How to Build a Virtual System with VMWare Workstation

Well, recently the power board on my laptop smoked. Maybe it was over worked, maybe it just needed a break, not sure. The problem is, I used said laptop as my virtual hacking playground. It had 3 OS’s available at the boot menu, 4 virtual Microsoft OS’s and several virtual versions of Linux. Yeah, I know, I need a hobby.

Well, I have backups of the virtual machines, but I wanted to create some new ones anyways. So, I figured I would create a follow along type blog post for those who have not created a Virtual Machine yet. So, if you want to know how to create a virtual operating system and run it on top of your current one, here goes!

1. Get VMWare Workstation. (Others are available, but I like this, it is quick and easy). If you do not own VMWare workstation you can get a 30 day trial key. Once you create a virtual machine, you can run it in the free version of VMWare player. You can also download “VMWare appliances”. These are virtual machines that someone else has already made. I prefer to make my own, as I know what is in it and that it is safe.

 You will need to create an account with VMWare to get the 30 day trial key. After installing VMWare workstation, go ahead and run it. You will get a screen that looks like this:

2. Now, click “Create a new Virtual Machine”. We are just creating a Windows 7 Pro Virtual Machine, so just hit “Typical” at the next prompt and select “Next”.

Step 3. We are going to install from Disk, so go ahead and put your OS disk in. You can also install from an ISO if you have one. Select Next.

Sweet! Look at this next screen, it recognizes the Windows 7 Pro CD, and it allows an EASY install. This means that the VMWare system knows the OS and the install will be pretty much automated.

Step 4. Put in your Windows key, and choose your version of Windows 7 from the pull down menu. Next, put in your username & password and confirm password. You can put in the product key later if you want. Hit next.

Step 5. Name your virtual Machine and give it a location to save the data files. Click Next.

Step 6. Specify how big you want the virtual drive to be and if you want it to be a single file or split. I just chose the defaults here. Click Next.

Step 7. VMWare workstation is now ready to create the virtual machine. Check out the virtual hardware settings. I want to be able to do more than just log in so I want to allocate more memory. To do so, click “Customize Hardware…”

Step 8. Select Memory and then slide the memory button up to 2 GB. Hit “OK”. Alright! almost done, Click “Finish”.


Step 10. That’s it! When the Virtual Machine is power up, it will install the OS from your source disk. The next screen shots are of the install in progress:

And when the install finishes, Viola! Done!


If you click the Full Screen button, on the menu bar you get this, a full OS running on top of your current OS:

From here you can finish setting it up just like a regular OS install. Security updates, anti-virus, auto-updates, etc. To shutdown the virtual machine, you can shutdown the virtual OS, or to suspend the OS, just close the whole virtual OS window.

That is all there is to it. I hope you enjoyed this.

3 thoughts on “How to Build a Virtual System with VMWare Workstation”

    1. lol, I hear you Mister Reiner!

      Yeah, I figured, no big, I don’t want to do a video on this one, I’ll just do screen shots and upload them, it’ll be easy…

      Wrong answer! WordPress gets cranky with me when I try to add photos, (you’d think I would have remembered that!) and it was really persnickety with this post. Then when it was done, it was a mile long! Yup, video sounds good… 🙂

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