Installing the February CTP under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

There haven’t really been any changes to the process of installing Vista in a Virtual Machine.  As such, I’m just going to include links to the previous posts (VPC / VS).  Just replace ‘December’ with ‘February’ and you should be good to go. 

One thing to note, though.  The graphics are prettier when you’re done installing (no more 4-bit color – yay!), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install the additions.  The graphics driver provided by the additions is still a better performer, and you get all the other benefits of the additions as well.

A few people have posted about issues they’re having with installing Vista on drives that have multiple partitions.  Though I’m not aware of any issues with multiple partitions at this point, I think the core of the issue is that the way the disk was partitioned, there wasn’t enough space to install Vista.

I remember reading somewhere that – at the moment – Vista requires about 12GB of space to install itself.  If a typical 16GB Virtual Disk were partitioned into 2 drives of sizes 10GB and ~6GB respectively, neither drive would have sufficient space to install the operating system.

So, I’d recommend using a single partition where possible, but if you need multiple partitions, make a VHD larger than 16GB, and make sure you have one partition that’s atleast 12 (really… make it 16…)GB in size.  That’s the one you should install Vista on.

Comments (31)

  1. Sreeram says:


    I tried installing Feb CTP in VPC 2004 w/sp1. As you said initially it said no hdd, bios doesn’t support etc. So went into ‘Advanced’, created a primary partition and chose ‘Next’.  This gets  to the ‘Install Windows’ screen where it says ‘Windows will finish installing automatically’. But here I get a error dialog after which it says cancelling the setup and doesn’t proceed further….

    The dialog is ‘Setup was unable to locate a locally attached hard drive suitable for holding temporary setup files’.

    Would appreciate if you could help out..



  2. Mike Kolitz says:


    You didn’t mention whether or not you rebooted in-between creating the partition on your drive.  If you didn’t, that’s why you’re running into this issue – the disk can only be used if it’s initialized with partitions at boot time (for now, anyway).

    If you did reboot, it could be that the disk isn’t big enough – how large of a virtual hard disk did you create?

  3. Sreeram says:

    Hi Mike,

    It seems like the problem is solved now. The total disk size was 16gig. I had created two partitions of 10g and 6g. It seems like it doesn’t like multiple partitions, when i chose the 10g partition as my disk to install.  I tried rebooting, after which it would allow me to choose the partition to install, but still it didn’t work..

    Later I changed to one big partition of 16g as a whole, made it primary and it went on smoothly… it seems like vista is not able to recognize the system partition when there are multiple partitions…

    thanks for your input….



  4. Mike Kolitz says:

    Hi Sreeram – the multiple partitions shouldn’t be an issue (though I’ll verify this later today).  It sounds like the issue was that there wasn’t enough space on the partition you were trying to install Vista on.

    I remember hearing somewhere that Vista requires about 12GB free to install itself.  So, if your drive was only 10GB, that was probably the reason.

    If it didn’t say anything about insufficient disk space, you should file a bug against it to make sure that it’s triaged appropriately.



  5. Robert says:

    Will the Feb Vista Install OVER the Dec 2005 Vista by "just" pointing the the Feb Visto DVD drive?  I can’t get it work getting an error with "D:SourcesSPWIZEN.DLL" "bad image" followed by an autorun.dll error. Sigh.

  6. MuB says:

    Hi Sreeram – didn’t get my CTP 5308 to work in virtual PC with the old guidlines.

    I burned the ISO File to DVD, choose 512 MB and 16 GB for my new virtual Maschine, prepared the Harddisk and the installation started. I can fill out my licence number and the setup starts to copy files from my dvd to my virtual maschine. The green status bar moves rather slowly to about the first quarter of the screen and then stops without any notification or error. It only doesn’t move anymore…virtual PC icons still show access to DVD and harddrive, but nothing happen anymore (I tested this twice with more than 4 hours waiting).

    I’ve allready read about a guy in the Vista beta newsgroups having the same problem, but still now answer or solution.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance !


