VMware Players offers a way to create a Windows 7 installation that can be experimented on without putting files at risk
VMware Player is a clever program that lets you run a complete operating system in a Window. This can be useful for trying out a different operating system such as Linux, or for experimenting with your existing OS without putting your documents at risk. This video will show how VMware Players makes installing Windows 7 easy.
Start VMware Player and click on the Create a New Virtual Machine option. You will be asked where you want to take the installation files from. The top option is for when you have an installation disc and you can select which drive to use. For this example we have a disc image file on our computer. So select the bottom option and click on the Browse button. Find the disc image file and click on Open.
You can see here that VMware Player has detected that this is a Windows 7 installation disc and will use the Easy Install function. Click on Next. Enter the Windows Product key if you have one. If you don't, Windows will still install, but will only work for a limited period of time. Select the correct version of Windows 7 in the drop down menu.
Enter a user name and enter a password twice. Even though this is a virtual computer it is still a good idea to use a password. When you are happy with all of these options, click on OK. Click on Yes in the message that appears of you don't have a product key.
You can rename your virtual computer, which is useful if you want to use several for different specific purposes and select a location for it. As the files for a virtual machine will measure in the gigabytes you may want to use a separate folder on your computer that won't be included in normal backups. You can see here that we use a dedicated folder in the root folder of the hard disk. Click on Next.
The next step is to select the maximum size you want the virtual computer's hard disk to be. You can also opt to store the disk as a single file or as several. Splitting the disk into several files can make backup and recovery easier but can slow the virtual computer down. Click on Next to see a summary of the settings you have chosen. If you are happy with these options, click on Finish.
Click on Remind me later when the Software updates message appears; we need Windows installed first. The Windows Setup will begin using the options set in the Easy Install Wizard, restarting as required.
After the final restart Windows will finish the last parts of the setup process and you will then see a full Windows 7 desktop in a window. We recommend checking for any available updates and installing some antivirus software before doing anything else.
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