Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Installing Windows Vista October CTP (Build 5231) on VPC with VM Additions

Jon Galloway's excellent blog article helped me through getting the Vista drivers for Vista 5231 build. Read on for details:

-- Virtual PC can't capture an ISO image greater than 2.2 GB, so you need to use something like Daemon Tools on your host machine to mount the ISO as a virtual drive, then capture it as a physical drive in VPC.
-- Vista won't install on a RAW partition, which is what an unformatted VPC Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) image gives you. You can do some tricky commandline DISKPART stunts, or you can just create the partition in the install process knowing that Vista still won't like it, reboot the VPC instance, and this time VPC will recognize the partition it created. I went with the second option.
-- This Vista build can't access Windows Update. You just get a message saying you need to use Automatic Updates and tells you how to set that up. Knowing that unpatched machines on the net can get haxxor'd in 20 minutes on average, I set the Auto Update time to the next hour and disabled the VPC network connection until that time. Silly me, there weren't any Auto Updates since it had just been released, but I still think minimizing Internet time before patching a machine is the best plan.
-- The VPC VM Additions Installation hangs on this Vista build, and the graphics are absolute hell without them (640x480 at 8 bit, I believe). The trick is as follows: leave the hung installation running, go into the Control Panel and remove the VGA Display Driver, and say Okay when prompted to reboot. When the system comes back up, you'll have the state of the art S3 Trio display driver. It got wiggy on me when I tried to change the Display Resolution, so I rebooted again and was able to change the resolution and things were great. Dog slow, but great. If you cancel the install or kill the wrong msiexec process, the install rolls back and the drivers get removed, causing the magic not to happen.

Please read the whole article here.

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