In this article, we will examine how to run Windows Vista on a new virtual machine using VMware Workstation 16 Pro virtualization software on a Windows 10 PC.
How to Install Windows Vista on Windows 10 using VMware Workstation 16 Pro
Officially released by Microsoft on January 30, 2007, Windows Vista is a member of Microsoft operating systems. However, this popular operating system version was completely discontinued on April 11, 2017.
The main purpose of the development of the Microsoft Vista operating system was to fix some security problems in Windows XP. With this operating system, the Aero feature was developed for the first time. Also, the most striking feature of Vista is that it has the Sidebar feature.
Since Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit is an old operating system, you can use the Workstation program to install and run it on the VM without installing this system on your physical computer.
If you have not installed the VMware software program on your Windows computer before, you can click here to browse the related article. Or if you are using one of the Linux distributions like Ubuntu, you can refer to our article here.
How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows Vista
After installing VMware Pro on your computer, open the program and follow the steps below to create a new virtual computer for the Vista virtual system. After creating and preparing the VM, all you need is an ISO image file.
For VM Workstation, download the ISO file of the Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP2 operating system to your computer by clicking here, and then follow the steps below.
When you run VMware Workstation 16 Pro, click Create a New Virtual Machine from the options you see on the homepage and select Custom (Advanced) in the wizard window that opens, and click the Next button.
Configure the hardware compatibility of the virtual machine as Workstation 16.x. If an older version of the VMware program is installed on your host, you will see the corresponding version against Hardware Compatibility.
In this window, you need to choose how you want to setup the Guest operating system. To do a more detailed configuration, check the I will install the operating system later option and click Next.
In the Guest operating system type selection window, first, select the Microsoft Windows platform you will be installing, and then Windows Vista x64 Edition from the Version section and click Next.
In the virtual machine naming and positioning window, type a name to be displayed in the VM library and select the location where you will install it. Here, we recommend that you install the VM on an external hard drive for performance.
As the firmware type, Vista is an old system, so tick BIOS and click Next.
Configure the number of processors and cores in your guest virtual computer to be supported by your host. The point to note here is whether older operating system versions support multiple processor counts. Therefore, generally set the processor number to 1 in older systems, and the number of cores in the same way, determine a value suitable for the processor hardware of your host.
Likewise, set a RAM value for the VM according to the RAM capacity available on your host and continue by clicking Next.
As the network type, continue with NAT, which is selected by default. You can use the Bridged network type to get an IP address from the IP block your host uses.
In the I/O Controller window, you must select the type of controller you will use for SCSI virtual disks. Here, continue with the LSI Logic option selected by default.
In the disk type selection window, you can select IDE, SCSI, and SATA, but the NVMe disk type is inactive as it is a new technology and is not supported by older operating systems. Select SATA as the most suitable disk type and click Next.
Since you will be installing a system from scratch on the virtual machine, you need to create a new disk for the VM. So, in the Select a Disk window, check Create a New Virtual Disk and click Next.
In the disk capacity determination window, use the recommended size of 40 GB for Windows Vista, when you specify a lower capacity, you will see a warning in the disk configuration of the operating system setup stage.
Also, to backup, the virtual disk file of the VM as a single file type on your host, tick the Store virtual disk as a single file option, and click Next.
You can configure the location where you want to back up the virtual disk file from this window. If you are doing the installation location of the VM on an external HDD, the virtual disk file will also be backed up to that location. In addition, you can change the name of the virtual disk to be stored.
Click the Customize Hardware button to make any changes in the summary window of your virtual computer.
To enable the virtualization feature for the Vista VM to work more efficiently, select Processors from the Device section and tick all the options in the Virtualization Engine tab on the right.
Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI
Virtualize CPU Performance Counters
Virtualize IOMMU (IO Memory Management Unit)
By increasing the graphics memory of the virtual computer, you can get more efficiency from the programs you will use on the VM. Select the Display device and specify half the amount of RAM you assigned to the VM from the Graphics Memory section.
Now, to add the ISO file to the VM, click on the CD/DVD device and enable the Use ISO Image File option in the Connection section and click the Browse button.
Select the Windows Vista Ultimate 32/64 Bit SP2 ISO file you downloaded to your computer and click the Open button to add it to the VMware program and close the hardware window of the VM.
When the virtual PC you created on Workstation Pro is listed automatically, click the Power on this virtual machine button to run it.
How to Install Windows Vista
After completing the virtual machine creation processes, you can start the installation by running the VM. From this step, you need to proceed as if you were installing on a physical computer. So, the Windows installation here will be done with the ISO image file.
Press the Enter button on the Windows Vista x64 Setup [EMS Enabled] option in the Windows Boot Manager screen.
For Windows Vista, select the system language, time, and currency as well as the keyboard layout and click Next.
