Install Mac OS X10.7 Lion on VMware with Windows 10/7 Intel PC

Here is a complete and working step by step guide to install Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on VMware with your Windows computer. After several days of research, attempts, and collecting information from different places, I managed to install the Lion OS 10.7 on my Intel computer by using the vanilla kernel.

This method should work on VMware Player also, but I prefer workstation because of the snapshot feature. I don’t think you would face any issues on other types of Intel processors, but make sure that Hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) is enabled. I’m not sure about AMD processors.

macosxliononvmware_thumb
This method is completely for testing and learning purpose only.

Requirments

  1. Latest VMware workstation
  2. Lion OS X bootable VMDK file created from original installation medium (DVD or ISO file) – Check this guide and make this bootable image as described.
  3. Additional Files – It is a zipped file with two sets of required files.
    One file to patch the VMware software to support Mac OS X guest virtual machines ( Original Source), and the second one with pre-configured Virtual machine files (Original source) and darwin.iso file to install VMware Tools on the guest VM to get more screen resolutions, improved performance and shared folders feature.
  4. Check the hardware VT of your computer BIOS as shown here.
  5. Just little bit time to read the complete guide 🙂

Steps to Install Mac 10.7 Lion on VMware–Windows 7 Intel PC

1) Download the bootable files.

Download the required files to unlock the VMware workstation.

Before running the patch, I highly recommend taking a full backup of VMware Workstation/VMplayer programs files (Normally located under C:\Program Files\VMware).

When we execute this, it will modify some VMware binary files and unlock VMware application to support macOS guest versions on Windows host.

Close the VMware program completely, then open the command prompt as administrator and execute the windows.bat file (or, even you can right-click on the windows.bat file and run as administrator)

Patch Vmware for Mac OS X

2) Extract the Lion_107.zip file which you download in additional files set. Make sure that the extracted file location is having enough of disk space to grow.

Open Mac OS X Server 10.6 64-bit.vmx file in VMware workstation or VMPlayer.

Go to the settings of the virtual machine and add a hard disk, select the existing option and browse the Lion OS installer image VMDK file we created in the previous guide.

Installer hard disk

You can modify the memory size and number of processors based on physical computer hardware resources.

Remove the CD/DVD drive file attached with this pre-configured file.

3) That’s it. Start the virtual machine now. It should boot now. It will boot from 5GB vmdk file we created as bootable installer image.

Select the Language on the first screen and start the installation.

4) Select ‘Macintosh’ disk in the next screen. If you can’t see the disk, then go to ‘Utilities’ and click on ‘Disk Utility’. Create a partition as shown below.

create partition

5) I’m sure the installation will end smoothly. Complete the initial configurations and setup at the next boot. You can remove the 5GB installer VMDK file from the virtual machine to avoid any overwriting on this virtual hard disk.

6) Here is the working Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on VMware workstation as a virtual machine on Windows OS Intel-based computer. It’s really nice to use and play around with Apple OS on a normal PC.

Working mac OS X 10.7 Lion on VMware

Take a Snapshot before doing anything now!

Some Post Installation Checkups and Configurations

1) Network

Network inside Lion OS X virtual machine worked out of the box. I tested the NAT and Bridged network types both worked nicely with my physical internet connection.

2) USB storage Access

USB storage access including Flash disk and external hard disk worked fine in VM.

3) Increase Screen Resolution

You will get only one screen resolution size inside Lion OS virtual machine. Install VMware tools to increase the screen size and get more resolution options. VMware shared folders feature will work after the VMware tools installation.

To Install VMware tools, mount the darwin.iso to DVD/CD drive and run the installation then restart the VM.

Install vmware tools lion

Here are the available screen resolutions after VMware tools installation.

more screen resolutions

4) VMware Shared Folders in Lion OS X guest and Windows 10/7 Host

Go to Settings of the virtual machine and select ‘Shared Folders’ under ‘Options’.

Select ‘Always Enabled’ and add the Folder or Partition from Windows host Operating System. That’s it, now try to open the ‘VMware Shared Folders’ shortcut from the desktop of the guest machine.

You should be able to access the host’s shared folder or partition from Lion OS X virtual machine now.

shared folders

5) Sound

The sound did not work as expected. I hope it will not create any issues in this test environment, who is going to watch move from the VM? It would work properly if you virtualize the macOS on Apple hardware with VMware Fusion or VirtualBox.

6) Update to latest versions

Since we have used the vanilla kernel without customizing any Mac binaries, this version can be upgraded to the latest versions from the Apple app store. If your physical hardware can handle it, you upgrade to the latest version by following the correct upgrade path.

