Installing Windows 7 Beta 1 in VirtualBox 2.1.0

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.

  1. 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.

    Select OS Type
    Select OS Type
  2. Go ahead and install Windows just as you would any other: Mount the ISO in the virtual CD/DVD drive and install.

    Install Guest Additions
    Install Guest Additions
  3. 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.

    Guest Additions Error Message
    Guest Additions Error Message

  4. To work around this, once the Guest Additions applications pops up, hit Cancel.

    Guest Additions Setup Wizard
    Guest Additions Setup Wizard
  5. Navigate to Computer (Start Orb?Computer)

    Link to Computer
    Link to Computer
  6. Right-click CD Drive (D:) VirtualBox Guest Additions and choose Open.

    Explore the Guest Additions CD
    Explore the Guest Additions CD
  7. The “big tip” part:
    1. Right-click VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86 and select Properties.

      Guest Addition Properties
      Guest Addition Properties
    2. When the dialog box opens, switch to the Compatibility tab
    3. Check the box labeled, “Run this program in compatibility mode for”
    4. Select Windows Vista.

      Compatibility Settings
      Compatibility Settings
  8. Hit OK and Run VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86 as normal. The Guest Additions should now install without error and you will be prompted to reboot Windows.
  9. 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!

32 thoughts on “Installing Windows 7 Beta 1 in VirtualBox 2.1.0

  1. According to the bug report (linked at the top of this post), the item is marked as being fixed for 2.1.2. I have no idea when this will debut, however, updates seem to come out about a month apart.

  2. Thanks Taylor,
    I was aware of that option – currently using it and NFS. It relies on having a network connection though, which for me means switching between Host-Only and NAT adapters regularly as I move around – so not as nice.

    I’ve since found reports that Shared Folders don’t work yet, which I gather is behind your response too. So I’ll live with this until they do.

    Do you have confirmation that 2.1.2 will have support for them for Win7?


  3. Yes man! Thanks a lot, vista x64 host and win7 x32 guest, the install of the guest additions work now!
    i will tell my friends!

    thanks a lot!!!


  4. Good write-up – GA installed no problem for me following these instructions.
    Everything appears to be working except for the Shared Folders – I can’t seem to get access to them.

    In my WinXP guest I can see the shared folders under “My Network PlacesVirtualBox Shared Folders”, and I’m able to ‘net use \VBOXSVR’.

    In the Win7 guest I can’t find the equivalent to “My Network PlacesVirtualBox Shared Folders”, and the net use option doesn’t work (error 53 – not found).

    Anyone tried this and got it working? Am I looking in the wrong place?

  5. how do you improve the performance of the graphics? i keep getting a “1” performance on windows 7 use Imac or macbook.

  6. Hi Taylor,
    Thnx for reply, in BIOS I’m not allowed to enable Intel Virtualization as it is not selectable. Any clues?

  7. Hi Taylor,
    Thanks, in BIOS I cannot select Initialize Intel virtualization, and it is disabled, I cannot change it to enable. Any clues.

  8. You probably need to go into your BIOS (reboot your computer and watch for a message indicated to press a certain key to enter setup)and verify that Virtualization is enabled. Many motherboards ship with this defaulted off.

    Save and Exit and boot back into your OS and try installing Windows 7 again.

  9. Hi Taylor,
    I’m getting the same error complaining of incompatibility with CPU, though I have 64 bit vista running on my PC, what you did to resolve this?

  10. Unfortunately, at this time, all your graphics scores will flatline at 1.0, preventing you from enabling Aero. As of Virtualbox 2.1.0, Sun has 3D acceleration, but only for OpenGL, and it’s considered “experimental”. If they ever add acceleration for Direct3D, then it’s conceivable the WEI scores get high enough for transparency to be enabled.

    Windows 7 32-bit guest on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) 64-bit host
    Windows 7 64-bit guest on Vista 64-bit host

  11. sorry forgot to add, 32bit xp host and 32 bit win7 guest.
    also is there any way to get aero transparency here in guest win7 with virtualbox???

  12. yup, all done, thanks a lot, i chose other windows at the first step(not vista,saw this post laeter on)
    everything worked fine and i chose vista compatibility for guest additions, now it fine!!
    thanks for the tip!!

  13. I snagged myself a copy of the 64-bit version, and am installing now. The first issue I ran into was on setup: Windows insisted that it was not being installed on a 64-bit CPU, and gave me the error on a typical DOS screen. I checked my BIOS, enabled Virtualization support, and ensured the option was also enabled in VirtualBox. After that small snafu, I’m currently trudging through the installation process without issue.

    At what point do you get an error?

  14. i have the 64 bits OS version and the freaking VM wont let me install it

    i downloaded de amd64 VM version , so i don’t know what the problem is

    any advice plz =)

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