Format again:


Go to the Administrative tab and then select copy settings:

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Your default settings will be shown. Check the 2 boxes to apply your currently selected settings to the Welcome Screen and System Accounts and also the default settings should you apply multiple user accounts to the VM. Select ok and it will update these settings to match your desired language:

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