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Upgrading a VMware Fusion virtual machine from Windows XP to Windows 7 (1015396)

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  • You are unable to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7
  • You see errors during or after the upgrade process from Windows XP to Windows 7


This article details the process to upgrade a VMware Fusion virtual machine from Windows XP to Windows 7.


  • Windows 7 is supported in Fusion 3 and later. For more information about upgrading Fusion, see the VMware Fusion product page.
  • To upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit, Microsoft requires that you own a 64-bit version of Windows XP or later.


To ensure you are able to correctly upgrade your Windows virtual machine, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows 7 Upgrade Paths. You can also use the Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to determine the proper upgrade path for your current version of Windows. Alternatively, create a new virtual machine using a Windows 7 (full version) install disk.

Note: The preceding links were correct as of May 28, 2011. If you find that a link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 does not save your settings or installed software. A fresh install of Windows 7 is created and old documents and programs are placed in the C:\Windows.old\ directory. You cannot run the programs that are carried over. All applications must be reinstalled.

Warning: Microsoft recommends backing up any important data before performing this upgrade. VMware recommends creating a new virtual machine to install Windows 7 instead of upgrading an existing virtual machine.

To upgrade a Fusion virtual machine from Windows XP to Windows 7:

  1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD, and ensure the optical drive is connected to the virtual machine. From Fusion's menu bar, go to Virtual Machine > CD/DVD > Connect CD/DVD.

    : If Autoplay is not enabled in Windows, you must launch the installation process manually.

    1. In Windows, go to Start > My Computer.
    2. Double-click your CD/DVD drive (usually the D: drive in Windows).

  2. In the installer Window, click Install Now.
  3. Click Go online to get the latest updates for installation.
  4. Select I accept the license terms, then click Next.
  5. Click custom (advanced).
  6. Click Load Driver.
  7. Click Browse.
  8. Browse to the location of the drivers:

    • Fusion 4.x above versions: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\scsi
    • Fusion 3.x: C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\Drivers\scsi

  9. Click OK to select the driver folder.
  10. Click Next to load the driver.
  11. Click Next to start the install.
  12. Click OK on the warning screen. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the installation.
  13. Shutdown the virtual machine.
  14. From Fusion's menu bar, click Virtual Machine > Settings.
  15. Select your Operating System type:

    • Fusion 4.x above versions: Click General. In the OS drop-down, select Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home.
    • Fusion 3.x: In the left column, select Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home.

  16. Select Microsoft Windows > Windows 7. Click Change to apply changes.
  17. Click Network (Adapter).
  18. Remove the network adapter:

    • Fusion 4.x above versions: Expand Advanced options, then select Remove Network Adapter.
    • Fusion 3.x: Click the minus sign (-) to remove the network adapter. Click Remove to confirm.

  19. Re-add the network adapter:

    • Fusion 4.x above versions: Click Add Device, select Network Adapter, then click Add.
    • Fusion 3.x: Click the plus sign (+) to add the network adapter.

  20. Start the virtual machine.
  21. Click Virtual Machine > Install VMware Tools from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click Install to confirm.
  22. Click Run setup.exe to start installation of VMware Tools.
  23. Follow onscreen prompts to install VMware Tools.
  24. Reboot the virtual machine when prompted.

Alternatively, you can use the upgrade disk to create a new virtual machine and then transfer your data to the new virtual machine. For more information, see Creating a new Windows 7 virtual machine from an upgrade disk (1026670).

If you lose Internet or network connectivity after the upgrade, see Troubleshooting networking and internet connection issues in VMware Fusion (1016466).

See Also

This Article Replaces


Update History

05/21/2010 - Added a Note on manual installation to Step 1. 07/26/2010 - Added 32-bit/64-bit OS clarification. 09/16/2011 - Added Fusion 4 information. 09/23/2011 - Added scsi location when running Fusion 4. 09/30/2011 - Added link to 1026670 in the See Also section and added a note on Microsoft's upgrade policy. 08/23/2012 - Added Fusion 5.x to Products 09/07/2013 - Added Fusion 6.x to Products 08/25/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x

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