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Simple Steps to a New Virtual Machine on a Windows Host

Simple Steps to a New Virtual Machine on a Windows Host

By default, the new virtual machine uses an IDE disk in persistent mode for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows .NET Server and FreeBSD guests. The default for other guest operating systems is a SCSI disk in persistent mode.

Follow these steps to create a virtual machine using a virtual disk.

  1. Start VMware Workstation. If you allowed the installer to place a VMware Workstation icon on your desktop, double-click the icon. Otherwise, use the Start menu (Start > Programs > VMware > VMware Workstation).

  2. If this is the first time you have launched VMware Workstation, you are prompted to enter your 20-character serial number. This number is on the registration card in your package. Enter your serial number and click OK.

    The serial number you enter is saved in your license file and VMware Workstation does not ask you for it again. For your convenience, VMware Workstation automatically sends the serial number to the VMware Web site when you use certain Web links built into the product (for example, Help > VMware software on the Web > Register Now! and Help > VMware software on the Web > Request Support). This allows us to direct you to the correct Web page for registration and support for your product.

  3. Start the New Virtual Machine Wizard.

    When you start VMware Workstation, you can open an existing virtual machine or create a new one. Click New Virtual Machine to begin creating your virtual machine.

  4. The New Virtual Machine Wizard presents you with a series of screens that you navigate using the Next and Prev buttons at the bottom of each screen. At each screen, follow the instructions, then click Next to proceed to the next screen.

  5. Select the method you want to use for configuring your virtual machine.

    If you select Typical, the wizard prompts you to specify or accept defaults for

    • The guest operating system
    • The virtual machine name and the location of the virtual machine's files
    • The network connection type

      If you select Custom, you also can specify how to set up your disk - create a new virtual disk, use an existing virtual disk or use a physical disk - and make the settings needed for the type of disk you select.

      Select Custom if you want to

    • Make a virtual disk larger or smaller than 4GB
    • Store your virtual disk's files in a particular location
    • Use an IDE virtual disk for a guest operating system that would otherwise have a SCSI virtual disk created by default
    • Use a physical disk rather than a virtual disk (for expert users)

      Select VMware Guest OS Kit if you have a Guest OS Kit and want to use it to create a preconfigured virtual machine using a virtual disk. If you select VMware Guest OS Kit, the wizard asks you to specify the drive where you have placed the Guest OS Kit CD-ROM. When you click Finish, it launches the Guest OS Kit installation program. For more information on VMware Guest OS Kits, see www.vmware.com/products/guestoskits/.

  6. Select a guest operating system.

    This screen asks which operating system to install in the virtual machine. The New Virtual Machine Wizard uses this information to select appropriate default values, such as the amount of disk space needed. The wizard also uses this information when naming associated virtual machine files.

    If the operating system you are using is not listed, select Other.

    The remaining steps assume you plan to install a Windows Me guest operating system. You can find detailed installation notes for this and other guest operating systems in Installing Guest Operating Systems.

  7. Select a name and folder for the virtual machine.

    The name specified here appears in the Virtual Machine Name list on VMware Workstation's opening screen. It is also used as the name of the folder where the files associated with this virtual machine are stored.

    Each virtual machine should have its own folder. All associated files, such as the configuration file and the disk file, are placed in this folder. On Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows .NET Server, the default folder is C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\My Virtual Machines\Windows Me. On Windows NT, the default folder is C:\WINNT\Profiles\<username>\Personal\My Virtual Machines\Windows Me.

    Virtual machine performance may be slower if your virtual hard disk is on a network drive. For best performance, be sure the virtual machine's folder is on a local drive. However, if others users need to access this virtual machine, you should consider placing the virtual machine files in a location that is accessible to them. For more information, see Sharing Virtual Machines with Other Users.

  8. Configure the networking capabilities of the virtual machine.

    If your host computer is on a network and you have a separate IP address for your virtual machine (or can get one automatically from a DHCP server), select Use bridged networking.

    If you do not have a separate IP address for your virtual machine but you want to be able to connect to the Internet, select Use network address translation (NAT). NAT is useful if you have a wireless NIC on your host (as bridged networking is not supported on wireless NICs) and allows for the sharing of files between the virtual machine and the host operating system.

    For more details about VMware Workstation networking options, see Networking.

  9. If you selected Typical as your configuration path, click Finish and the wizard sets up the files needed for your virtual machine.

    If you selected Custom as your configuration path, continue with the steps for configuring a disk for your virtual machine.

  10. Select the disk type.

    Select Create a new virtual disk.

    Virtual disks are the best choice for most virtual machines. They are quick and easy to set up and can be moved to new locations on the same host computer or to different host computers. Virtual disks start as small files on the host computer's hard drive, then expand as needed - up to the size you specify in the next step.

    To use an existing operating system on a physical hard disk (a "raw" disk), read Configuring a Dual-Boot Computer for Use with a Virtual Machine. To install your guest operating system directly on an existing IDE disk partition, read the reference note Installing an Operating System onto a Raw Partition from a Virtual Machine.

    Caution: Raw disk configurations are recommended only for expert users.

    Caution: If you are using a Windows .NET Server, Windows XP or Windows 2000 host, see Do Not Use Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows .NET Server Dynamic Disks as Raw Disks.

    To install the guest operating system on a raw IDE disk, select Existing IDE Disk Partition. To use a raw SCSI disk, add it to the virtual machine later with the Configuration Editor. Booting from a raw SCSI disk is not supported. For a discussion of some of the issues involved in using a raw SCSI disk, see Configuring Dual- or Multiple-Boot SCSI Systems to Run with VMware Workstation for Linux.

  11. Specify the size of the virtual disk.

    Enter the size of the virtual disk that you wish to create. Use the default of 4GB or change the setting. The maximum size is 128GB for an IDE virtual disk or 256GB for a SCSI virtual disk. When you specify the size of the virtual disk, that amount of disk space is not immediately occupied by the virtual disk files. The virtual disk files grow as needed when applications and files are added to it.

    Note: If this setting is larger than the capacity of the host machine's hard disk, a warning message appears. You can ignore this message for now, as you can move this virtual machine to a drive that can hold it at a later time.

    Make the Virtual Disk Big Enough

    The virtual disk should be large enough to hold the guest operating system and all of the software that you intend to install, with room for data and growth.

    You cannot change the virtual disk's maximum capacity later.

    You can install additional virtual disks using the Configuration Editor

    For example, you need about 500MB of actual free space on the file system containing the virtual disk to install Windows Me and popular applications such as Microsoft Office inside the virtual machine. You can set up a single virtual disk to hold these files. Or you can split them up - installing the operating system on the first virtual disk and using a second virtual disk for applications or data files.

  12. Specify the location of the virtual disk's files.

    If a SCSI virtual disk is created by default and you want to use a virtual IDE disk instead, or if you want to specify which device node should be used by your SCSI or IDE virtual disk, click Advanced.

  13. Click Finish and the wizard sets up the files needed for your virtual machine.

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