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6/25/2011
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How To Set Up A Win 7 VM On Your Mac With Parallels Desktop

Here's the best way to get Windows 7 on your pre-Lion OS X Mac.

BYTE -- Some people use BootCamp with Intel-based Macs to create a dual-boot system to run Windows. But it's tedious. You have to reboot every time you want to see the right OS. I guess that's why they call it BootCamp.

But there's an easier way to get Windows on your Mac. I've been using Parallels Desktop to run multiple operating systems in separate virtual machines (VMs) on my Mac. Here's how to set up a Windows 7 VM using Parallels Desktop 6.

Sometimes bundled with the Mac -- likely not in OS X Lion-based Macs, which have virtualization software built-in- Parallels is available for download or on disc. Here I'm installing it from disc.

Pop the disc into the Mac and start the installation.


Navigate through the wizard and accept the defaults.


This isn't terribly simple. Expect at least 5 minutes to completion.


After it installs, go to the Applications folder. There you'll see the Parallels Desktop icon, click to launch it.


Now enter in your name, organization, and activation key. Find them in inside the disc’s cover. If you downloaded it, you'll have the key inside the original Parallels confirmation email.


Now log into an existing account or create a new one.


Check for the latest updates. Click on Parallels Desktop >> Check for updates.


Then install the latest build.


Once installation is complete, it's time to set up Windows 7 in the VM. From the start screen below, click on New Windows Installation.


Next, Parallels will prompt you to pop in your Win7 disc, an ISO image, or continue building the virtual machine and install Windows later.


Here I'm using an ISO image downloaded from Microsoft Technet. Browse to the location of your ISO image file and load it up.


It's easiest to check Express Installation. Enter in the product key. Click Continue.


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