How To: Add Windows 7 Under OS X Snow Leopard for Free
We love OS X, but we’re very excited that Microsoft’s Windows 7 has shaped up to be a solid OS release, for the fact that competition is a healthy thing for any and all players. If you’re on a Mac and want to see what all the hoopla is about from the other side of the fence, there is now a way to run Windows 7 as an integrated virtual machine under OS X 10.6.1 in just 5 steps without paying for virtualization software…
Here’s Anil’s very easy to follow instructions; the process requires just 15 minutes and just 5 steps:
- Install Windows 7 under Boot Camp, following the normal instructions. All of the Vista drivers for Boot Camp worked fine for me, and the install was actually pretty quick.
- Download and install VirtualBox. This is an open source virtualization system that runs on Mac OS, a lot like Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion, but available for free.
- The tricky part: You’ll need to do a little bit of geeky stuff. First, eject the Windows boot camp disk in Finder. (It’s usually called “Untitled”.) Then, launch Terminal so you can enter two commands.
• sudo chmod 777 /dev/disk0s3
• VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -rawdisk /dev/disk0 -filename win7raw.vmdk -partitions 3
- Start up VirtualBox, make a new Windows 7 machine, and browse to win7raw.vmdk in your home directory to choose the virtual hard drive for the machine. Your Windows install should boot up. It’ll fuss for a little while as it installs new drivers.
- Once that’s done, you can optionally install the VirtualBox Guest Additions software to let your Windows install completely integrate with your Mac OS X environment.