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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Installing Virtual Server On Vista Ultimate 64-bit


This may be a little off-topic.

I use Virtual Server and Virtual PC a lot for things like testing beta and CTP releases of SQL Server. I don't have time or the inclination to reformat physical hard drives, load an OS, or even fiddle with restoring from an enterprise backup solution like Ghost.

I blogged about configuring IIS7 for Reporting Services 2005, so this may have more relevance than I imagine.


If you're not using virtualized machines or servers, you should check them out. They're great for testing new stuff - relatively risk-free. I am aware of two flavors of virtual engines: VMWare and Microsoft products: Virtual PC and Virtual Server.

I have no experience with VMWare.

The Microsoft products are 100% free (as in beer).

I do not know which is better. I imagine that, like all things in life, one has advantages over the other and vice versa. The Microsoft stuff does what I need, so I've not ventured to search greener pastures (ever wonder why those pastures are greener? Think about it).

Get To The Configuration Already!

When I installed Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on my newish Vista Ultimate 64-bit machine, I saw quirky stuff. For example, I could not change the port for admin - it defaulted to 80 and gave me an error message stating my server "didn't allow" installations on other ports.

Reeeeaaallly? Huh.

I proceeded with the installation anyway and nothing worked. Well, nothing in Virtual Server. I could not get to the administrative page and, in case you've never worked with Virtual Server, you can do nothing unless you can reach the administration page. (Note, you can do stuff if you like to type. I don't like to type.)

search ensued. I found a good article on why this was happening and how to fix it. It happens because IIS7 isn't configured (out of the box) to allow Virtual Server 2005 R2 to do its thing. To fix it, open Control Panel, Programs and Features (the snappy new Add/Remove Programs), then click "Turn Windows features on or off".

You want to navigate to Internet Information Services folder and make your Windows Features look like this:

(A Thousand Words)

The image above may be the first on the web (it was the only one I could find) of how to configure IIS7 on Vista Ultimate 64-bit for both SSRS 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2.

Note you still get the Configure Components screen displayed above - the one with port textbox disabled and set to 80 - at least in Vista Ultimate. But you also get these screens:


:{> Andy

Published Saturday, December 8, 2007 12:07 PM by andyleonard

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Adam Machanic said:

Thanks!  I tried installing it a couple of months ago and when it didn't work I just gave up and used VPC instead... Maybe I'll try again w/ these instructions.

December 8, 2007 10:17 PM

andyleonard said:

Cool Adam,

  Let me know how it goes!

:{> Andy

December 8, 2007 10:43 PM

Paul Nielsen said:


I've been using Vista to host VPC/XP/Katmai and it's working well for me, but maybe I don't know waht I'm missing. What's the advantage of moving up to Virtual Server?


December 8, 2007 11:28 PM

andyleonard said:

Hi Paul,

  I am no expert on Virtual PC or Virtual Server (or anything else for that matter), but I get slightly better, though noticable, performance out of servers I host in the Virtual Server environment. In my experience, I'm able to reduce the memory allocation 10 - 15% and get the same "feel" (click response, application open speed, etc.) in Virtual Server compared to a Virtual PC-hosted machine. This may be due to the fact Virtual Server is a service, while Virtual PC is an application - I'm not sure. Whatever the reason, this allows me to run more virtual machines - or "beef up" a single machine - on a RAM-challenged system (like an older laptop).

  I find the Virtual Server environment less friendly for building virtual machines than Virtual PC, so I use Virtual PC to build the servers, then host them in Virtual Server. Once in Virtual Server, I find the VMRC controls a bit sluggish - especially when compared to Remote Desktop Connection. So I use the Admin console in Virtual Server to start and configure the machines, but I use RDC to operate them.

:{> Andy

December 9, 2007 10:10 AM

RickHeiges said:


- In Virtual Server, you can setup a cluster.  You cannot do that in VPC.

December 11, 2007 4:12 PM

Jim Duncan said:

You can also install 64bit GUESTS in Virtual Server (on a 64bit host). AFAIK Virtual PC only supports 32bit guests...

February 8, 2008 4:47 PM

Chris Randall said:

Virtual Server still only supports 32-bit guests. Need a 64-bit guest? Go with VMware. As for VS vs VPC, VPC is single-threaded; VS isn't.

February 13, 2008 10:57 PM

Rolando Quiros said:

Is there a know issue with the virtual DVD or CD in Vista?

I'm was able to create the VM but the virtual CD is not accesible, so I can't restart from it, and so, I cant install another SO/

March 3, 2008 6:15 PM

kai said:

do anyone find out why the setup does not allow to changing the port number?

June 2, 2008 2:06 AM

Scott Lock said:

One additional thing I had to do...

I had to turn off impersonation under CGI.  I thought this was odd as I had the shortcut running as ADMIN user.

June 12, 2008 3:59 PM

Avinash said:

It is cool

August 2, 2008 4:55 AM

Moiz Tankiwala, PMP said:

Your screen shot of IIS was definitely worth a thousand words. Thanks for sharing this information as it really helped us setup Virtual Server 2005 correctly on Windows 7.

-Moiz Tankiwala

June 27, 2010 10:47 PM

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