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Upgrading from VMware Fusion 4.1.0 and unsupported versions of Mac OS X (2009990)

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The article explains the scope of support for running Mac OS X on a virtual machine and provides specific guidance when upgrading from VMware Fusion 4.1.0.


VMware Fusion 4.x and later supports running these Mac OS X versions in a virtual machine, provided that the terms of the software license agreement are met:
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Server (Leopard)
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Server (Snow Leopard)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 Client and Server (Lion)
  • Mac OS X 10.8 Client and Server (Mountain Lion)

Note: If you are running any of the versions of Mac OS X listed above in a virtual machine, the rest of this article does not apply to you.

VMware Fusion 4.x and later includes a check to ensure that the version of Mac OS X being started is one of those listed. Any virtual machine that contains a Mac OS not listed above does not work after updating to VMware Fusion 4.1.1 or later. These unsupported virtual machines no longer boot after upgrading or downgrading from VMware Fusion 4.1.0.

You can update your supported virtual machine to OS X Lion. For more information, see the Additional Information section. 

If you are unable to obtain a copy of Mac OS X Lion to complete these steps, VMware recommends removing your files and data from the unsupported virtual machine. The virtual machine cannot boot on previous or future versions of VMware Fusion.

Additional Information

Upgrading to Mac OS X Lion in a Virtual Machine

To upgrade an existing virtual machine to Mac OS X 10.7:

  1. Obtain the Mac OS X 10.7 application from the Mac App Store, or the Mac OS X 10.7 USB media from a retail outlet.
  2. Ensure that at least 2GB of RAM is allocated to the virtual machine.
  3. Connect the Lion media to the virtual machine:

    • If you are using the USB media, connect the USB DVD drive to the virtual machine.
    • If you are using the Mac App Store, connect the DVD drive to the InstallESD.dmg found in Install Mac OS X Support.

  4. Open the DVD within the virtual machine and launch Install Mac OS X Lion.

    Allow the Lion upgrade to proceed.

  5. When the virtual machine restarts to continue installation, wait for the Apple logo to appear before you shut down the virtual machine (by going to Virtual Machine > Shut Down > Force Shut Down).
  6. Go to Settings > General and change the virtual machine type to Mac OS X 10.7:

    The virtual machine can now be started and the Lion installation completes.

  7. Once the installation is complete, reinstall VMware Tools.

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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  • 103 Ratings