Installing Windows 8.1 on VMware Fusion on Mac


This post demonstrates how to install Windows on your VMware Fusion on Mac. Frankly speaking, it’s a piece of cake if you do everything right. I did good amount of research on the internet reading various posts and reviews on the performance issues one might have by installing windows on virtual machine.

I have even personally experienced the Windows 8.1 installed using the Boot Camp Assistant on a separate partition. One thing is clear, personally I felt dual booting was a pain. I didn’t like it at all. I have to install all the software applications again in the other partition. I can’t access files from Mac. I can’t utilize my trackpad to the fullest. I ran out of memory in a couple days after installing Visual Studio and I had only 7 GB of space left. I allocated 60 GB for Windows partition because I only have 256 GB Flash drive. I couldn’t update Visual Studio further and I couldn’t install SQL server on the partition because of low disk space. It was terrible. So I got rid of it. One more thing, I spent over an hour to install windows using the boot camp.  One might be thinking, why did I install windows using boot camp instead of installing it on virtual machine. Because, I thought there would be performance issues and I was trolled for doing that.

Okay coming to the configuration of my machine.

I have a MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch Mid 2014 (latest) currently running OS X Yosemite Version 10.10.2

Processor: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7

Memory: 16 GB  1600 MHz DDR3

Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

Storage: 256 GB Flash

So even though you have an i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM, its good to go.

This post assumes that you have VMware Fusion already installed on your machine. If you don’t have it, download and install it. As I am a student enrolled at a university. I got it for freeeeeeeeeee!! Good stuff!! Anyways, following are the steps to be followed to install Windows 8.1 on your VMware Fusion on a Mac Machine.

Step 1: Fire up VMware Fusion and click on “+” and select “New“.

Screen 1

 Step 2: In the installation method. Select the “Install from disc or image” option and click on continue.

Screen 2

Step 3: Click on “Use another disc or disc imageScreen 3 Step 4: Select the iso image of Windows 8.1 from the file chooser. Once you select it, it appears as the following. Click on continue.

Screen 4

 Step 5: Check Easy Install and give your details and enter the Windows registration key.

Screen 5

Step 6: Select “More Seamless

Screen 6

Step 7:  Here the Virtual Machine automatically assigns the memory, to configure it, you should click on “Customize Settings” and save the virtual machine.

Screen 7

Step 8: The VMware fires up as soon as you save the virtual machine as below: Click on the “Processors and Memory” option in the System Settings.

Screen 8

Step 9: Select “processor cores” as following and allocate the memory depending on your machine’s memory. Also, 4 GB is recommended as Visual Studio and other developer tools need minimum of 4 GB RAM as a requirement. So, beware of that.

Screen 9

Step 10: After you close the settings page. Click on the play button on the screen which looks like the following. As soon as you do it, the windows setup starts.

Screen 10

Step 11: Setup screen

Screen 11

Step 12: It hardly took 4 to 5 minutes for the installation to be completed. I was really amazed at the speed of installation.

Screen 12

I skipped the McAfee antivirus installation. Now, you can simply login with the password which you have given on the easy installation screen.

Screen 13

And there you go. You have your Windows 8.1 on your VM on Mac. If you want to install Visual Studio. Just download the PowerISO on your windows VM and extract the files from its image and install. As simple as that.

I found this link very interesting on the performance of visual studio on the VMware Fusion. Do check it out.

Have fun.



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