Visual Studio 2013 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

September 19, 2014 Update: The VM and corresponding hands-on-lab / demo scripts were updated to Visual Studio 2013 Update 3. This includes several fit and finish releases across the hands-on-lab /demo scripts in addition to several improvements in the underlying virtual machine itself (including an upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2). A detailed changelog is available.
The Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine is available for download along with 25 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which introduce you to many of the ALM capabilities which have been included in this release.

You can download and install Visual Studio 2013 (including Team Foundation Server 2013, .NET Framework 4.5.1, etc.). But if you would like a faster way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.

Some important notes about this virtual machine:

  • This is a Hyper-V virtual machine and works with Windows Server 2008 x64, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8 (with SLAT-capable processors), Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2. The import procedure for this virtual machine is slightly different than for previous versions. Please read the “Working with…” document for detailed instructions.
  • Windows is configured to set the system clock to July 9, 2013 every time you start this virtual machine. This is to support the project management hands-on-lab. If you want to work with this virtual machine beyond the specific hands-on-labs scenarios, you may need to disable the Set Date and Time task (Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler Library -> Set Date and Time -> Right-Click -> Disable).

This virtual machine is configured with:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Evaluation
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 Update 3
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 3
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2013
  • Microsoft Release Management for Visual Studio 2013 Update 3
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard
  • Sample users and data required to support hands-on-lab scripts which accompany this download and exercise 24 ALM scenarios.


    There are 25 hands-on-labs for you to take a scripted approach towards learning this content. These labs double as demo scripts in case you want to show off these features to others.

    New features in Visual Studio 2013:


    Labs upgraded from Visual Studio 2010/2012:


    Finally, if you want to use this virtual machine with Visual Studio Online, this simple document will detail the special steps necessary to put the virtual machine online:

      If you are looking for even more hands-on-labs and demo scripts, be sure to check out our other ALM virtual machines at

      Links to the files above are included in the download set below, so you don’t have to follow the individual links above if you plan on batch downloading all of the files in this set.

      Downloading the virtual machine and labs:
      I suggest using a download manager for these files since they are very large. My download manager of choice is Free Download Manager. You can use your own favorite download manager, but you may need to adapt the instructions below as appropriate.

      1. Download and install Free Download Manager. This utility provides:
      – Auto-resume support for interrupted downloads.
      – Multiple simultaneous download streams for (usually) a much faster download experience.
      – As the name implies, it’s completely free.
      2. Select the URL’s below and copy (CTRL+C) them to your clipboard.
      ###Start – Do Not Include This Line### with the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine.docx Planning and Portfolio Management with Team Foundation Server 2013.docx and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2013.docx and Merging Visualization with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013.docx the Right Software – Generating Storyboards and Collecting Stakeholder Feedback with Visual Studio 2013.docx Discovery using the Architecture Tools in Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.docx to Visual Studio Online Using the Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM.docx with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.docx Issues in Production with IntelliTrace and Visual Studio 2013.docx Continuous Delivery with Release Management for Visual Studio 2013.docx Testing using Microsoft Test Manager 2013.docx Started with Git using Team Foundation Server 2013.docx to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.docx to Platform Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 2013.docx to PreEmptive Analytics.docx to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2013.docx to Test Planning with Microsoft Test Manager 2013.docx to Web Performance and Load Testing with Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.docx Management using Standard Lab Environments in Visual Studio 2013.docx Developers More Productive with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013.docx Collaboration Experiences for Development Teams using Team Foundation Server 2013.docx and Debugging SharePoint Applications with Visual Studio 2013.docx Class Coupling with Visual Studio Ultimate 2013.docx Testing, Code Coverage and Code Clone Analysis with Visual Studio 2013.docx Code Analysis with Visual Studio 2013 to Improve Code Quality.docx the Architecture Explorer in Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 to Analyze Your Code.docx
      ###End – Do Not Include This Row In Your Selection###
      3. Launch the user interface for Free Download Manager (either from the Start Menu or via the system tray icon if FDM is already running).
      4. Click File -> Import -> Import List of URLs from Clipboard.
      5. When prompted for a download group, accept the default and click OK.
      6. You are now free to minimize Free Download Manager while the files download. By default, they will be saved to c:\downloads.
      7. Expand the files and self-extracting RAR set and see the “Working with…” document for more instructions.