Click the Install Now button to start the operating system installation.
You must select the architectural type of the operating system you want to install. If you are using other ISO files, you may not see the x86 or x64 architecture types here. Since you configured the Guest operating system version as x64 while creating the virtual computer, select the x64 architecture type here and click Next.
To accept the license agreement for the Windows Vista Service Pack 2 system, check the I accept the license terms option and click Next.
As the installation type, if you had another system installed on your system before, you could upgrade your system with the Upgrade option in this window. However, since you will be installing from scratch on the VM, click Custom (Advanced).
Click Drive Options to configure the virtual disk you added to the VM.
Click the New button and then the Apply button to edit the unallocated space on the disk.
After editing the virtual disk, select Disk 0 Partition 1 and click Next.
Wait while the setup wizard is expanding the Windows files.
Your system will reboot at the automatic time set for the installation, but click the Restart Now button to restart directly.
Wait while Windows Vista loads. At this stage, your virtual system may restart several times.
Configure a new username and password in the window that opens when your system restarts. You can also change the user picture you want to use in your user account.
Set and type the computer name for the virtual PC, you can also change the desktop background in this window. In addition, you can configure the desktop background you changed later through the Control Panel.
Click Use Recommended Settings for the Windows firewall and continue.
Configure the time zone, date, and time settings you want to use in your system and click Next.
You can configure the physical location of your computer as Home, Work, or Public Location.
After making the necessary system settings, click the Start button and wait for your system to boot.
Wait while Windows is checking the performance of your computer.
Wait while your Windows Vista desktop is preparing.
After the installation, the Windows Vista desktop screen will look like the image below!
How to Install VMware Tools
After installing the operating systems of Windows or other platforms with VMware, VMware Tools must be installed in order to use the screen resolution, file sharing, and the host’s devices.
Before installing VMware Tools, open the Device Manager in your virtual system and check whether the drivers for both the video card and other devices are installed.
From the Workstation Pro tool menu, click VM / Install VMware Tools.
If the VM Tools installation wizard does not automatically open on the system or if it does not open too late, open My Computer and double click on the CD/DVD icon.
While opening the VM Tools wizard, you will see the VMware Product Installation warning window. This warning informs you that VM Tools requires Windows 7 SP1 or a more recent version.
Therefore, in order to install VM Tools for Vista on the VM, you need to install an older version.
Setup cannot contine. This program requires that you have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or greater installed in this virtual machine.
To manually download an older version of VMware Tools (11.0.6), visit the address below and download the ISO image file to your computer.
To add the VMware Tools 11.0.6 ISO file to the virtual machine, click VM / Removable Devices / CD / DVD (SATA) / Settings from the menu.
Click the Browse button to add the ISO file in the Virtual Machine Settings window.
Select the VMware-Tools-Windows-11.0.6-15940789.iso image file and click the Open button.
Double click the DVD icon on My Computer again and start the setup wizard.
When the virtual machine tools setup wizard opens, click Next.
Tick Complete as the type of installation and click Next.
Click the Install button to start installing VM Tools for the Vista virtual machine.
Wait while the necessary drivers for the Virtual PC are installed.
After completing the VM Tools installation, click Finish and close the window.
In order for the changes to take effect and the drivers to be configured, restart your virtual system by clicking the Yes button.
After the Windows Vista VM is opened, click View / Fit Guest Now to change the screen resolution or fit it to the full screen.
You can see that the Windows Vista virtual computer is set to full-screen resolution.
At the same time, you will be able to see that the process is successful when you transfer files between the virtual machine and the host using the drag and drop method.
Also, you can see that your network connection is working fine when you try to visit the Google homepage using Internet Explorer.
How to Create and Configure Shared Folders
Creating Shared Folder for a Windows Vista machine is simple and easy, but you need to do this after installing VM Tools. Later, you can create a common folder sharing between your host and your VM using the Shared Folder structure of the VMware program.
To enable the Shared Folders feature on your virtual PC, click on VM / Settings from the menu.
In the virtual machine settings window, click on Shared Folders and then check the Always Enabled option under Folder Sharing.
Next, check the Map as a network drive in Windows guests option to use the folder to be shared as a network drive, and then click the Add button.
Click Next in the Shared Folder Wizard.
Click the Browse button to select the folder you specified on your host and select the location. Give the folder you want to share a separate name and click Next.
To enable sharing, check the Enable this share option and click Next.
After checking the location of the folder on the host, click the OK button to close the VM settings window.
Check that Shared Folder has been added as a network drive on my computer.
When you check the Shared Folder over the Network location, make sure that vmware-host is visible. If the vmware-host appears on the network, it means Shared Folder is working without any problems.
Also, you can see that Shared Folders is active when you view the content of vmware-host.