This demonstration was done in the year 2011 on my Intel Core2duo computer. I do not find any valid reasons why you should try this pretty old macOS on the latest hardware when the Big Sur (macOS 11.0) available on the market.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

464 thoughts on “Install Mac OS X10.7 Lion on VMware with Windows 10/7 Intel PC”

  1. Amazing, it all works as advertised – even full screen without a hitch on VMWare Workstation 7.1.4. Even windows networking works out of the box (I set network to bridging). Very nice to experiment with OS X without having to get another box. Keep the good work going !

    Didn’t try sound yet, but that is of minor importance.

  2. Hi everyone! I have an issue, my internet will not work. I am also running 10.6.8, and the internet works flawlessly, but not for my 10.7 Lion.

    Is there anything I can do to get ti going? I love my new Lion Virtual machine, but it is pointless to have if I cannot access the internet. Any help would be awesome. Do I have to manually configure the NAT? Or use Bridge? I tried that and still nothing, maybe I am missing something. I appreciate any help.

    • @Voltron…internet did not work for me either as the VM was set to NAT…I changed it to Bridge and it was fine…so try that?

    • @Voltron…internet did not work for me either as the VM was set to NAT…I changed it to Bridge and it was fine…

  3. @Nick,

    Thanks for responding. Which bridge option are you using? I have tried Bridge: Connected directly to the physical network(also selected Replicate physical network connection state), Custom: Specific virtual network VMnet0 (Auto-bridging), and neither of those work. Do i have to manually set something up within the OS X Lion network as well? I also uninstalled VMware and reinstalled then started with a fresh copy of OS X Lion and still nothing. I just do not get what is not working.

    • @Voltron,

      I am using Bridged but with no tick in the Replicate box…I do not have DHCP setup so I had to manually assign an IP address in the System Prefs of OSX to get a valid IP address and then it was ok.

      Do you have DHCP? Id your OSX IP Address on the same subnet as your host PC?

      • @Nick,

        Yep, that did the trick, thank you for fixing my issue!!!! I now have internet access. I am loving my 10.7 Lion. Running smoooooooth.

  4. Odd crashes

    Things that run on my MBA but have problems on the VM:

    iPhoto has a black screen instead of showing full images. (Thumbnails work fine)

    VIdeo apps other than Quick Look don’t show video.

    uTorrent crashes upon launch.

    Adobe Flash Plugin crashes a lot.

    Not complaining, just putting this out there.

    -t

    • After spending some time today I too get the same issues as you Travis which all suggests mainly Video Card Driver issues…

      • I’m hoping that a better driver will become available, as ‘stuttery’ video performance, along with these other issues, seems to be the only real issue for me at this point.

        My host adapter is an Nvidia GTX280 with whatever the latest WHQL drivers are, but I think it’s more of a Vmware virtual display adapter driver / Vmware Tools issue.

        -t

  5. I have succesfully installed Lion on Win7 x64 VMWare machine following your instructions. Well Done!
    Sound and screen resolution in 1680×1050 working perfectly with VMWare tools and Ensoniq Driver 1,0,3 for Lion.
    Mouse is inverted! what a madness! but fixed too.

    One question to all sysprobers… I installed Mac OS X 10.6 too and had the same issue… the image preview is not working! somebody knows why? The app opens correctly but not the photos…

    thks in advance
    great job!

  6. Hi sysprobs, I have OS X Lion running nicely on my windows 7 vmware, however video will not work. I have perfect sound, no video. That goes for vlc player and default player. Any suggestions?

  7. Hi sysprobs, sorry to bug again, does this setup not work on AMD processors? If this is the case, any reasons why? I have 10.6.6 and 10.6.8 and they both run great on AMD (although, they show up as Intel in info, my 10.6.2 shows AMD). I have researched online but it is confusing, some have it running on AMD processors, and others say it cannot run on AMD. Any clarification would be great.

  8. Anyone have a problem being stuck on the initial boot screen? I’m stuck on the gray screen with the apple logo and no cursor. Installation went just fine, but on reboot, it does nothing….

  9. hello ,
    am facing some trouble with the video and graphics , they are really slow , and flash doesnt even work sometimes …my laptop is ( DV6-2190US ) i think its quite fast i mean when i run its not that slow ..

  10. Hi I have no sound with vmware on lion
    Can you help me.

    my sound is ALC269
    I test installation voodooHDA but he don’t work.

    Thx.

  11. Great tutorial, and I have it up and running perfectly. I have some video problems as well, but I am just glad it is up and running and it is blazing fast. I did a setup of 10.6 awhile back, and still use it, but when I found out about Lion, I had to try it. I have put a couple of links on my site for others to get get theirs going with your tutorials.

    Thanks again!

  12. I created the vdmk disk fine, but when i try to boot just get stuck showing ban symbol in place of apple, can anybody point what i might have done wrong

    Seems to work for most of people here, so i believe i have done something wrong with the vdmk file

    Thanks

  13. Why can’t I transfer files from a USB drive or when I connect to an outside via ‘Connect To Server’? I cannot find anything in reference to this. What is the point if I cannot add files from my OS X to my flash drive or outside drives?

