Windows 7 Beta works with Virtualbox on Mac OSX

A little experiment tonight, decided to see if I could get the Windows 7 Beta running on my iMac using Sun’s Virtualbox software. I’ve been meaning to try out Virtualbox for a while, and this seemed like a good method of seeing just how versatile it is.

Basic result of the experiment is that it works, although it took an age to install (not from having to fix things, just the sheer time to run the install). Have run a couple of things in Windows 7 and had a look about, and thus far it all looks okay.

So, if you want to have a go yourself, here’s how:

1) Download and register for the Windows 7 Beta. You have until January 24th 2009 to do this. I downloaded the 32-bit version of the .iso file, so can’t comment on the 64 bit version. Make sure you note down the Registration Key you’re given before you download the file, as you’re really going to need this.

2) Download and install VirtualBox for Mac OSX.

3) Run VirtualBox, opt to install a new Windows system, and choose Windows(other) as the type you wish to install. Use a new blank hard disk image, and save it.

4) Go to Settings for your install, click on storage then the CD/DVD-Rom tab. Check the box for mount CD/DVD drive, select ISO image File, and point this at the .iso file you downloaded from the Windows 7 site, and click on OK.

5) Click on the green arrow for Start to start the install. Set aside a good hour or so, particularly if you’re not blessed with memory. Make sure you’ve got your registration key to hand from step 1 before you start, otherwise you won’t get very far.

And that is pretty much it, the install will chug along, and then you’ll be started on Windows 7. I’d suggest this might work also on a reasonably powered Linux box (Virtualbox is available for Mac, Linux and Windows).