Saturday, January 17, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Unleashed (OS X Failure Edition)

Our pals at Microsoft have decided to open the floodgates and let everyone who wants one have copy of Windows 7 Beta (download page here). However, it expires when, presumably, Microsoft will have another Beta ready for us to try; from the Microsoft Windows 7 Beta FAQ:

The Windows 7 Beta will stop working on August 1, 2009.

To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. See Installing the Windows 7 Beta.

Your feedback and our continued progress will determine when the final version of Windows 7 becomes available.

I decided to use my new Mac and run it in Sun's VirtualBox xVM 2.1, a great, free Virtual Machine program. I've had trouble installing it, however, when using the .iso I downloaded from Microsoft as a mounted DVD drive. It says that I'm missing install.wim shortly into the installation. So I re-downloaded it hoping that the image that I had was corrupt. It wasn't corrupted because OS X would mount it without a problem, and I could even find the file in question and view its properties. I tried burning the image to DVD to see if that would work. No dice!

So of course I Google for answers, and all it seems to turn up is people with the same question but no good answers. One promising track involved a gentelmen reporting that extracting the .iso to a folder under Vista then upgrading the Vista to 7 would work, but I never bought Vista. More far flung suggestions about the failing install (and these folks weren't even adding the extra complexity of virtualization) included too fast of burn speeds and changing the burn format to UDF. I'd say that MS has wasted lots of peoples time with a bad image. I'll have to wait for the next beta, I guess.

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