Can’t install in a VM? Getting a cryptic error message? Read on…

A couple people have left comments saying they get an error message like the following when they try to install Vista in a VM:

"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 haven't seen this happen, but enough people have mentioned it that I thought it would be nice to start a dialog about it.  After all - that's what blogs are for, right?


Darax asks a good question:

What software are you folks using to burn the ISO to a DVD?  Or if it's a Virtual DVD program what program?  Version would be helpful too.  

One perhaps odd sounding question-but what brand of media?

I'm increasingly of the opinion that this has to do with the installation media, whether it's a physical disc or a mounted ISO.  If you're having this problem, please answer Darax's questions.

Comments (23)

  1. Ray Jezek says:

    hello i get this error every time i try and install on VPC.  However when i check the CRC of the file it comes back as FF FF FF FF which is wrong?.  Interesting thing is, i’ve downlaoded this file twice now from msdn and both times it has completed with no errors (or so the little file transfer program says…).  I also downloaded the 64 bit version twice and it also reports a CRC of FF FF FF FF.  

    is the ISO on msdn corrupt??  

  2. Mike Kolitz says:

    That’s definitely not the right CRC.  For the file FebCTP_5308_32bit_Main_Staged_DVD.iso, the CRC should be 0xC063F492.  I’ll download the ISO from connect and confirm that I get the right CRC.

  3. Ray Jezek says:

    The file name from MSDN subscribers downloads is:




    just so you know which file to look for.

  4. Mike Kolitz says:

    The CRC for x86 on MSDN is 0x1E8B3078, according to the MSDN team.  Also, the File Transfer Manager that MSDN uses verifies the hash on the files so it should notify you if there was an error while downloading.

    I’m not going to worry about x64 since none of Microsoft’s virtualization technologies support 64-bit guests at this point.

  5. Norman Diamond says:

    Cryptic error messages like that (and virtual BSODs, and corruption in files copied in from shares that are real directories on the host, and corruption in reading real DVDs in the real DVD drive) occur frequently in guests under VPC.  I don’t think Vista has anything to do with this.  The guests can be Windows XP Pro and get the same cryptic error messages.  The size of the Vista ISO image is big enough to make it likely that cryptic errors will occur somewhere along the line.

    One time I had pretty reliable repros of virtual BSODs and corruption in files copied from shares in real hard disk directories, but that was over a year ago and I deleted the virtual machine over a year ago.  That didn’t involve Vista though.  Here are the specs as well as I can remember:

    Host Computer Type: Dell Inspiron 8300C

    Host Computer Processor: Pentium M 1.5GHz

    Host Computer Memory: 2GB

    Host Computer Operating System and Patch Level: see [*]

    Virtualization Software (VPC/VS/etc) Version: VPC 2004 SP1

    Virtual Machine Memory: probably 384MB

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Type: IDE

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Size: probably 16GB

    [* As an MSDN subscriber I did not want to buy an OEM copy of Windows XP with this machine but your company says I "chose" to buy this OEM software product because I chose to buy the hardware.  Since I could not avoid the monopoly-style tied software purchase I bought and use the cheapest version possible on the host machine.  Windows XP Home SP2 with all updates that were publicly available at the time.]

  6. Host Computer Type: custom built

    Host Computer Processor: AMD athlon 64 4200 dual core

    Host Computer Memory: 2gb

    Host Computer Operating System and Patch Level: xp pro, latest patches

    Virtualization Software (VPC/VS/etc) Version: vpc 2004

    Virtual Machine Memory: 1gb

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Type: ? ntfs ?

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Size: 16gb

    strangely has gone away with vpc2005 r2 email me for more details.


  7. Ray Jezek says:

    Installed sp1 for VPC 2004… error is gone.. at least it didnt happen where it had previously…

    *crosses fingers*

  8. Norman Diamond says:

    Sorry I misremembered the model number in my previous posting.  Correct is:

    Host Computer Type: Dell Inspiron 8600C

  9. I was facing the problem that setup.exe was crashing, too, although the iso image had been downloaded correctly.

    In order to use the image I had created a DVD and used this as boot medium for the virtual machine.

