So, it appears that the RC0 bits for Windows Server 2008 have been posted to the intarwebs.  As I said in a previous post, the CTP release of the "Viridian" virtualization technology is included in this release of Windows Server.

Ben Armstrong has some good reminders for anyone who wants to try this out, so I would very much recommend that you go check his post before you proceed with the installation.

Things to keep in mind:

  • This is a preview release - the performance of this build is not anywhere close to what it will be at the RTM release of Windows Server virtualization.  
  • Installing the CTP of "Viridian" will prevent you from upgrading to a newer build of Windows.  If you install "Viridian" CTP, there is no upgrade path - you must either clean install your server, or uninstall the "Viridian" CTP before you upgrade to a newer Windows build.
  • "Viridian" requires you have a processor that has Hardware-assisted Virtualization (Intel VT or AMD Pacifica) present and enabled in the BIOS. On AMD machines we require that the processor stepping be >=F3 (or that F2 processors have BIOS support).  To determine what revision your processor is, check out the utility from www.cpuid.com.
  • You also need to have NX (also known as XD for eXecute Disable) turned on in the BIOS. 
  • "Viridian" is only available on x64 versions of Windows Server 2008. 

So, now that we've got all that out of the way, here's how you install it.

  1. Install Windows Server 2008 RC0 Full (I have no idea what we're calling the non-Server Core version, so I refer to it as "Full").
  2. In Explorer, navigate to %SystemRoot%\WSV.  You should find two MSU files.
  3. Double-click on Windows6.0-KB939854-X64.MSU.  This will install the Windows Server virtualization Management Tools in the Administrative Tools program group.
  4. Double-click on Windows6.0-KB939853-X64.MSU.  This will stage Windows Server virtualization for installation on your server, and allow it to show up in the Role Management Tool.
  5. Reboot the server.
  6. If it's not already open, click the Server Manager icon from the Quick Launch bar. 
  7. The Roles Summary section should tell you how many Roles you have installed and how many Roles are available for installation. 
    If you have 17 Roles available, press the F5 key to refresh the list.  If you have 18, click Add Roles.
  8. From the list of available Roles, put a checkmark in the box that corresponds to Windows Server virtualization, and click Next.
  9. From here, the Role wizard should guide you through the rest of the process, and reboot your server when necessary.