If you’ve snagged yourself a copy of Windows 7 Beta 1 and are anxious to give it a whirl, installing it in a virtualized environment is a great way to go. It’s no secret that VirtualBox is my favorite VM application, so I wanted to mention a bit of advice for getting it working properly.
Update: VirtualBox Guest Additions for Windows 7 are now fixed in the 2.1.2 release.
- If you’ve not yet installed the OS, my first recommendation is to set OS Type to Windows Vista. Although this is largely for display purposes, of all the choices, Windows 7 is the closest in compatibility to Windows Vista.
- Go ahead and install Windows just as you would any other: Mount the ISO in the virtual CD/DVD drive and install.
- Once the VM is finished installing, install VirtualBox Guest Additions. This process might take a few minutes to download, but with enough patience, the ISO will download and mount.
The problem is, Sun is performing version checking and Windows 7 isn’t yet officially supported. Therefore, when you try to install Guest Additions, you’ll receive the error, “Platform is not supported for Guest Additions yet!”. Here’s the big tip: You must install Guest Additions in compatibility mode.
- To work around this, once the Guest Additions applications pops up, hit Cancel.
- Navigate to Computer (Start Orb?Computer)
- Right-click CD Drive (D:) VirtualBox Guest Additions and choose Open.
- The “big tip” part:
- Right-click VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86 and select Properties.
- When the dialog box opens, switch to the Compatibility tab
- Check the box labeled, “Run this program in compatibility mode for”
- Select Windows Vista.
- Hit OK and Run VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86 as normal. The Guest Additions should now install without error and you will be prompted to reboot Windows.
- After the reboot is complete, you can confirm the installation by verifying that mouse integration works.
Update: Currently, shared folders don’t work, but I’ve posted a workaround.
Best of luck!