Running Windows Vista 5365 under Virtual PC or Virtual Server

It's that time again (though I'm a little late to the game on this one... sorry for the delay)!  Let's get right down to it, shall we?

There are two significant changes when running this build in a Virtual Machine:

  1. You no longer need to prepare your own Virtual Disk.  Windows Vista Setup can now install itself on to a completely blank disk, so there's no more special steps that need to be done ahead of time.

  2. The Virtual Machine Additions performance enhancements from Virtual Server 2005 R2 no longer work in Windows Vista.  To get better performance, you'll need to download the Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta and use the additions that ship with that.

Some quick reminders:

  • If you're using Virtual PC, remember that VPC can't mount ISO files larger than 2.2GB.  You'll need to burn the ISO to physical media - or get some VirtualCD software and mount the ISO as a CD-ROM drive - and have Virtual PC pass it through to the guest.  Virtual Server 2005 R2 fixed this.
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 is *free* download now.  Give it a shot!
  • Your Virtual Hard Drive should be at least 16GB.
  • You're insane if you try to run Windows Vista in a Virtual Machine with less than 512MB of RAM allocated to it.
  • Sound won't work in Windows Vista if you're running it in Virtual PC or Virtual Server.

Good luck!

Comments (20)

  1. George J. Capnias says:

    I think it’s about time to see something new for Virtual PC 2004!

    We have to "borrow" virtual machine additions from Virtual Server 2005 R2, we have to ask support for patches, we will have no sound support for Vista… Shouldn’t be a statement of some kind if the support for this product is done?

    Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2, even if it’s free, it’s not always a solution to the problem…

    George J.

  2. Mike Kolitz of the MSDN Blog Virtually Vista has some good tips for those of you using Virtual PC…

  3. Mike Kolitz says:

    Hi George,

    I understand where you’re coming from.  I wish there was something that we could announce publicly at this point.

    Rest assured, as soon as we can announce our plans for Virtual PC, we will do so.

  4. Kris says:

    Just when I thought I have R2 and could attempt to run Vista, it requires SP1 🙁

  5. paulb says:

    I must say the performance of vista on vpc with the vs2005 r2 sp1 additions is impressive… Now if only glass would work 😉

  6. jdanforth says:

    Thanks for the tips! Any improvements with the network problems you saw in the Feb CTP?


  7. Svt says:

    How do we obtain the latest build. I have msdn and they still have  5308  and not the laetest build.


  8. Mike Kolitz says:

    Not all builds are available to all programs.  I don’t believe that 5365 will be made available to MSDN subscribers, but don’t quote me on that.

  9. Gparent says:

    I get an error installing R2 about how it can’t access some keys. Anybody did get the same error? (I am logged in as admin).

  10. Bob says:

    yo boy, wha gwon bredai. ya mean?

  11. Mike Kolitz says:

    GParent – Are you installing R2 on Vista?

  12. Gp says:

    No, I am trying to install Virtual Server 2005 on my own computer so I can run vista 😛 I’ll just do it on my Dad’s computer I guess.

  13. Mike Kolitz says:

    Gp: Check and make sure that the permissions on HKLMSoftware are set up properly.

  14. Norman Diamond says:

    As far as I can tell, when MSDN subscribers can’t get Vista 5365 and we can’t get any prerelease of Longhorn Server, the reason seems to be that we paid for our subscriptions.  Why don’t developers ever learn?  In order to obtain these builds we have to avoid paying for subscriptions.

    > but don’t quote me on that.

  15. Mike Kolitz says:


    Again, I’m not the person to talk to about this since I’m not involved it the decisions about who to release builds to and who not to.  If you’re not happy with what’s being released to MSDN, you should take that up with MSDN Customer Service, as they can get the feedback to the right people.

    Otherwise, the most I can say – and it’s my personal opinion – is that MSDN Subscriber != Beta Tester.   Nothing since 5342 has been declared a CTP, so if you’re developing software for Vista, you should keep using that build until Beta 2 is released.  If you’re just interested in testing software, MSDN really isn’t the program for that.

    It’s good to see that you’re excited about testing Vista, though.  Do you have your own blog, Norman?

  16. Norman Diamond says:

    > Again, I’m not the person to talk to about this since I’m

    > not involved it the decisions about who to release builds

    > to and who not to.

    Partly I was talking to Svt and other readers.  Partly I was talking to you in response to a statement of yours which I faithfully refrained from quoting, and I was AGREEING with your statement, along with giving the best guess about the reasoning in line with all visible evidence.

    > you should take that up with MSDN Customer Service,

    Been there, done that.  I also mentioned the absence of Longhorn Server.   I further mentioned the absence of a checked build for Windows Server 2003 R2, whose corresponding retail release had been posted maybe a month before that.

    Thank you for this.  I do know the facts aren’t your fault, but thank you for reminding me of what the facts are and allowing them to be discussed.  For the third time I have an MSDN subscription about to expire, I’ve been trying to figure out whether it’s worth while to renew, and the facts do help this determination.

    > MSDN Subscriber != Beta Tester

    Of course.  Testing even comes from being a customer of retail releases, trying to use them in the real world when not even trying to be a tester in the first place.  Testing also comes from being a developer, where one might want to increase the chances of one’s product continuing to work when the next set of Windows issues gets released.

    > Do you have your own blog, Norman?

    No I don’t, sorry.  I used to participate in Usenet newsgroups when that was the popular way of participating in discussions.  I even used to have time for those kinds of discussions, in those days.  If I had a blog now I might have time to update it three times a year.

  17. HEEEELP says:

    I Need those Vista Beta2 additions ;( …. What is going on are they gonna publish that  ??

  18. Huw says:

    I’ve been looking for the Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 beta but it doesn’t show in the list of available connections! Huw

  19. Luc Geurts says:

    VPC 2004 is outdated and I don’t want to install Virtual Server, only for using Vista. VMWare? Seems there is no other choice because MS leaves VPC users in the cold now.

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