      I hope you will enjoy this content as a way of learning how Visual Studio can help you improve your team’s overall application lifecycle management capabilities. If you have suggestions for how to improve this virtual machine and set of demos / hands-on-labs please let me know. Remember to check out our previous ALM virtual machines at to learn about other ways in which Microsoft is delivering tooling for application lifecycle management.

      Comments (40)

      1. Preston says:

        Any chance that this image could be added to the Windows Azure gallery?  It's a great resource I use often for demos/experimentation, but laptops can only do so much!

      2. Magnus Timner says:

        Hi Brian,

        Thanks for a nice VPC!

        When I do a TFS build with InRelease deployment I get a timeout after 10 minutes, if I change the timeout to 30 minutes I get the same timeout. The step that is pending is “Remove Web sites”. Any suggestions?


      3. Brian Keller says:

        Hi Magnus,

        Can you confirm whether or not you have configured a network adapter in your virtual machine prior to starting a build? There are instructions in the "Working with…" document related to this.

      4. Brian Keller says:


        This is high on the backlog! 🙂

        It's something I've been talking to the team about. I don't have a timeline to share yet but we're making progress. In the meantime, you can upload the VHD file directly to Azure IaaS using the PowerShell cmdlets if you want to. For this VM we intentionally published the VHD file as a fixed-disk VHD to facilitate this.

      5. David Nelson says:

        I was wondering when / if you will be releasing the VM with a Windows 8/Server 2012 OS installed? I am trying to convince my management team that we need to move to 8/2012 to get the best experience for TFS 2013 and if I use this training VM in our organization we'll continue to stay on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for the foreseeable future.

      6. Brian Keller says:


        This virtual machine uses Windows Server 2012. You can find the list of installed software at the top of this blog post.

      7. Hi Brian,

        It seems I am experiencing the same problem as Magnus. I am also stuck on the "Remove Websites" step and the build times out after 10 min or 30 min depending on what I set the timeout to.

        I have checked the network adapter configuration and made sure it is set to "Internal Network", the only difference is that I'm using VirtualBox instead of Hyper V, but will that make such a big difference? All the other features seem to be working fine?

      8. Brian Keller says:

        Steviedm777, could you please try:

        ipconfig /release

        ipconfig /renew

        Then start the workflow over again and see if that improves anything?

      9. Hi Brian,

        The "ipconfig /renew" command gave an error saying the network adaptor is not available. But I went back to my VirtualBox settings and changed the network type back to NAT, which seems to solve the problem. So I am not sure what is going wrong with the "Internal Network" type, but at least I can continue now.

      10. Peter says:

        Hi Brian,

        Is it possible to deploy the Tailspin Toys website on the new vm? I wanted to try some of the old labs but found that tailspin toys was missing and not acessible through the browser, or do I need to download one of the old vm's to do this?

      11. Brian Keller says:


        No, it's not as simple as just deploying Tailspin to use those other labs. There is a lot more work involved to get it staged and make sure things like test cases are accessible.

        We plan to bring over Tailspin in a future rev of the 2013 VM but for now to access those older labs please download the 2012 RTM VM:


      12. Ralph Jansen says:

        Hi Brian,

        I have the same problem as Magnus and Steviedm777. I use Windows 8.1 with Hyper-V.

        I activated the license and then changed the network interface in settings of the VM to internal. Should there be a checkbox selected by the internal settings in Hyper-V?

        I also get a time out when building the build definition. If I try to release the ip as you suggested I get the following error:

        An error occured while releasing interface Ethernet 5 : An address has not yet been associated with the network endpoint.

        Switching back to external doesn't fix the problem for me. Do you have any idea?

