Running Virtual Server / Virtual PC on Windows Vista Beta 1

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I have been running Windows Vista for a while now (one of the benefits of being a Microsoft employee) and now that the rest of the world can access it I thought I should pass on some information about running Virtual Server / Virtual PC on top of Windows Vista Beta 1.

There are a number of issues that you should be aware of:
  1. Virtual Networking does not work on top of Windows Vista Beta 1.  Yup, this is really annoying - but it does not work.  Thankfully for Virtual PC users shared networking continues to work just fine.
  2. Upgrading to Windows Vista Beta 1 on a machine with Virtual PC or Virtual Server installed will generate an error: AddDriverPackageIntoDriverStore:Failed to install the driver package.  So you should uninstall VPC or VS before attempting to upgrade your host.
Some Virtual Server specific issues are:
  1. A number of host crashes have been reported running Virtual Server on the x64 version of Windows Vista Beta 1.
  2. IIS is installed, but disabled by default on Windows Vista Beta 1. You will need to start the World Wide Web Publishing Service from services.msc
  3. Connecting via VMRC to a running VM will lock the mouse to the window. The host key will not work to break out of the VMRC session. To break out of the VMRC window, use CTRL-ALT-DEL and then click Cancel.
Some Virtual PC specific issues are:
  1. Starting a virtual machine causes Glass (uDWM) to crash (for those who do not know – the uDWM is what implements the ‘cool 3D effects’). This is actually kind of interesting to see as the entire desktop seamlessly switches back to 2D mode - and when you exit Virtual PC it goes back to 3D mode.
  2. When LUA is enabled, you must manually launch Virtual PC with elevated privileges, otherwise Virtual PC cannot write to / or launch any virtual machines.
Eh…  I know that that sounds kind of grizzly - but as I said I have been running Windows Vista for a while now and have been happily using Virtual PC on top of it.  And don't worry - we will have this all sorted by the time we ship ;-)


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  • Please add 8 and 8 and type the answer here:
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  • I tried Installing Vista as a guest OS on Friday and ran into some issues, first if I mouted the DVD ISO to the Virtual CD drive the install process wouldn't kick off.

    I burned the ISO to a DVD, mouted the physcial drive to the virtual drive and was able to kick off the install, but after many hours the install failed.

    I'm running VS 2005 gold and of course I understand this isn't going to be "supported" but it seems like running Vista as a guest OS is a natural way for people to start getting their hands on it.

    I don't have a test machine capable of running Vista available so this is likely the only way I'm going to get to use it for the time being.
  • You did not comment anything about running Windows Vista on Virtual PC.

    As mentioned above the DVD image can not be mount in VPC, with the error "the number of bytes of the image is not even, this is not a true iso image".

    Virtual Server 2005 SP1 has no problem to mount the image. Beta 1 has the same problem as previous betas, won't install on unformated virual disk.

    The addional package of drivers coming with Beta 1 won't install; as well as the soundblaster 16 can not be installed, even if the same drivers with Windows 2003 is offered.

    After installing virual machine additions coming with Virtual Server 2005 B1, the Virtual machine is working, you can fool around with the enviroment, but the virtual machine suffers perfomance.

    Virtual PC with Beta 1, installed and run under Virtual Server 2005 B1, run with no problems under Virtual PC 2004 SP1.
  • Robert and George,

    There are quite a few threads regarding Vista on VPC/VS in the public newsgroups for those products. The most active ones are in the microsoft.public.virtualpc newsgroup. There is also a FAQ for installing in VPC at Robert Moir's site. See VPC links at the left for his site.
  • Hmm.. Trillian also causes DWM to switch off so I hear, and the solution given was to use this utility: to force it back on once Trillian was launched. Might also apply to VPC if you really like the glass. :p
  • I'm one of the poor souls whose Vista x64 host reboots when trying to start a guest OS. Is there anything I can provide to help the x64 Host cause of VS2005SP1?
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Running Virtual Server / Virtual PC on Windows Vista Beta 1