Tips for using the December CTP with Virtual PC / Virtual Server


Build 5270 was released yesterday as the December CTP – if you’ve got access to MSDN or Connect, you should definitely check it out. There are some awesome changes in this build.


So, there are probably a fair number of you out there who are interested in using Vista in combination with Microsoft’s Virtualization offerings (Virtual PC or Virtual Server), either as a host or a guest. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting some tips for using Vista in conjunction with those products for anyone who’s interested.


First of all, here’s a few general tips:



  • Generally speaking, there’s no difference between using Vista and Longhorn Server on Microsoft’s virtualization products. A tip for one should work on the other – and I can’t think of any exceptions. So, I’m just going to refer to the products as Vista, but feel free to replace it with Longhorn Server if that’s more applicable.
  • All tips posted will be based on Virtual PC 2004 SP1 and Virtual Server 2005 R2. If you’re using an older release, you may need to adapt the instructions.  If there are differences that I know about, I’ll make sure to point them out.
  • The Virtual Machine Additions for Virtual Server 2005 R2 should be used on Vista. Previous versions, including beta versions, don’t have all the performance enhancements.
  • I wouldn’t recommend using anything less than 512 MB in your VM.  It’s too painful otherwise.
  • Using emulated SCSI drives seems to speed things up a bit.

Hope that helps for now.

Comments (5)

  1. Arlo says:

    Hi Mike,

    The issues I’ve had (and others, I’m sure) with this build, as with the previous, is that the video driver is not installed in VPC 2004 SP1, and the VM Add Ons do not install (progress bar gets almost to the end and hangs forever). Any tips you have on those two items would be much appreciated.

    Arlo

  2. mikekol says:

    Hi Arlo,

    Currently, Vista does not ship with an in-box driver for the video card that we emulate in Virtual PC or Virtual Server – that’s why you’re seeing the beautiful 4-bit color 🙂

    You won’t be able to get better video until you install the Additions, which is the second part of your problem.

    Right now, the only version of the Additions that I know works with Vista is 13.552 (the version that ships with Virtual Server R2).

    Unfortunately, the upgrade that I linked to above will only apply if you have Virtual Server RTM installed. We don’t have a story about how to get these additions to VPC users yet.

    Sorry about that. 🙁 If I come up with any bright ideas about this, or I hear any news, I’ll be more than happy to pass it on.

  3. Kevin says:

    Interesting, I have the same issue as Arlo in that when I install the Virtual Server R2 additions on a VPC client running Vista CTP5270 it almost finishes and then just hangs forever.  The process is still chugging along but nothing is happening.  I have 1024 MB dedicated to this virtual machine.

    I’ve restarted several times but same thing happens everytime.  I hate the Microsoft doesn’t support Vista with VPC during the Beta.  The whole point of VPC in my opinion is to use it for testing.  I’ve spent so many hours to finally get to this point for nothing.  I wonder if VMware users are having the same issues with Vista?

  4. mikekol says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m sorry that you’re having issues with the December CTP.  I haven’t seen any reports of the issues you’re experiencing, but I’ve tried going through those steps a couple times with the build that will be released as the February CTP, and I haven’t had any issues.  Hopefully, you’ll be more successful with the new build.

    Good luck.

  5. Virtual Muuh – Vista in VPC Image