Installing Windows 10 Creators Update in VMware Fusion

Is it time to update Windows 10 already? Well thank goodness for virtual machines to test these things before we do this on our production systems!

Installing the Win10 Creators update is pretty straightforward, but there is a couple of caveats (read: bugs) that we have to work around. We at VMware will be releasing versions of Fusion and Workstation that will fully support this workflow, but for now here are the steps you can take to get the latest from Microsoft up and running as a new virtual machine in Fusion.

Fist thing’s first… we need to get the .iso image to install from.

Microsoft makes it’s .iso files available for public consumption these days (which is a far cry from where we were only a couple years ago!), and you can get to it from here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO

One you’ve got the .iso file, drag that onto Fusion’s installer after clicking File > New or the ‘+’ sign from the Library Window:

dragging the .iso file onto the New VM utility

 

We need to manually choose Windows 10 x64 because Fusion doesn’t yet auto-detect the image as Windows 10. We’ll be releasing an update that will address that of course.

Remember to choose Windows 10 so it gets the virtual hardware profile right

You’ll want to customize the settings, so once this dialogue completes it will ask you to save the VM somewhere before opening up the Settings panel.

Also, as a rule I always do this but in this particular case it’s important. You’ll want to remove the virtual printer for security and defect reasons. We leverage a tool called ThinPrint which currently has some issues with the Creators Update, and as well has announced a security vulnerability that is as yet un-patched.

Oh I’m sure…

It’s certainly possible to enable printing through one of the various other ways (USB passthrough, or network printer share directly or with Bonjour from the Mac host), it’s just this particular feature which should be disabled. So, we remove the port to do that.

I have a MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM so I give Windows 4GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores, which is basically double the default.

The ‘2×4’ as we call it

Stepping through the initial stages of the install is what you’re familiar with if you’ve ever installed Windows before.

The boring Windows installer we’re all used to…

For a fresh install from .ISO we need to do a ‘Custom Installation’ because we don’t have anything to upgrade from.

Custom is as custom does…

 

We need to allocate some storage… With a blank slate, we let Windows decide what’s best. You can always increase a drive or add more storage later if you need.

Just click ‘next’

Once that finishes and reboots, something unexpected happens…

I’m sorry, you startled me… I didn’t realize you were there… umm… next please?

A new Voice Assistant that will guide you through the rest of the process.

It was pretty interesting, even if a bit gimmicky…

“ummm… yes?”

 

After a few more ‘Yes’ obvious questions about keyboard and language, we’re asked to sign in to Microsoft, One Drive, and all that fun stuff.

Where I pause is on the privacy section. Personally I turn all this stuff off for a virtual environment.

just... noooo..
So much data collection…

And finally…

The ‘hurry up and wait’ screen

So if you’ve noticed my Fusion window isn’t actually that big. On my external 4K display, the resolution is a bit off and that’s expected at this stage of the game. Once we install VMware Tools we can get things to be where we expect.

Such tiny Windows you have there

To make things right, VMware Tools is the answer, and it’s in the ‘Virtual Machine’ menu.

This is kind of important

Tools will ask permission… if it doesn’t auto-play just double-click it from the D:\ drive.

Yes please

 

There we go… Much better!

So with that installed you can check out all the fun new things that Microsoft has for us!

Let me know in the comments how your experience has been, or what your favourite feature of the Creators Update is!

Windows 10 and VMware Fusion

 

You may have caught wind of the news that Windows 10 is here, and for many folks who want to install it in a virtual machine, VMware Fusion is the obvious choice.

I’ve been using it for a few days now, and must admit so far I’m quite pleased with it.  I’ve been even playing with Cortana in the background with my VM just minimized while I work away on the Mac. The ‘Hey Cortana’ feature works flawlessly with Fusion as far as I can test.  I even asked her to sing me a song while I was working away and while her singing voice isn’t bad at all, her choice of Danny Boy is a little odd if you ask me.

I’ve been using the Fusion 2015 Tech Preview lately, but Fusion 7 was working just fine with all the Insider Preview of Windows 10 if you just choose Windows 8.1 as the Guest OS type.

Either way, it’s a really nice OS and it runs at incredibly well in Fusion. I’m using a MacBook Pro mid-2012 model with 16GB of RAM overall and I give it 2 vCPUs and 4GB of RAM, and maybe that’s even overkill for what I use it for. I’d say it feels leaner and more responsive overall than every Microsoft OS since XP and I feel like they finally got rid of all the unnecessary cruft and bloat that was holding them back.

There is however this upgrade problem that a number users are hitting tho which currently affects most hypervisors. Tho I haven’t heard of any users with HyperV having this problem, <sarcasm> I can only presume there are no HyperV users interested in upgrading to Windows 10. </sarcasm> Draw your own conclusions, but it is what it is.

Luckily, there’s actually a REALLY EASY workaround.

Rather than use the upgrade method within the VM, download the .ISO and mount it to Fusion to perform the upgrade.

Straight from the source!

Microsoft makes the Windows 10 ISO file available for the world to download so you can burn to disk or use as a VM. Rather than a single link, they have this process to get the right version, and actually works really well. (From Safari on my Mac, no less).  No funky windows.exe thing to use to download and create the .iso with, this is a full ISO from Microsoft.com with Win10_English_x64.iso as the filename.

Fusion 7 + Windows 8.1 + Windows10.iso = Upgrade!

First things first as always before ding major upgrades, TAKE A SNAPSHOT! This way you make sure to have a safe roll back point in case something goes wrong, you don’t like it, or it breaks all your other Windows apps or something.

Here we go!
Here we go!

After the installation assistant greeted me, things started moving along just fine.

The installation begins!
The installation begins!

The installation proceeds basically unattended, which is nice. Took about 10 minutes on my MacBook Pro (mid-2012).

Upgrading... here we go!
Upgrading… here we go!

 

Once the installation finished, I ran through the personalization walkthrough which I highly recommend to turn off all the ‘send everything I type to Microsoft’ features… yikes.

So that’s it!  You can use that same .iso file from Microsoft to install multiple copies as needed, or just use the clone feature of Fusion Pro to save yourself the hassle.

 

 

 

## Update
I had comments muted for spamming reasons, but I tweaked it and it should be only legit folks… sorry I missed all your comments I’ll try and respond, thanks everyone for reading!