        Ralph Jansen

      13. Brian Keller says:

        Hi Ralph,

        Sorry that you're seeing this problem. We're actively investigating this but we don't have an answer yet. It seems to be rooted somewhere in the virtual networking stack but we haven't figured out where. This might also be a product issue with the version of InRelease tasks we're using. We have an open inquiry to some of their developers right now. I'll post to the blog when I learn more.

      14. Ralph Jansen says:

        Thanks. I will wait for your reply. I will only navigate threw the solution and not give a live presentation for the management for now.

      15. Roel says:

        Hi Brian,

        I'm with Preston on this one: make the VM available as a template in the Azure gallery!

        Good to hear that you guys are working on it already, please let us know when it is ready 🙂

        Good work!

      16. Brian Keller says:

        Roel, Preston,

        I have a bit of an update on this after some discussions I've had with the Azure team, but unfortunately it's not good news. The Azure VM gallery requires that all of the VM's you upload get sysprepped. That would break my VM in its current state. It's non-trivial work to rebuild it in such a way that it would be compatible with the Azure VM gallery. In fact, I'm not 100% sure that it's possible, but I'm willing to try. It's something I've added to my backlog, but I want to set expectations that this likely won't be possible any time soon.

        The next best thing I can suggest is that you can manually upload the VHD to Azure as a disk (not as an image, because an image is sysprepped). We made it a fixed disk VHD for this reason and did some other things in the VM to make it more compatible with what Azure expects in an uploaded VM. I also suggest that you change all of the user passwords within the VM ASAP. Since the passwords are known and published you introduce the risk that somebody could hack into your VM by guessing the IP + port.

        I know this is a popular request and it's something I'll keep working on in my spare cycles, but since it's exponentially more work than I had budgeted for when I started this investigation process I wanted to set expectations that you shouldn't expect this any time soon.

        Thanks to everyone for the ongoing interest in this and other ALM virtual machines.


      17. I’m working through the instructions in “Working with the Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine.docx” I’m on a Windows 2008 SP2 machine with the Hyper-V role enabled and all current Windows Updates applied.

        When I attempt to import the Hyper-V VM as noted in the doc, I get


        Failed to import the virtual machine from import directory 'D:TFS_2013Visual Studio 2013 PreviewWMIv1'. Error: The system cannot find the path specified.(0x80070003)

        I’ve applied some Google-foo and tried a few things, but to no avail. Any suggestions on where I can go from here? I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to Hyper-V.

      18. Brian Keller says:

        Formeroosid, please read the "Working with…" document. It contains details about using Windows Server 2008 R2. Please note the Windows Server 2008 (without R2) is not supported.

      19. If you are talking about the following passage:

        b. If you are going to import to a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, move the VHD file from the WMIv2Virtual Hard Disks folder to the WMIv1Virtual Hard Disks folder.

        I have moved the file as instructed…


        D:TFS_2013Visual Studio 2013 PreviewWMIv1Virtual Hard Disks>dir

        Volume in drive D is WEBAPP

        Volume Serial Number is 7407-213D

        Directory of D:TFS_2013Visual Studio 2013 PreviewWMIv1Virtual Hard Disks

        08/28/2013  04:24 PM    <DIR>          .

        08/28/2013  04:24 PM    <DIR>          ..

        07/31/2013  05:04 PM    56,908,317,184 TD02WS12SFx64.vhd

                      1 File(s) 56,908,317,184 bytes

                      2 Dir(s)  14,846,021,632 bytes free



      20. Brian Keller says:

        Formeroosid, are you using 2008 R2?

      21. Yes…

        C:Usersjamie.gordon>systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS Name" /C:"OS Version"

        OS Name:                   Microsoftr Windows Serverr 2008 Standard

        OS Version:                6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002

      22. Brian Keller says:

        Formeroosid, that's not R2. R2 has an OS version of 6.1.

      23. John Saunders says:

        I'll try manually uploading the VHD to Azure, but, in the absence of an Azure Image, could you please provide instructions on how to import and use the VHD in Azure?

