Everyday I learn something new. So you know we all got copies of Vista Beta 1 at PDC. I could’ve got it before since I work for the company and what not, but I wanted to experience what customers would experience if they were to install the OS in to a VPC. I felt like being masochistic (and no, not in that way).

Follow the instructions below to install Vista Beta1 in a VPC. Before you go on installing however, make sure you meet the following prerequisites :

Ok, you’ve now prequalified, and are ready to go to the next step. Do so, at your own peril. (I’m just making it sound worse than it really is. After a few more clicks and about 75 minutes of watching the installation progress bar go from 0 to 100%, you should be ready to go.)

  1. Mount the ISO
    1. Launch Microsoft Virtual CD Control Panel.
    2. Click on ‘Driver Control’.
    3. Click on ‘Install Driver’.
    4. Browse to the location where the ‘.sys’ file that got downloaded with the Virtual CD Control Panel tool is and select it.
    5. Hit ‘Start’, then hit ‘ok’,
    6. Hit ‘Add Drive’, hit ‘ok’.
    7. Hit ‘Mount’, and then browse to the location where your Vista ISO file is located (if the ISO image is still on the DVD, then browse to that location and select it – vista_usa_5219.050830–2010_x86fre_win-dvd.iso for example) and hit ‘open’.
    8. Hit ‘OK’.
  2. Create a new virtual PC image
    1. Launch Microsoft Virtual PC.
    2. From the system tray, right-click on the VPC icon, click on “New Virtual Machine Wizard”.
    3. Hit ‘Next’ twice.
    4. Decide where you want to put the image.
    5. Hit ‘Next’ and leave the ‘Other’ operating system selected.
    6. Select ‘A new virtual hard disk’.
    7. Give the VHD a name and a location.
  3. Run the VPC image and partition and format your VHD
    1. Alright, next, go to VPC and run the new image that you’ve created. The boot process wont go anywhere, but thats ok for now.
    2. Once the prompt shows up on your screen, in the VPC window click on ‘CD’, and ‘Use Physical Drive Z:‘ (replace Z with whatever drive letter you’d chosen when you’d added the drive in the step 6 in the prerequisites above)
    3. Cool – the thing will now start to attempt to install Vista Beta 1. However, there is one more thing that needs to be done. Go ahead and start installing. Once the GUI background shows up in the install window, hit ‘Shift + F10’ to bring up a command prompt.
    4. In the command prompt, type
      • select disk 0
      • create partition primary
      • select volume 1
      • format fs=ntfs label=”windows vista”
      • exit
    5. In the VPC window, click on ‘Action’, and then ‘Reset’, and reset your VPC
  4. Install away
    1. Once the VPC reset and loads up, follow the instructions that show up on the screen to install Beta 1.

That’s it. I have to credit Virtual PC Guy for his post on this. Johnny Hughes’ post also helped.

Enjoy Vista, and tell me what you think…