Notes about Windows 7 on a 10.4 Mac with Virtual Box

  • Basic info is at ttp://
  • You can use a Mac to download, but you must use Firefox (not Safari) to get it. It will use Firefox as a download manager.
  • It downloads pretty quickly. I got it in less than an hour. Depends on your Internet conection, of course, but at least MS has this hosted on a good server.
  • Along the way, you'll be given a key (serial number.) Print/save this number right away--the next time you click 'submit' or 'continue' or whatever it will take you to another page.
  • Get the 32-bit version
  • Good news--it's Windows 7 Ultimate!
  • It's a "Release Candidate Customer Preview" so it should be pretty close to what gets released in terms of performance, stability, and features.
  • Space needed: it's a 2.36 GB download, 4.96 GB installed into a VirtualBox disk image.
  • Very first thing: install the guest additions.
  • One down side: it may take some time to start up. On my 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro (which, to be fair, has been on for 44 days and has many apps and a ton of Safari windows open) it can easily take over 5 minutes. Once it's up and running, it's fine, but evidently it takes some time to read and boot from a 5 GB compressed disk image. :-)

One little thing: the lack of a Quick Launch bar sucks. Instead, you now "pin" items to the taskbar. You can't just drag a program or shortcut to the taskbar, you've got to launch it, then pin it. And the icons are spaced out--they have enough room between them to store a whole other icon. And they turn into the program, so if you click one, it gets wide--and consequently pushes the next one down. So if you've got a few, and you launch them all but the rightmost one, the rightmost one is now a few inches over. Or if you've got one, and open a few windows, it does the same thing. (I have 'group windows' turned off.) This is, of course, Microsoft trying to copy OS X's Dock and failing hugely. Also, if you want to, say, launch a second instance of Notepad, you can't--the 'launch' icon is now the program itself. So you've got to go to Notepad and make a new window. Except you can't. If you're in Notepad and you want to make a new document it asks "do you want to save changes?" and it will re-use the same window. But if you go to the Start menu and choose Notepad it'll open a new window. Same with Wordpad. Un... effing... real.