    The crash occurred every time, regardless of virtual disk size, whether or not I used DISKPART before (as some websites suggested), no way out.

    This was until I simply put the DVD into the other drive!

    With the DVD in the second drive (my drive E:), vista setup crashes, after putting the disk into the first disk drive (my D: drive), setup worked.

    This was on an ACER P4, 2.8GHz, 1GB RAM, XP Prof SP2.

  10. hjr says:

    Hi All,

    I`m trying to virtualize Vista too (since two days) on VirtualPC2004 with SP1. The "cryptic" error mentioned here like:


    "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."


    is due to the "Undo"-feature of the virtual harddisc (.vhd). So you need a vhd with fixed size (e.g. 16GB), disable (uncheck) the "Undo"-feature of the vhd on the properties tab of your WindowsVistaVirtualPC and install now WiVi. You need to format the virtual hard disc with NTFS. I used the "format" button during the WiVi setup, but I had to restart the virtual PC and due to that the WiVi setup started from the beginning again. You could format the vhd with a bootable Windows 2000 CD instead, cancel the installation of W2K after that and restart the virtual PC.  Now you will be able to install WiFi …. but it will take some time (some hours)  :-]  .

    I Hope that helps.

  11. Mike Kolitz says:


    Thanks for the comment.  I’ve tried reproducing the error a couple of times today, and I’ve had no luck in doing so.  Can you tell me more about your configuration?

    Host PC OS?

    How are you getting the Vista DVD into the VM?  Did you burn it to a DVD, or are you using an ISO-mounting program on the host?

  12. Norman Diamond says:

    I don’t think the "undo" feature is the cause, because I haven’t used the "undo" feature.  (Of course I intend to start using it someday.)

    However, the "undo" feature can easily be related to the cause.  If it results in a large number of physical writes to the physical hard drive in a short length of time, this seems to be related to other bugs in the interface between the guest machine and the host machine.

    But this doesn’t seem like a complete explanation either.  It seems to me that the "undo" followed by a format would be doing a ton of physical disk space allocations and writes, whereas problems reading burned DVD media have involved a ton of reads.  Problems reading burned DVD media can be solved by copying the DVD back into an image file on the physical hard drive, using Daemon Tools to mount the image, and telling VPC to mount Daemon Tools’ virtual DVD drive on the guest PC’s virtual DVD drive, so it seems to be OK to do a ton of reads from physical disk space.  Why is reading OK sometimes and writing OK sometimes, this seems like a tough problem.

    I think that every time I succeeded in installing Vista under VPC, it was with an image mounted by Daemon Tools.

  13. nsweeney says:

    I tried several times and get the same problem every time.

    Host Computer Type = MachSpeed K8M8MS motherboard

    Host Computer Processor = AMD Athlon 64 3000

    Host Computer Memory = 1 Gig

    Host Computer Operating System and Patch Level  = Win2K SP4

    Virtualization Software (VPC/VS/etc) Version = MS Virtual PC 2004 SP1

    Virtual Machine Memory = 256

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Type = SATA

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Size = Default

    Installing from a DVD which was created using "en_windows_vista_ctp_february_2006_32bit.iso"

  14. Joe Mierwa says:

    The same thing is consistently happening to me now. I don’t know whether the prelude has any bearing but I’ll include it anyway:

    1. Started out using a CD created from the downloaded ISO file (from a different machine). The DVD is external connected via usb 2.0

    2. Set up VM and tried reboot. Got a funky error different from this one.

    3. Wiped the VM and created a new one. Started install ok.. Would format the disk and get about 1/3 through installation and then hang. I let it go for about 6 hours. Definitely hung.

    4. Tried this several times and got the same thing.

    5. Wiped the VM and recreated a new one.

    6. Downloaded a new ISO image from MSDN and placed it on an external hard drive connected via USB 2.0

    7. Started the install with the new iso booting from file directly

    That’s when I started getting these problems.

