I bet you’d have heard about Windows 7 by now, the next release of Windows operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers. Few days ago Microsoft released Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 to public and allowing everyone to download the ISO image and test it out. The word BETA means it is tested for bugs, crashes, errors, inconsistencies, and any other problems before releasing it out to the public as stable version. There are 3 situations that I’d never use a BETA and that is an operating system, patches/updates and security software (antivirus and firewall)
Until today I was never satisfied with Windows Vista, so I was curious to test out Windows 7 and see if it could be as good as Windows XP. I don’t want to mess around with the master boot records to create a dual boot and also re-partitioning my hard drive for extra space to install Windows 7. The best way is to test drive Windows 7 in a virtual environment. Today I will show you step by step on where to download Windows 7, how to get Windows 7 product key for activation and how to install it on VirtualBox so you can mess around with it. I chose VirtualBox because it’s free and also much easier to use compared to other virtualization software.
Before you start, please make sure that your computer is faster than 1 GHz processor and has more than 1 GB of system memory to install and run Windows 7 Ultimate.
Where To Download Windows 7 Beta Build 7000
Windows 7 Beta 32-bit ISO (English): 7000.0.081212-1400_client_en-us_Ultimate-GB1CULFRE_EN_DVD.iso Windows 7 Beta 64-bit ISO (English): 7000.0.081212-1400_client_en-us_Ultimate-GB1CULXFRE_EN_DVD.ISO
If you’re not sure which one to download, just get the first one Windows 7 32-bit ISO (English).
Obtain genuine Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 Product Key
1. Go to Microsoft TechNet website
2. Click Sign In link which is located at the top right corner of the website.
3. Sign in with your Windows Live ID. Login with your Hotmail account will do.
4. Copy the URL below and paste it to the web browser that you used to login to Microsoft TechNet.
5. Windows 7 product key will be displayed.
Download, Install and Configure VirtualBox for Windows 7 Installation
1. Download and install VirtualBox.
2. Run VirtualBox and click New button.
3. Click Next
4. Enter the name as Windows7, select Operating System as Microsoft Windows and select Other Windows for Versions.
5. Depending on how much RAM is on your computer. My computer has 2GB and I could only set 1018MB. The Next button will be inaccessible if I set more than that value. Try setting as high as possible so that running and installing Windows 7 would be faster.
6. Click New button to create a virtual hard disk.
7. Click Next
8. Select “Dynamically expanding storage” and click Next.
9. Select the size of the virtual hard disk. I set is as 10GB but if you can set it higher if you have more to spare.
10. Click Finish and you’ll be brought back to Virtual Hard Disk. Click Next.
11. Click Finish.
12. Make sure that Windows7 is selected at VirtualBox and click Settings button.
13. Go to CD/DVD-ROM, check “Mount CD/DVD Drive” and select ISO Image File. Click the small folder icon.
14. Virtual Media Manager window will appear. Click Add button and browse for the Windows7 ISO file that you downloaded and click Open. Click Select.
15. Now you’re back to the Settings to configure the options for Windows7. Click Network.
16. Make sure that “Enable Network Adapter” is checked. Click on Adapter Type drop down box and select Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM). Windows 7 doesn’t include drivers for PCnet-Fast III.
17. Click OK to close the VirtualBox Settings for Windows7.
Install Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 on VirtualBox
1. Make sure that Windows7 is selected at VirtualBox and click Start button. You will see a bar saying Windows is loading files.
2. When it has finished loading the required files, you can select the language to install, time and currency format and keyboard or input method. Click Next when done.
3. Click Install now
4. Check “I accept the license terms” and click Next.
5. Select Custom (advanced).
6. Select the drive that you created from VirtualBox and click Next. Windows 7 setup will start copying files, expanding files, installing features, installing updates and completing installation.
7. Enter your user name, computer name and click Next.
8. Enter your password and hint.
9. Enter the 25-digit Windows 7 Product Key that you got earlier and click Next.
10. Select “Ask me later“
11. Review the time and date settings. If it is correct, click Next.
12. Windows 7 will now finalize your settings and voila! You have Windows 7 running in VirtualBox.
The Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) installs Ultimate Edition by default. When you activate the Windows 7 product key, it will allow you to continue using until August 1, 2009. Not sure what will happen next but most probably you’ll need to upgrade to a later beta version of Windows 7.
The first thing I noticed about Windows 7 is the fish wallpaper. I wonder why… Then I tried looking for a way to change the Start Menu to classic but was unable to. Seems like Microsoft is not planning on having a Classic Mode that lets you switch back to the old interface. The bad thing about it is people like me will have to try to get use to the new interface, menus and etc, but at least they’re setting a standard so that it won’t be so confusing.