Running Windows Vista Beta 1 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

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Running Windows Vista Beta 1 under Virtual PC 2004 SP1 / Virtual Server 2005 SP1 is quite straight forward - but there are a few issues to be aware of:

  1. Windows Vista Beta 1 does not correctly identify the virtual hard disk when it is not partitioned.  To handle this you should start the installation, get to the hard disk partitioning page, partition and format your virtual hard disk, and then reboot the virtual machine.  The second time through Windows Vista Beta 1 will correctly identify the hard disk (now that it is partitioned).
  2. Windows Vista Beta 1 does not have drivers for our emulated video card, SCSI adapter and sound card.  The video and SCSI drivers are installed as part of the Virtual Machine Additions - however there is no way to get our sound card to work.  The reason for this is because we emulate an ISA Sound Blaster 16 compatible card - and Windows Vista no longer has support for the ISA bus - let alone this card.
  3. While the currently shipping Virtual Machine Additions will install on Windows Vista Beta 1, they do no contain performance enhancements for Windows Vista Beta 1, nor have they been tested on Windows Vista Beta 1.  We are currently investigating releasing updated beta Additions for Windows Vista Beta 1 (no promises though :-).
  4. Virtual PC does not support the use of ISO images over 2.2GB in size (Virtual Server 2005 SP1 beta does), so if you are using Virtual PC you will either need to burn a physical DVD to install Windows Vista Beta 1, or use a virtual CD program on your host computer.


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  • A friend told me that it appeared to hang on the screen that said "DO NOT RESTART YOUR COMPUTER AT THIS TIME" for *hours* but finally installed. Be patient!
  • Travis, I've done all this and got the same error. So I start over again:

    - select disk 0
    - create partition
    - format
    - active

    And than I got no error.. I have the 9GB NTFS partition active and working but still doesn't work ..
    Click "Install Now" and after few seconds return the same page "Install Now" click again, again and again and nothing happend :(

    Anyone could help?

    I'm use Virtual Server 2005
  • I cannot find a way to get VPC to show DVD instead of CDROM. When I put in a Bootable DVD
    (made from the released DVD iso image of Vista) I just get an error of 'Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device' Any Ideas?
  • Finally !!!!!

    After upgrading Virtual Server 2005 with SP1 Beta my Windows Vista work just fine.
  • I got VPC to boot directly off of the DVD media on an AMD64 laptop. On an AMD XP desktop, the same media won't boot. [My DVD writer was configured as drive 'I' on the desktop]

    Also, the install failed on the notebook - because I could not allocate more than 256MB of RAM - the installer would simply [after using diskpart and rebooting] launch, hang, then quit.

    ...odd or what?
  • I tried to install windows vista beta under Virtual PC 7.02 which is installed on my Powermac G5. during the windows boot process, I get this following error:

    Windows Boot Manager has experienced a problem.

    Status: 0xc0000225

    Info: Windows failed to load because the firmware (BIOS) is not ACPI compatible.

    File: ¶ (a strange looking character that looks like the letter F, but backwards).

    Does anyone have any idea how I can bypass this. Thanks
  • Mike -

    We have had a number of reports of Vista installs simply failing because not enough memory was assigned to the virtual machine.

    Bhagiratha -

    You will need to enable ACPI in the BIOS of the virtual machine (you can get into this by hitting DEL as soon as the virtual machine boots).

  • I installed Vista on VPC on my laptop. But whenever I come back from sleep mode, the vpc screen is not refreshing by itself. I had to switch between full screen mode to window mode and vice-versa to see any affects such as opening a menu etc. This is very nagging and I had to restart host OS to avoid this.

    Do you know what could be the problem?
  • I got it to work on the desktop - I had 1GB total RAM, and was able to let the Virtual Machine have 512MB.

    The performance, however, is so bad that, at this point, installing it is only useful for seeing that it can be done. [It's like running Windows XP under PearPC if Windows XP was for the PowerPC CPU type.]
  • I foudn this article after reading here about Diskpart... (

    Partition the Disk

    To start your new Virtual Machine, use the Windows PE CD (CD 1 of your Windows Embedded tools). (The Windows XP Embedded evaluation CD is available at this web site.

    It is also available from a Microsoft Embedded Authorized Distributor.
    To partition the disk:

    1. Type the following command from a command prompt: DISKPART
    2. Type the following commands to create the partition:

    This creates a 16 GB partition.
    3. Type the following command to verify the partition:


    4. Type the following commands to verify that the partition is active:


    5. Type EXIT to quit DISKPART.
    6. Type EXIT again to reboot Windows PE.

    Format the Partition

    At the command prompt, type the following command to format the new partition:


    I rebooted & pressed SHIFT-F10 and click "Install Now" which opens a command window. Typed diskpart

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Running Windows Vista Beta 1 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server