    Two other things that I’ve noticed. I could predict my earler issue and this one because the "Starting Installation" message that displays stays up way too long compared to when it brings up the first user input window. I’d estimate about a 50 to 75% increase in time. Probably due to the IO timing out.

    The other thing is that "Virtual Machine Additions" is not installed.

    I’m in the process of recreating a new VM and am going to see if rebooting from the DVD gets past this point, and if so, whether it hangs or not.

    Is there anything I can check/monitor while I’m doing this taht will help?

    Machine info:

    Host Computer Type = Don’t know offhand. It’s a stock HP.

    Host Computer Processor = APCI Uniprocessor

    Host Computer Memory = 1 Gig

    Host Computer Operating System and Patch Level  = XP SP2 current

    Virtualization Software (VPC/VS/etc) Version = MS Virtual Server 2005

    Virtual Machine Memory = 512

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Type = SATA

    Virtual Machine Hard Drive Size = 16G

    Installing from a DVD which was created using "en_windows_vista_ctp_february_2006_32bit.iso"

  15. Joe Mierwa says:

    Oh, one other thing and it’s just a thought. I see that we have both 1 and 2 G machines on average, but no refefernce to occupancy and RAM usage. Mine is pretty near the limit of full ram use when running (approx 970M).

  16. Norman Diamond says:

    When simultaneously running two or three virtual machines that have already been installed, I also come close to my real RAM size, causing the host to do an inordinate amount of paging for its own operations.  But during installs I don’t have this issue.  I only install one at a time.

  17. Joe Mierwa says:

    Well, I wiped everything and went back to trying to install from my DVD. I get the same thing there with the install hanging up about a third of the way into it. Has anone else seen this?

    By the way, I also verified that "Undo" is disabled and I have a fixed size disk of 16G for the VM.

  18. John Holmblad says:

    I saw the error today on when trying to install the Feb Vista version on VPC 2004 running on Windows XP MCE on an AMD Athlon64 system.

    I decided to try loading it also under VPC 2004 on a different system which is running XP Pro SP2 on a Intel P4 system with 1 GB of real memory.

    I am in the process of doing that right now.

  19. Joe Mierwa says:

    Really stupid question here. I’m trying to load Vista onto a physical machine now to get a feel for the performance deltas. I’m getting an error on the physical machine about not being able to locate a locally attached hard drive suitable for holding temporary files.

    Can anyone direct me to a blog or mail list so I can try and track down what that actually means?

  20. Darax says:

    What software are you folks using to burn the ISO to a DVD?  Or if it’s a Virtual DVD program what program?  Version would be helpful too.  

    One perhaps odd sounding question-but what brand of media?


  21. Norman Diamond says:

    Monday, April 10, 2006 11:44 AM by Joe Mierwa

    > Really stupid question here.

    Close.  Really stupid installer here ^_^

    > I’m getting an error on the physical machine about not

    > being able to locate a locally attached hard drive suitable

    > for holding temporary files.

    In my experience, the installer disagrees with itself about what minimum size partition it will accept, and it doesn’t make it easy for the user to guess.  Try a 24GB partition.

    Monday, April 10, 2006 7:34 PM by Darax

    > What software

    For an odd combination of reasons involving which physical drives are most easily accessible and which PCs have which software installed on them, here’s how I burned some recent DVD ISO images:

    Mount the image in a virtual drive on the real machine using Daemon Tools 3.47.

    Copy from the D-Tools drive to a physical drive using Sonic Record Now 7.10.

    This does work except when the media have problems.

    > Or if it’s a Virtual DVD program

    On 32-bit hosts and with Virtual PC, I used Daemon Tools 3.47 directly.

    > what brand of media?

    Too cheap.  But when burning these things I do verifications after burning, and throw away media that fail around 3 times in a row.  I tend to prefer RWs because in the past I had to throw away too many failed Rs, but recently I’ve had too many uncorrectable RWs too.  Sigh.

  22. I’ve got to say, I’ve been using Vista and Longhorn Server internally for a very long time now – pretty…

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