  14. hi while installing os after 8 minutes the screen is saying that istallation has failed.
    I have corei3 processor with 4gb of ram.
    plaese help

  15. Youtube videos work fine in Opera once your get the audio glitches fixed – I believe this is because Opera doesn’t utilize hardware acceleration to draw flash content

    • i never had a sound glitch , and the videos are really slow in safari while they dont even open in chrome and the iphoto app doesnt show the photo on full screen it shows only the thumbnails but when i double click the photo it doesnt work …

      • Well Im not using safari and webkit(safari and chromes rendering engine) has issues with video which im assuming is because of hardware acceleration – thats why i recommending Opera if you want to use video.

        I have allocated 4gigs of ram to the VM and i have another 4 gigs spare,
        Then i have 2 processors with 2 cores per processor in vm – and i have 8 cores.

  16. Same problem than Ricky Brosnan, on the initial screen I get a ban symbol instead of the apple logo, and it gets stucked here.

  17. After I was forced to solve the problems I experienced with the ‘Unlocker’ – my Local Disk is on D:, so I had to assign an NTFS flash disk to C: and install VMware there, afterwards putting the necessary files back on my HDD. – I thought the rest of the installation would be fairly painless, however it seems that nothing can be too easy 😉
    Anyway, upon booting the VM (in VMware Workstation 7.1.3), I am abruptly told that I “need a host where VMware Workstation supports Hardware Virtualization”, as the Mac OS X 10.7 VM will not run with Software Virtualization. Now, don’t think of me as too naive, not only have I enabled AMD-V in my BIOS, but I have also used CPU-Z and ‘Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool’ to check it. Both of which report it as enabled.
    Two things I think could be causing the problem: Firstly, there doesn’t seem to many people reporting it working on AMD processors, however other website do say that it should work. The only other thing it could be, that I just thought of 5 minutes ago; does Windows XP 32-bit support hardware virtualization? I do know this guide is for Windows 7, but I presumed it would be finicky differences within the guide. I’m probably just being ignorant, but if anybody knows whether or not it does, a little help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Michael.

    TL;DR Does XP 32-Bit support Hardware Virtualization ? (I know guide is for Win7)

  18. after i installed mac o x lion theme in windows 7 hte sounds are not working but when check it in the properties is says that “your device is working properly”. my cpu is AMD athlon 1.60 Ghz, 2GB ram, 32 bit. any help there?

  19. for those who are also getting kernel panics. Make sure your CPU Supports Visualization technologies. AND Confirm the feature is enabled in your BIOS on your machine. Snow Leo and Lion REQUIRE it to be enabled.

  20. Hi Dinesh,
    I m getting this message when running windows.bat…

    The VMware Authorization Service was stopped Successfully.
    _____
    Mac OS X guest unlocker for VMware, version7
    Directory C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation:
    File vmware-vmx.exe:
    Unlocking Mac OS X guest on non-Mac host …
    Too few match sites.
    File vmware-vmx-debug.exe:
    Unlocking Mac OS X guest on non-Mac host …
    Too few match sites.
    File vmware-vmx-stats.exe:
    Unlocking Mac OS X guest on non-Mac host …
    Too few match sites.

    File C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmwarebase.dll:
    Unlocking Mac OS X guest on non-Mac OS X host (method 1) …
    Too few match sites.
    _____

    The VMware Authorization Service is starting.
    The VMware Authorization Service was started Successfully.

    Is it the same which I should get……
    If not then whats the Problem?
    and if yes then why m I getting then message at Booting time……

    “You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button until it turns off, then press the Power button again.”

    Please Guide…….

    • sorry i forgot to mention,
      I host Cofig. is

      Processor:- Intel Core2Duo 2.93 GHz (32-bit)
      Ram:- 2 GB
      Intel G41 Chipset
      Host os Windows 7 Enterprise….

      Reply Soon……………….!

    • I’d like to add that I successfully installed Lion as a new virtual machine using VMware, thanks to author!
      Also I have on VMware installed virtual machine with Snow Leopard.
      But I’d like to have Lion with all my data and applications existing now on Leopard.

  21. I’ve gotten this to work for the most part. the sound is working but not video. if i go to youtube and play a video, i can see the video and hear the sound for ads, but when the actual video starts, i can hear the sound but not see anything. anyone else having this problem? anyone know a solution?

  22. Worked on this for a day, keep running into the same problem.
    My CPU is AMD Athlon X4 620 2.6GHz
    I get the message “The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system. You will need to power off or reset the virtual machine at this point.” during power up of the virtual machine.

    I’ve used SecurAble to check if my system supports virtual machine, and it does.
    I’ve also tried putting darwin.iso as the cd/dvd drive and boot from there, still run into the same problem.

    Searched all over the web and I’m running out of solutions.
    So I have to assume this vmdk does not support AMD CPU.

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