Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Windows Vista - VHD Evaluation Version Available

A Windows Vista Enterprise Evaluation VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) version is now available for download.

You can get it here: Microsoft Windows Vista 30-Day Eval VHD (Registration is required).

Once we downloaded and set it up on one of our Virtual Server 2005 R2 servers, we were greeted with the following:

The Automatic Activation shows 2 days before its next try.

The VHD's download page indicates that it is good for 30 days and then it should be discarded after that time period. There is also mention that the VHD should not be activated. So, what will happen after the Automatic Activation deadline and the 30 days beyond today will be interesting to see.

We ran the Microsoft KB930955: Moveuser.exe is incompatible with Windows Vista and is replaced by the new Win32_UserProfile WMI functionality in anticipation of installing the Vista Eval VM on our SBS 2K3 R2 (RipCurled) virtual domain.

No matter what we did, the Vista VHD refused to allow the update. No indications were given as to what the problem was. If we have time, more effort will be put into the investigation.

We were able to run the Connect Computer Wizard and begin the install onto the SBS domain with no issues. Because of the above, if we had local accounts to migrate, they would have been left behind (Though there is a fix for that).

The _sbs_netsetup_ portion after the first reboot would not log off and reboot the system. We had to manually log the SBS setup user off, then log on as domain admin and reboot the VM.

After the second reboot and the subsequent logon with an SBS domain user account, the Client Install wizard ran without incident. Outlook 2003 was there and functional with the domain user's Exchange connection.

For those without a TechNet subscription, this will provide a means of configuring, installing software, and all around messing around with Windows Vista.

It is definitely a step in the right direction for those who need to test their network infrastructure and applications with Windows Vista.

Thanks to Susan Bradley for pointing out the download: Vista in a VHD.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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