      24. Brian Keller says:


        In essence what you're going to do is upload the VHD file as a *disk* (not as an image) to Windows Azure. These instructions are a close proxy for what you'll do:…/upload-a-vhd

        You do not need to sysprep the disk, and in the last step instead of creating from an image you'll want to create from a disk.

        When I get some time I'll type up better instructions with screenshots but for now this will get you started. Be sure to take the time to change all of the passwords in the VM and you may need to update service accounts as well or disable RDP access for users you won't use.


      25. Brian Keller says:

        To everyone who encountered problems with the InRelease hands-on-lab, please download the updated lab document included in the list of downloads on this blog post. This includes a workaround for the problem. Thanks and apologies to everybody who encountered this issue. Since it was only occurring in some environments it was difficult to troubleshoot, and I appreciate all of the extra bug reports from folks which helped us pin down this issue. This bug will be fixed for the InRelease RTM later this year.


      26. Ralph Jansen says:

        Hi Brian, Thanks for the update! I will try the fix soon. For the fix, we don't have to download the whole package again right (no software changes)? Only the new Hand on Lab document is needed to work around the bug?

        Thanks Ralph

      27. Brian Keller says:

        Ralph, you can just download that one lab document and run the fix.

      28. Gary Nguyen says:

        Brian, I download your and attracting it. I use "Working with …" document to import the VM however I got the following error while importing it in Window 8.

        "Hyper-V encountered an error while loading the virtual machine configuration from "D:VMs….1FE8.."

        Deleting "Visual Studio 2013 Preview" failed.

        The operation cannot be performed while the object is in its current state.

      29. Brian Keller says:

        Gary, was there more to the error message? Usually it will say that it failed to import and then supply a longer reason why. I'm also not sure what your message related to the deletion is referring to – is that the same operation or are you attempting to perform a different action when you get that message? If this is a separate delete operation, what is the Status of the VM when you are attempting to delete it?

      30. garynguyen says:


        That's the only error I got and I make sure to change writable to all files. Anyway, I could create a new VM using your virtual disk. it's started and I could activate it.

        Is that good enough to run your lab or it have to use your setting file?


      31. Brian Keller says:


        That might work – it's likely that the Office piracy mechanism is going to complain but I don't think you'll need Office for any of these hands-on-labs.

      32. Ralph Jansen says:

        Hi Brian, is it possible to update the vm to the Release Candidate version of 2013? Or is this not possible with some limmitations with the vm's like the date reset? Or are there things to think about before upgrading? Thanks!

      33. Brian Keller says:

        Hi Ralph,

        It should be possible but I'm afraid I don't have time to provide any guidance or support for this exercise. My next focus will be the RTM VM.

      34. Ralph Jansen says:

        I understand that You won't give support. But maybe there was something why the update to RC couldn't be done. But now I know it could be done, I maybe give it a try. Practice is always good. Thanks

      35. Hello Brian,

        I go through all the comments, thank you so much for the great answers!

        I just have a question, you mention that you plan to include the Tailspin Toys website, is this will be with the RTM?

        I also had a problem because the machine name is the same name with the TFS 2012 VM so I got conflict, sometimes I need both machine on so my suggestion is to consider a new machine name if you still support the old one.


        Much appreciated!

      36. Brian Keller says:

        Radwan, I can't say for certain yet when we'll bring forward the Tailspin Toys website and corresponding labs. It may not make it in time for RTM, we may need to ship a refresh post-RTM.

        Can you help me understand the problem with having the machine names the same? I understand that technically there will be a conflict but I'm not sure what scenario this would be breaking for you. Keeping the machine names the same makes it easier to update labs and other content when we carry those artifacts forward onto the latest version.

      37. Brian, thanks for your reply!

        Yes you are right about the update, my problem is not so big important, thanks Brian!

      38. Kirill says:

        Could you correct your links before archives? It is not working 🙁

        1. Brian Keller says:

          It works on my machine. Which link(s) in particular are broken for you?