  7. Mike Kolitz has made some good posts about using the February CTP of Vista under Virtual PC / Virtual…

  8. MuB says:

    Problem resolved !

    Seems to be an DVD burning problem. Mounting the iso-file with daemon tools an then mount this in virtual pc seems to fix that problem. Installation is still running…

  9. I have the same problem as MuB where it simply freezes during installation even though I left it overnight.

    You can cancel and it does that just fine, but Vista won’t complete the install.

    So I decided to take the route of mounting the ISO instead of using the DVD disk (even though I feel I shouldn’t have to do this just to get it to install) but now I get a different error.

    Firstly the installation takes a loooooong time to get to the Key screen, but when it gets to the screen, and error pops up and I’m thrown back to the Install Now screen again.

    The error that occurs is:

    "The instruction at 0x1fee7a6d referenced memory at 0x02b8bd0f.  The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0xc0000185.

    No matter how many times I try, I can not get the install to work.

    My VPC has a 120 GB VHD and 1536 MB of memory assigned to the VPC.

    The VHD was prepped as per your instructions.

    Any advice?



  10. Mike Kolitz says:


    It sounds like you may have a bad ISO file.  You may want to try downloading again to see if you end up with the same issues.   If you do, we’ll try to go from there.

  11. fantom says:

    Is it possible to transfer real PC to virtual PC?

    I mean, is it possible to take ghost or true image and somehow transfer it to VPC  HD /vhd actually/!


  12. Ken Schaefer says:

    Mike Kolitz (Virtualization Team) has instructions on installing Vista into a VPC. To get VPC Additions…

  13. Edward Juden says:


    I get that same error, every time:

    "The instruction at 0x1fee7a6d referenced memory at 0x02b8bd0f.  The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0xc0000185.

    I am also looking for a solution.


  14. George J. Capnias says:

    I tried to install Vista February CTP both on VPC w/SP1 and VSR2.

    When I had to choose the target drive for the installation, I got the error ‘Setup was unable to locate a locally attached hard drive suitable for holding temporary setup files’ on dialog windows, after which I had to cancel setup and not being able to proceed further… I had the same problem both on VPC w/SP1 and VSR2. I burned the ISO image to a DVD, I made sure my virtual disk was 16Gb, and my hard disk had enough free space. Nothing…

    I could not continue with the installation, till three days ago when I came across a post, that a guy was suggesting to request a new key for the February CTP, instead using the "Longhorn 5270 and up Product Key" I already had. The new key "Windows Vista Tech Beta 5308 and up" did solve the problem, and I was able to install the CTP on both VSR2 and VPC w/SP1.

    The installation on VPC w/SP1 took almost 1 day! The virtual machine had 1Gb RAM, and the physical machine was a Centrino 1.4MHz with 2Gb RAM. After the completion of the installation, the virtual machine became irresponsible, I could not click on the start button or browse the hard disk. The physical machine was showing 100% use of the CPU and was almost irresponsible. I was not able to install VM Additions, and I was forced to give up…

    The installation on VSR2 was quicker, it took almost 4 hours on a server with 2 physical CPUs and 1,5Gb RAM. The virtual machine had 758Mb RAM. Things here were better as I could perform back tasks, and I installed the VM Additions. After the installation of VM Additions, things got even better, but still the performance of the VM is very poor – I have to wait 1-2 secs in order to navigate from window to window.

    I am wondering if the performance as poor on physical machines… I had planned to migrate my laptop (Centrino 1.5GHz, 2Gb RAM) to Windows Vista February CTP with Microsoft Office 2007 System Beta-1 Technical Release, as soon as the latest becomes available, in order to showcase the machine in technical presentations and classroom training, but now I think I will wait at least 3-6 months, in order to see the performance improve. This Vista build is supposed to belong in Beta 2 series of builds, shouldn’t it perform better?


    George J.

