Tuesday, August 29, 2006 11:19 PM bart

Running Windows Vista build 5536 on Virtual Server - How to


For quite a while now, I'm running on Windows Vista build 5472 as my daily operating system. Without big troubles, so I'm a happy man. However, I couldn't resist to download build 5536 a couple of days ago to give it a try. I'll install it on my main machine on a separate harddisk later on (especially to take benefit from my graphics hardware) but for now I decided to run it in a virtualized environment. Here's how.

The situation

  • Windows Vista build 5472 as primary OS on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 9400), running various betas such as the 2007 Microsoft Office System.
  • Goal: running Windows Vista build 5536 on top of that in Virtual Server 2005.

The procedure

  1. Go to http://connect.microsoft.com and download the latest build of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.
  2. Make sure you have installed IIS7 (see Windows Components) on the machine and install Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.
  3. After the installation, opening the Virtual Server 2005 Administration Website will fail:

    To solve this, go to the start menu, find a shortcut to Internet Explorer under All Programs, right-click and choose "Run as administrator". The website should appear fine then.
  4. Create a new virtual machine but allocate enough memory (in my case I've allocated 1GB of RAM).
  5. Put the burned ISO (vista_5536.16385.060821-1900_vista_rc1_x86fre_client-LR1CFRE_EN_DVD.iso) in the DVD drive of the system. Note: I've burned the ISO to a DVD-RW disc because I want to run the setup on other machines too. I didn't try to mount the ISO file (VS2005 has or had a limitation of a maximum of 2.2GB ISO files). You might be successful to mount the ISO under the guest OS using some mount tool and use that "virtual drive" in Virtual Server to start setup from.
  6. Boot the virtual machine and run the installation. This will take quite some time to complete. Be patient.
  7. When the installation has completed, Vista will run very slow inside the virtual machine. This is not due to the beta but due to the lack of Virtual Machine Additions. The solution: go back to http://connect.microsoft.com, again to the Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 beta program and download the Virtual Machine Additions for Vista Beta 2. The site mentions compatibility up to build 5472 but it seems to work very well on build 5536 too:

Have fun!

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Friday, September 01, 2006 9:43 PM by B# .NET Blog

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