How To Run Windows 7 On VMware ESXi 6.0 And Setup IIS For Deploying ASP.NET Web Apps And Services.

Microsoft Windows 7 is one of the most widely used desktop operating system in many homes and business organisations. Windows 7 has 6 widely known versions which include Windows 7 starter, home basic, home premium,professional, enterprise and ultimate. Each of these versions of Windows 7 has many features and having a working known of how to setup and use these features can be very valuable and usefull. This tutorial will show you how to run Windows 7 as a virtual machine on VMware ESXi 6.0 and also how to setup the Internet Information Service (IIS) for deploying ASP.NET Web Apps And Services.

Requirements.

In order to complete this tutorial successfully the following items are required. Please ensure to have these items available before taking implimentation action on this tutorial:
1) A server running VMware ESXi 6.0 or any later version
2) Authorised access to a user account on the ESXi server for creating and administering virtual machines
3) VMware workstation player / pro or the VMware remote console app
4) A windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit ISO image file or physical dvd (to setup IIS Windows 7 professional and up is needed)
5) A desktop or laptop thats running Windows 10, MacOS or Linux

Overview.

1) Download the Windows 7 ISO image file or purchase a Windows 7 disk online. 
2) If using an ISO file to setup the virtual machine, upload the ISO file to the VMware ESXi datastore
3) Click on “VIRTUAL MACHINES > CREATE / REGISTER VM” to create a virtual machine for Windows 7 
4) Set a username, password, computer name and install VMware tools for Windows 7
5) Download Windows 7 updates and setup Internet Information Service (IIS).

Step One: Download Windows 7

1) Click HERE to go to the official Windows 7 download page on microsoft.com. Scroll down, enter a valid Windows 7 product key on the ENTER PRODUCT KEY text box and click on VERIFY. 

Once verified, choose the default language that you wish Windows 7 to have, select 32 or 64 bit and click on DOWNLOAD. The amount of time it takes to download the ISO file depends on the perfomance of your internet connection.

Alternative: Purchase A Windows 7 Installation Disk Online.

2) An alternative to downloading the Windows 7 ISO file would be to simply purchase a Windows 7 installation disk online and have it delivered to your location. It is very much possible to use the install DVD to deploy Windows 7 on a virtual machine and most online e-commerce platforms such as amazon.com offer same day or next day delivery right up to any location of your choosing. 

 

Step Two: Upload The Windows 7 Disk Image File (ISO) To The Datastore On The ESXi server.

3) Open a new web browser tab and enter the IP address or hostname of the ESXi 6.0 web console. Login with your credentials and click on STORAGE > DATASTORE BROWSER.

Create a folder for saving the Windows 7 ISO file by clicking on the CREATE DIRECTORY option or select any existing folder and click on upload.

On the file selection popup windows, select the Windows 7 ISO file and click on OPEN. The file upload process will start and a file upload progress bar will be displayed on the top right corner of the DATASTORE BROWSER.

3) Next, click on the VIRTUAL MACHINES option and click on CREATE / REGISTER VM. On the NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE wizard proceed by selecting the CREATE A NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE option and click on NEXT.

4) On the SELECT A NAME AND GUEST OS section virtual machine names can contain up to 80 characters. Type in a descriptive name for the Windows 7 VM on the NAME text box.

Select WINDOWS on the GUEST OS FAMILY dropdown and choose WINDOWS 7 64 BIT on the GUEST OS VERSION drop down then click on NEXT.

5) On the SELECT STORAGE section of the NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE WIZARD, select the datastore with sufficient space to store the virtual machine files and click on NEXT.

On the CUSTOMIZE SETTINGS section click on the VIRTUAL HARDWARE tab and set the number of CPU’s , MEMORY and HARD DISK SIZE. Expand  HARD DISK 1 and select the THIN PROVISIONED option

6) Scroll down and select the virtual network that the virtual machine network adapter will be attached to. On CD / DVD 1 if using a physical install DVD select the HOST DEVICE option however if using the Windows 7 ISO file select the DATASTORE ISO option.

