Friday, January 23, 2009

Win7 From the Trenches: Getting ITunes 8 to run on Windows 7 Beta 1

As I stated in my previous post on my first take on working with Windows 7 I am a IPod user and can not do without my IPod Touch thus I have an urgent need to have ITunes 8 working on my machine. First and for most let me state that if you are using ITunes 8 heavily you should probably consider not converting your primary box to running Windows 7 since the solution I am going to present is not for the faint of heart...

Actually it not a fix to get ITunes running on Win7 rather it is a workaround that involves a virtual machine running on your Win7 box so you'll have to do the following:

1, Install VirtualBox and create a virtual machine select Windows XP as the target OS and create a virtual hard drive that can fit both the OS as well as the size of your ITunes library.

You might be wondering why you have to use VirtualBox? Instead of VirtualPC, well the answer is simple. VirtualPC have no support for USB devices in the guest OS (VMWare does but that ain't free and VirtualBox is).

2, Boot your virtual machine and install Windows XP as your would do using any virtualization tool. Once your done patching install ITunes 8.

3, Time for some configuration of the virtual machine. Make sure you map the network correctly so that you can subscribe to podcasts and purchase new applications and songs. Set up a shared directory on the host machine where you can copy your ITunes library (or do it via usb or the network if you prefer). Finally plugin your IPod so it gets detected by the host and create a usb filter on your virtual machine for your IPod.

4, Boot up the virtual machine containing your ITunes installation and copy over your existing library to your virtual machine from whatever source you choosed in the previous step. Finally you'll need to authorize the virtual machine to get the syncronization to work (otherwise it will delete all your purchased stuff from your IPod) you can always deauthorize it later once ITunes starts working on Win7.

5, Make sure your virtual machine has focus (I usally put it in full screen mode when syncing) and plugin your IPod (most of the times it just works but from time to time it will not work then unplug it and try another usb port and it should work).

So there you have it, quite abit of work to get it to work. I didn't do any screendumps with detailed instructions since I don't know if there is an huge audience for this post but if that is the case leave a comment to let me know and I'll put together a details instruction. Also I will keep trying any new versions of ITunes on Win7 and let you know if I find a version that seems stable enough to use.

Update 2009-02-04: Please read my follow up post about performance as well which you can find here.


  1. I appreciate your post as I'm testing and like you would very much like to have itunes running and your post is the only one I've found thus far

  2. Glad to hear someone got something out of if, be sure to read my follow up as well I had some problems with performance you can find the post here: