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Muhammed Cetin
Muhammed Cetin

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How to Install Windows 11 on VMware?

Introduction

We'll learn how to install Windows 11 on a VMware virtual machine from scratch in this guide.

If you don't already have VMware Workstation Pro or Player installed on your PC, follow this ultimate guide to install it first. After installing it, you can continue from here.

Before start, I promise you'll have a running Windows 11 on a virtual machine without facing any errors if you follow all the steps carefully. Everything is clear, you don't need to know anything other than what I've explained here. ✌

However, if you run into a problem, feel free to ask for help using the discussion form at the end of this tutorial. 😊


Pre-requisites

  • VMware Workstation Pro or Player (Click here for installation guide)
  • Windows 11 ISO file (Search for "21996.1.210529-1541.co_release_CLIENT_CONSUMER_x64FRE_en-us.iso" without quotes on Google to download it)

System Requirements

  • 4 GB RAM minimum
  • 1 GHz or faster 64-Bit dual-core CPU
  • 64 GB or higher free disk space

Getting Started

The current installation file of Windows 11 is a leaked one. That's why you shouldn't install it on your main PC to avoid data loss. For this reason, I've shown you how to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine instead of a real one in this tutorial.


Creating a Virtual Machine with Windows 11 ISO

  1. Open VMware Workstation Player

  2. We need a virtual machine to be able to install Windows 11. To do this, click on the Create a New Virtual Machine text or hit the ALT + N combination on your keyboard.
    Create a New Virtual Machine

  3. Choose the second option saying that "Installer disc image file (iso):" and click the Browse button under this option to choose Windows 11 ISO file. VMware will not be able to detect Windows 11 in the disc image (ISO file) since Windows 11 hasn't been published yet. There is no problem here. Click Next to continue.
    Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard

  4. Choose Windows as the Guest operating system, and select Windows 10 x64 as the version. Click Next.
    Select a Guest Operating System

  5. You can specify a name what you want. I'll name it "Windows 11" as a creative man:)
    Name the Virtual Machine

  6. You can specify the Maximum disk size field depending on your using plans. Since I'm installing it for experimental purposes, I'll specify it as 60.0 GB. Click on Next.
    Specify Disk Capacity

  7. If you have a well-configured PC, I strongly recommend Customize Hardware. You don't have to change anything else if your PC has poor hardware configuration. Then click Finish.
    Ready to Create a Virtual Machine

  8. If you'll customize hardware, this step for you: Drag the bar to increase the memory, or enter a specific value in the text box.
    Customize Memory

  9. If you'll customize hardware, this step for you: Depending on how many cores your CPU has, increase the number of processor cores. I'll specify it as 4. That's enough. Click Close, then Finish.
    Customize number of processor cores

  10. We now have a virtual machine with a Windows 11 installation ISO file. To start the machine, right-click on its name and click Power on, or after selecting the machine's name, click the green-colored Play button on the top of the window.
    Power on the Virtual Machine to Install Windows 11

  11. If you would face a notice window, check the "Do not show this hint again" option then click OK.

  12. You might face a recommendation for VMware tools like the one below, even though they are so helpful, we don't need them now. So, click on Remind Me Later.
    Recommendation Screen to Download VMware Tools

  13. If you see a blue-colored boot screen like the one below or the "Time out." message on a black screen, it means you missed the "Press a key..." screen. By restarting the virtual machine, you can return to the previous screen. To be able to do that, you can follow two different ways.
    Alt Text

    1. Click on the blue screen and hit the Down key on your keyboard for 6 times and select "Reset the system" option, then press Enter.

    2. Click on the arrow icon on the left side of the Pause icon, then click on Restart Guest option. Restart Guest on VMware

  14. When you see the notice below, click on the black screen to make it accessible, and press any key on your keyboard immidiately.Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.....

  15. You'll see the screen below. It means that the installation process has been started.The Installation Process Has been Started


Installing Windows 11

  1. In the first step, choose Windows 11's language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method, as shown below.
    Language Selection

  2. Click Install Now.
    Install Now

  3. Because the ISO file we use is the leaked one, we don't have an available product key. So, click on the _I don't have a product key link.
    Activate Windows 11

  4. Select the operating system you want to install from the list. I'll install Windows 11 Pro.
    Select the Operating System You Want to Install

  5. Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms by checking the checkbox.
    Applicable Notices and License Terms

  6. We won't upgrade our current OS; we'll do a clean installation. Thus, click on the second option, Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
    Which type of installation do you want?

  7. To start the installation, we need a formatted partition. That's why when Drive 0 is selected, click on New.
    Where do you want to install Windows 11?

  8. If you want to have *C:* and *D:* drives on your virtual Windows 11 instance, you can reduce the size of the first drive (C:), but I think you won't need another drive on a virtual machine. So, click Apply without change the size.
    Specify the Disk Size

  9. You'll see a confirmation window. Then click OK.
    To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files.

  10. To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows 11 will create multiple partitions. You should not change or delete the first and second partitions, since they are reserved by the system. Select the third partition marked as Primary then click Next.
    Select the Partition You Want to Install Windows 11

  11. Installation will begin immediately. It might take more than 5 minutes; please wait.
    Installing Windows 11

  12. Select your country or region then click Yes.
    Is this the right country or region?

  13. Select your keyboard layout or input method, and click Yes.
    Is this the right keyboard layout or input method?

  14. I'll skip this step. You can add a second keyboard layout if you wish.
    Want to add a second keyboard layout?

  15. I'll use the VM for personal use, so I've selected that option. You can choose the second option if you're going to use your VM for work or school purposes.
    How would you like to set up this device?

  16. Here, you can sign in using your Microsoft account, but it might be unsafe since the leaked ISO file might contain harmful content. For now, I don't recommend using an online account. You can, of course, use it if you wish. I'll continue with an offline account by clicking on Sign-in options.
    Sign-in

  17. This step for offline account users: Click on Offline account.
    Sign-in Options

  18. This step for offline account users: Click on Limited experience link.
    Microsoft Account Promotion

  19. This step for offline account users: Type your username.
    Who's going to use this device?

  20. This step for offline account users: Enter your password, then confirm it by typing the same password again.
    Create a super memorable password

  21. This step for offline account users: Sometimes, we forget our passwords. For similar cases, we need a clue to reset the our user password. We use security questions to reset our passwords when we forget them. In this step, we'll specify three different questions and answers. I will only show you one of them since they are all the same. By clicking Next, you need to specify the two of them.
    Now add security questions

  22. Choose privacy settings for your device. If you wish, you can disable all of them, but I won't change anything because this machine will be used for experimental purposes. Then click Accept.
    Choose privacy settings for your device

  23. Your Windows 11 is being prepared.
    Now, let's see what's new from Windows

  24. The installation is about to be completed. It might take a few minutes. Please, wait.
    This might take a few minutes. Don't turn off your PC

  25. Finally, Windows 11 has been installed successfuly 😊
    Windows 11 Start Screen and the New Start Menu


Conclusion

Now, you have a Windows 11 Developer Edition virtually. However, don't forget that this version hasn't been completed yet. Windows 11 is shown here in its early stages, so I think the Beta version and the Final version will have many new offers.

I will update this content as soon as Windows 11 becomes available officially. That's why I strongly suggest bookmarking this page on your browser and visiting periodically.

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