  15. Matthew Roberts says:

    ""The instruction at 0x1fee7a6d referenced memory at 0x02b8bd0f.  The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0xc0000185. "

    Dito my friend… Dito

  16. Suleman S says:

    ya i have  40 gb hd, p.d 3.2, i have vista build 5308 i burned it and reboot windows and boot from the dvd i burned, after entering my cd key, i cant install it, my 40 gb harddrive is listed there but its not accepting it, so i used the diskpart feature to create partition primary than than format it, after rebooting its same things, its not taking by harddrive, can someone please help me thanks.

  17. Adam Boczek says:

    I’ve got the same problem like Matthew (The istruction at 0x1fee7a6d) but at other memory address (0x0315bd0f) and error status (0xc0000010). Help?

  18. Bob Kaine says:

    I’m getting the same error:

    "The instruction at 0x1fee7a6d referenced memory at 0x02b8bd0f.  The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0xc0000185. "

    Virtual PC 2004 w/SP1

    1GB Memory

    16GB Hard Drive

    Anyone figure out this problem yet?

  19. Nick says:

    u must increase ur virtual memory size if u are installing under a running windows 😉 than the error dont come again

    rightclick>computer>properties>advanced>perfomance settings>advanced>change

    than type in the box 8192 and in the one under the other the same than press set apply and have fun

    (it dont matter what drive u use for virtual memory!)

  20. Robert Zanatta says:

    I found that an 8GB virtual HD wasn’t big enough to install CTP2.  12GB is required or you’ll get an error stating that there is no valid drive to install setup files on.

    I also found that if I created/formatted a partition (on a VHD) using the CTP2, I could not install to it.  The "next" button on the "select install target" dialog would not enable.  I used a WinXP CD to partition/format the VHD, and then I was able to install CTP2 on that VHD.

  21. Evets says:


    "The instruction at 0x1fee7a6d referenced memory at 0x02b8bd0f.  The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of 0xc0000185. "

    Anyone figure out this problem yet?

    /end snip

    I found a post from someone on a VMWare forum who suggested mounting the ISO at the VS/VPC OS level via Daemon Tools (or other emulator) as a drive letter, then presenting that drive letter to your VM in VS/VPC config.  The poster was referring to VMWare’s products, but it worked for me in VS2k5 on w2k3 r2.

  22. phydeaux says:

    I am trying to install the February CTP on a new VPC, I have created a Virtual Drive 16GB, And RAM 600MB, but when I try to boot of the mounted ISO image, VPC says "Reboot and Select proper Boot device, or Insert Boot Media in selected boot device." I am using the host OS Window XP Pro with Service Pack 2. What am I doing wrong, please help!!

  23. phydeaux says:

    By the way, when you create a new VPC what OS do you use?

  24. Mike Kolitz says:

    I use Win2k3 Server as my host OS, though I’ve used XPSP2 and Vista in the past.

    Are you using Virtual PC or Virtual Server?  That error message is associated with the Virtual Machine being unable to find any bootable media.  

    If you’re using Virtual PC, your problem is likely that VPC is unable to mount an ISO that’s 2.2GB in size (or greater), though there should be a message-box style error associated with that.  The end result, however, could be the message you’re seeing.

    Try burning the ISO to physical media, or getting a tool that will let you mount the ISO as a virtual DVD drive on the host, and configure pass-through to the Virtual Machine.

    Or, download Virtual Server 2005 R2.  It’s free, it runs on XPSP2, and it doesn’t have the 2.2GB size limit on mounted ISOs.

  25. phydeaux says:

    Im using virtual machine, and how do I configure a mounted drive to pass throught to Virtual Machine.

    Everytime I tried to use Virtual Server, it dosen’t run…..Gets me angry….

  26. phydeaux says:

    Oh, and when I go to select an OS, Vista isn’t an option.

  27. phydeaux says:

    Sry for soo many posts, but where can I get the IIS componets for Virtual Server?

  28. phydeaux says:

    I found out that I was trying to install the SDK stuff, but now that I know what file to get I can’t sign up to get the beta on Microsoft Connect. Any1 have any links where I can download the latest beta?

    *Plz no (.torrent) links. Thnx.

  29. phydeaux says:

    Or if you can email me the beta I would appreciate it, THNX…