Moving virtual machines between Virtual PC and Virtual Server

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When you move a virtual machine from Virtual PC to Virtual Server (or from Virtual Server to Virtual PC) you will get a warning message stating that the virtual machine was made by a different program and 'may not work'.  A number of people have had questions about this - so I will attempt to answer them here.

  1. What are the potential problems moving a Virtual PC virtual machine to Virtual Server?

    Virtual Server does not emulate a sound card.  That is about it.

  2. What are the potential problems when moving a Virtual Server virtual machine to Virtual PC?

    There are two problems here.  First - Virtual PC does not emulate a SCSI controller; so any SCSI virtual hard disks will not appear when the virtual machine is booted.  Second - Virtual PC has a more limited set of IDE configurations that it can support than Virtual Server (only one CD, etc...).  If a Virtual Server virtual machine has an IDE configuration that is not supported under Virtual PC - we will attempt to move the hard disks and CD's around in order to make things work - however there may be cases where IDE devices will not appear (for example - if you configured two CDROMs - only one will appear under Virtual PC).

  3. I have a virtual machine that I configured without a sound card, without SCSI, with only one CD-ROM and a safe IDE configuration.  Why do I keep on getting this error message?

    The short answer is - you know it is safe but we do not.  The error message you are seeing is a general 'version checking' logic.  Because we have no idea as to what sort of emulated hardware we may have in the future - what we do is we store information about who created the virtual machine in the virtual machine configuration.  When we open a virtual machine - if we find that it was created by a different program we warn and then continue.  There is no further logic to attempt to figure out if things are okay or not.



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  • I currently run virtual pc 2004 under xp sp2. I would also like to run virtual server 2005 r2 along side virtual pc. is this possible? Thanks
  • Ok, mind telling us how to turn it off; seeing as how it's admitted that VPC doesn't have the smarts to figure it out on its own?
  • Sorry, didn't mean to sound curt there.  Hope there's a workaround
  • My workaround for the problem is to have two .VMC files, one created under virtual PC and the other created under Virtual Server.
    I hack the MAC addresses in the XML file to be the same, and then I just migrate the .VHD files, not the entire machine.
    It seems to work fine, if you take the caveats about the IDE configurations to heart :-)
  • RTC -

    Under Virtual Server we just file an event log entry - and do not disrupt you in anyway.  With Virtual PC you can just check the 'do not show me this again' check box on the alert message.

  • If I create a single-drive Win2003 VHD image as a SCSI drive, how do I easily change it to IDE?  I'd like the image to run fast on Virtual Server 2005 R2, but also be portable to Virtual PC when necessary.

    (This post also occurs on "IDE vs SCSI under Virtual Server" thread...I don't know which thread it is more appropriate on...if duplicate post offends, please delete one or the other)
  • Hi Victor,

    It depends on the guest operating system - some of them should just work if you move from SCSI to IDE.  Others you would need to change the drivers.

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Moving virtual machines between Virtual PC and Virtual Server