Using Vista RTM with Virtual PC or Virtual Server

Well, at last we've come to this.  It's been almost a year since my first post to this blog, and look how far we've come!  Windows Vista has RTM'd and is now available to Volume Licensing customers and to MSDN and Technet subscribers.  Looks like I'm going to have to change my blog's tagline!

So, how do you get Vista running in a Virtual Machine? 

If you're using Virtual PC, you should be using the VPC 2007 Beta - the additions that ship with that product work just fine in Vista. 

If you're using Virtual Server, you should use the VS 2005 R2 SP1 Beta - those additions work with Vista as well.

If you're not into using a beta product right now, it's still possible to run Vista in a VM, but I would definitely recommend using the additions from the products above - you'll get a significant performance increase.

Comments (10)
  1. TBone2K says:

    I just checked with MS and they’ve taken the new VS 2005 beta offline. Is there another way to get the extensions without switching to VPC 2007 beta?

    [The Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta is still available on  You’ll need to go into Available Connections, and scroll down to the bottom section to apply for the beta if you’re not already in it.  After you do that, the download should be available to you.  – mikekol]

  2. v-juanm says:

    If you are using Visrtual PC 2004 running RTM Vista virtual machine additons does not work

    [Are you using the Additions that shipped with Virtual PC 2004?  If so, that’s correct.  You need to use updated Additions that you can get from Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta, or Virtual PC 2007 Beta.  – mikekol]

  3. chris says:

    can you use Vista as the host operating system to install Virtual server 2005 on to?

  4. doug says:

    Is it possible to get the additions without the beta?


    [Not that I’m aware of.  – mikekol]

  5. Dylan says:

    I was wondering if it’s possible to make use of a multi-monitor setup while using a virtual PC?  I was hoping I could just stretch the VPC window over my 2 monitors then arrange the windows inside appropriately.  However, it doesn’t appear to allow this.  There seem to be a maximum on how much I can stretch it horizontally which is just slightly wider than my one monitor.

    Is there a way to do this today?  If not are there any plans to incorporate it in the future?  If not may I suggest that you take it into consideration.

    [Ben Armstrong wrote a post about a program called MaxiVista (no relation to Windows Vista) that allows something similar to what you’re talking about.

    I’m not aware if we’re going to add this to VPC in the future or not, but if you’re using the version of Remote Desktop that comes with Vista (and is also available as a separate download), you should be able to RDP into the VM and get a wider screen if you start MSTSC.EXE with the /span switch. 

    Hope that helps – mikekol]

  6. Over at the Virtually vista blog there’s a post talking about how to run the RTM of Vista in a virtual…

  7. Matthew says:

    I’m trying to install Vista RTM in a 2005 R2 virtual server but when I enter the keys, I get a message saying there was an error and I have to restart the machine. Multiple tries and still the same thing. Where can I go to get support on something like this?

  8. danielu says:

    As Chris posted: can you use Vista as the host operating system to install Virtual server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 on to?

    I’ve found instructions to install it but with previous Vista versions (RC1 and 2), which shipped with IIS6, but I cannot make it work with IIS7 (Vista RTM).


  9. Adam Field says:


    I’d also like to be able to use Vista RTM as a host for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

    Is this either possible or supported?


  10. Amy G says:

    > I’d also like to be able to use Vista RTM as a host for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

    I just installed Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 (64-bit) on Vista Enterprise RTM x64. After disabling User Account Control, everything appears to be in order.

    Probably related: Everything for IIS is installed (Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off: Check everything) to allow for SQL Server 2005 SP1 installation.

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