Running Windows Vista Beta 1 under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

Running Windows Vista Beta 1 under Virtual PC 2004 SP1 / Virtual Server 2005 SP1 is quite straight forward – but there are a few issues to be aware of:

  1. Windows Vista Beta 1 does not correctly identify the virtual hard disk when it is not partitioned.  To handle this you should start the installation, get to the hard disk partitioning page, partition and format your virtual hard disk, and then reboot the virtual machine.  The second time through Windows Vista Beta 1 will correctly identify the hard disk (now that it is partitioned).
  2. Windows Vista Beta 1 does not have drivers for our emulated video card, SCSI adapter and sound card.  The video and SCSI drivers are installed as part of the Virtual Machine Additions – however there is no way to get our sound card to work.  The reason for this is because we emulate an ISA Sound Blaster 16 compatible card – and Windows Vista no longer has support for the ISA bus – let alone this card.
  3. While the currently shipping Virtual Machine Additions will install on Windows Vista Beta 1, they do no contain performance enhancements for Windows Vista Beta 1, nor have they been tested on Windows Vista Beta 1.  We are currently investigating releasing updated beta Additions for Windows Vista Beta 1 (no promises though :-).
  4. Virtual PC does not support the use of ISO images over 2.2GB in size (Virtual Server 2005 SP1 beta does), so if you are using Virtual PC you will either need to burn a physical DVD to install Windows Vista Beta 1, or use a virtual CD program on your host computer.