Windows Vista December CTP under Virtual PC

  • Comments 20

Gah... I have just realized that as I was away on holidays during December I missed the December Customer Technology Preview release of Windows Vista.  Thankfully this build is quite easy to install inside of Virtual PC.  Before we get started - you will need two things:

  • The December CTP install media (build 5270)
  • Virtual Machine Additions from Virtual Server 2005 R2

For the latter - if you are using Virtual PC you can download the Virtual Server 2005 R2 trial (from and use the Virtual Machine Additions from there.  This version is supported on both Virtual Server and Virtual PC - and has a number of Vista optimizations.

Once you have this - you should follow these steps:

  1. Create a new virtual machine with a 16GB (or larger) virtual hard disk and at least 512mb RAM
  2. Boot off of the install media (note: most ISOs for the December CTP are under 2.2GB in size - which means that you can boot off the ISO directly under Virtual PC)
  3. On the first page select 'Install now'
  4. On the next page, hit 'Shift-F10' - this will bring up a command prompt window
  5. Type in:
       - DISKPART
       - SELECT DISK 0
       - EXIT
       - EXIT
  6. Now you will need to reset the virtual machine (hit host-key + 'R') and boot off of the install media again
  7. You should now be able to go through with the default installation of Windows Vista
  8. When you are finished you should be able to log in and install the Virtual Machine Additions

It runs quite well under Virtual PC:

Windows Vista December CTP under Virtual PC   Windows Vista December CTP under Virtual PC   Windows Vista December CTP under Virtual PC


Leave a Comment
  • Please add 5 and 7 and type the answer here:
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  • Hello:

    I was wondering how I would get Virtual PC to emulate another card other than the crappy one it does now?

  • Are you aware that the MSDN download page for Vista states:

    "This build is not compatible with Virtual PC or Virtual Server. "

    You might want to have them update this...
  • Russ -

    I am not entirely sure what you are talking about there (you have not given very much detail)

    Jimmi -

    Thanks for the heads up - I will look into that

  • Ben,

    I gave this a go today and while everything went ok I can't login because it says my CTP key has expired :-/

    Bit of a shame as everything seemed to be running fine once the additions were installed.
  • Morgan -


  • Thanks for the heads-up on installing the R2 additions!

    I installed Vista on VPC and it was running really slowly so I gave up on it but since we also use R2 on our servers, I'll give it another go.
  • Any chance that the Feb CTP of Vista will support Virtual PC networking so that we can use Vista as our main machine and use virtual machines for the apps that need XP?
  • Joseph -

    I beleive that it will.

  • No go. I did the diskpart and reset, and it keeps looping at the "starting installation page. It says "collecting information" then dies right back to "Install Windows"
  • dsfasdfasdfasdfsdfasd
  • I installed it precisely as you stated, and it works perfectly! Especially after installing the additions from Virtual Server R2. Bofore I installed the additions Vista was very slow. Thanks!
  • I installed Vista Dec. CTP on a virtual machine, but it always freezes after a few minutes. Safe mode works, but there I cannot install the VM Additions because Windows Installer does not work in Safe mode. I have already disabled all autostarting programs, but no change.
  • Huh?

    Have you guys actually tried to use Vista under Virtual PC?

    Sure, I can install it using your instructions, but the CPU is pegged at 100%, making it rather painful to use.
  • Hi Emmet,

    Did you install the Virtual Server R2 Additions?  These help with performance significantly.

  • Any ideas on CTP 5308? (February)

    I follwed the instructions as above. Pressed 'Install now', the next screen that appears asks me for the product key but before I get a chanceI get 'the instuction at 0x1fee7acd referenced memory at.....' OK/Cancel. Either button just takes you back to the Install now screen and you can repeat forever.

    When you say install the VS2005 VM additions - you have to do that AFTER the OS is loaded right? I don't see any way to install them before.
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Windows Vista December CTP under Virtual PC