VMWare Windows 7 Best Practices

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A quick guide to getting the most out of Windows 7 on your WSU Mac

These recommendations are based on the hardware limitations of the Mac laptop.

Important Information

Important Information for You to Know:

  1. VMware installed in two parts. The VMware program + License and then the Windows installation.
  2. Corrupt files may be caused by viruses and spyware.
    1. If a file in VMware becomes corrupt, data stored on the PC side may be lost or unrecoverable.
    2. Most of the time corrupt files in VMware will require that the windows side of the laptop image be removed and reinstalled.
  3. The VMware application should be shut down after every use. Do not shut the lid with VMware running. Closing the lid with VMware running can cause file corruption.
  4. You should start up your machine and VMware at least one hour before you will be using any application via VMware. This gives Windows a chance to run updates, scan for viruses, and perform other maintenance tasks.
  5. Before installing a program on Windows check to see if the app is available in Software Additions for the Mac. Running an application on the Mac side will work faster for you.
  6. Your VMware license will expire after one year. If you wish to renew your license you will be responsible for the additional year cost.
  7. VMware may run slow with certain windows applications because it is sharing memory with the Mac operating system.


Limitations of running two operating systems on your computer at once

Like any computer, your Mac has a limited number of resources. As you may have experienced, you can only open so many programs before your computer slows to a crawl and becomes unusable. Think of Windows 7 as a really big program. When running Windows 7 and programs inside of Windows 7, consider closing all programs on your Mac and running Windows 7 in full screen mode. This is the way we designed Windows 7 through VM Ware to be used. When you’re done using Windows 7 use the shutdown option to close it so that your Mac can use all of the computer’s resources again. This is a good time to also restart your Mac. The sleep function works well on Macs, but restarting the computer frequently can make a big difference in how fast your whole computer runs.

Evaluate how you use Windows 7

Do you only use Windows 7 when you go to class? If so Windows 7 might be running slow because it might be busy downloading updates, scanning for viruses or performing other scheduled background tasks. Consider booting Windows 7 the night before your class and let it run for a while to give it a chance to install updates when you’re not busy trying to do class work with it. Use the shutdown option when you’re finished so that your Mac runs smoothly again.

Increase the amount of memory Windows 7 can use

If you are in a class that requires you to use multiple Windows programs at once, or big programs you can allow Windows to use more memory in your computer. To do this:

  1. Make sure that Windows 7 is shutdown.
  2. Open VMWare Fusion from your dock icon or the Applications folder
  3. Click on the Virtual Machine menu at the top of the screen and then click on Settings
  4. Under System Settings click on Processors & RAM
  5. Make sure that the drop down box under processors says, “2 processor cores”
  6. Under RAM you will probably see the number 1280 MB. Change this number to 2048.
  7. Close the window.
  8. Start Windows 7. You should now be able to run more demanding programs with less slow down.

More Information

Feel free to contact the Technical Support Center at 507.452.5240 for help with VMware Fusion Windows 7 and your Mac.