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!

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