I’ve got to say, I’ve been using Vista and Longhorn Server internally for a very long time now – pretty much since Beta 1 was released – and I’m very impressed at how far we’ve come with the product. There are still some rough edges, but there’s time to fix all that. Beta 2 is a fantastic product and I can’t wait for the RTM release.
But enough of all that.
You guys and gals came here to hear what I have to say about using Vista/LHS under Virtual PC and Virtual Server – not gush about what a great product Beta 2 is (though, it really is a great product). So, without further ado:
Setup is a piece of cake. As of build 5365, you no longer have to prepare your hard drive ahead of time, so you got that going for you. If you’re using Virtual PC (or Virtual Server RTM), you still need to use an alternate way to mount the ISO in the virtual machine. I would recommend you use the Microsoft VirtualCD tool *. Once you’ve got the ISO mounted, configure pass-through to let VPC/VS mount the drive in the VM, and you’re set.
So, everything in Virtual Vista-land is way cool.
However… the VM Additions are broken, once again. The Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Additions no longer improve performance to an acceptable state. So what’s a Virtual Vista user to do?
We got ya covered, folks. An updated build of the VM Additions that work with Windows Vista/LHS will be available from BetaPlace shortly (I’ll post an announcement when it’s live). Just a quick download, a quick install, and you’ll be set. Aren’t we good to you? (It should go without saying that these Additions are totally unsupported. Don’t use them on production VMs.)
Oh, and don’t forget that you can [sort of] get Glass working in a VM if you’ve got a physical Glass-capable Vista machine… you know… just in case you miss teh pr3tty.
* I know that a lot of you use various different methods to get this accomplished. I’d like to suggest a Call To Action here, though. Some people have been getting some rather cryptic error message while installing Vista in a VM, and it’s something that I’ve never been able to reproduce. The error code describes a problem while accessing data on the removable media, so it’s definitely something to do with the data being read from the disc.
I’d like everyone to really think about what they’re doing when they make the media available to Virtual PC or Virtual Server if they happen to see this error message. If you’re using Virtual PC or Virtual Server RTM, how are you getting the media into the VM? Are you using an ISO mounting tool on the host? If so, which tool? Which version?
Are you burning the ISO to physical media? If so, what burning software? Which version? What type of physical media are you using?
If you’re getting the error message during setup, try changing something in your process – use a different tool to mount or burn the ISO. Get some different media. Experiment with it and see if it goes away. And by all means, please let me know what you find out 😉