Ensure that on the NETWORK ADAPTER and CD / DVD MEDIA the CONNECT AT POWER ON check box is checked then click on NEXT to proceed.

7) The READY TO COMPLETE section shows an overview on all virtual hardware selections such as the virtual machine name, datastore, CPU and memory details, networking, storage options and more. 

If there are any changes to be made simply click on the PREVIOUS button to go back to previous section of the NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE wizard.

If there are no changes or adjustments to be made deploy the virtual machine by clicking on the FINISH button.

Step Three: Power On The Virtual Machine And Install Windows 7

8) Once the virtual machine creation process completes, click on the check box next to the virtual machine and click on POWER ON. Click on the ACTIONS > CONSOLE and click on OPEN CONSOLE IN NEW TAB. There are also options for opening a remote console to vmware workstation or even opening the console in a new browser windows

9)  Select your preferred language on the LANGUAGE TO INSTALL drop down menu, set the time and currency format and choose a keyboad input on the KEYBOARD OR INPUT METHOD drop down.

Click on NEXT to proceed.

10) Click on the INSTALL NOW button  and you will see a SETUP IS STARTING message. On the “SELECT THE OPERATING SYSTEM YOU WANT TO INSTALL” section choose the version of Windows that you would like to install. 

The versions of Windows 7 displayed here depend on the setup file that is being used.

On the APPLICABLE NOTICES AND LICENSE TERMS section read through the microsoft license then click on the  I ACCEPT THE LICENSE TERMS check box.

Click on NEXT to proceed.

11) Since this is a new installation of Windows 7 on a virtual machine, click on the CUSTOM: INSTALL WINDOWS ONLY (ADVANCED) option and click on NEXT.

On the WHERE DO YOU WANT TO INSTALL WINDOWS” select the virtual hard disk with an unallocated space and click on NEXT.

 

12) The Windows 7 setup starts to copy windows files as well as install features and updates on to the virtual hard disk. The amount of time it takes to install Windows 7 depends on the available virtual hardware but it shouldnt take mmore that 20 minutes to complete the installation.

13) Once the installation process is complete the virtual machine will automatically restart and the SET UP WINDOWS wizard will be displayed. Type in username and computer name on the relavant text box’s and click on NEXT.

14) Its always a good idea to protect Windows 7 with a password so as to ensure protection and security against unauthorised access.  On the “SET A PASSWORD FOR YOUR ACCOUNT” section type in a password. You can use web based password generators such as dinopass.com or avast.com/random-password-generator to get easy to remember passwords

Type in a password hint on the “TYPE A PASSWORD HINT:” text box so as to have a hint that can help you remember the password in the event that you forget it.

15)Inorder for windows to be able to display the correct date and time as well as currency it needs to know your current time zone. So on the “REVIEW YOUR TIME AND DATE SETTINGS” section, choose your current time zone from the available options and click on NEXT

Proceed by specifying the location of the current network where the Windows 7 VM is running and click on NEXT

Install VMware Tools.

16) From the VMware ESXi 6.0 web console select the Windows 7 virtual machine and click on ACTION > GUEST OS > INSTALL VMWARE TOOLS. This will mount a virtual disk with the vmware tools software onto the virtual machines virtual CD / DVD drive 

17) Open the Windows 7 file explorer and double click on the CD / DVD drive labeled VMWARE TOOLS. A USER ACCOUNT CONTROL dialogue box will be displayed ask you whether to allow VMWARE TOOLS to make changes, Click on YES to proceed.

On the VMWARE TOOLS installation wizard click on NEXT on the first page and on the CHOOSE SETUP TYPE page click on the TYPICAL radio button. 

Click NEXT then click INSTALL.

When the installation is complete restart the virtual machine so that changes made by the VMWARE TOOLS can take effect.

 

Step Four: Install Windows Updates And Configure Internet Information Services (IIS)

18)