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John Paul Cook

Hyper-V, Remote Desktop, and your mouse

Hyper-V provides really great performance, more than enough to remove the frustration from running beta versions of SQL Server in a virtual environment. Like so many other server products, we often use it through Remote Desktop Connection. That's a problem when installing an operating system in a Hyper-V virtual machine (which is called a child partition, by the way) because you don't have any control of the mouse in a Virtual Machine Connection window when you are connected to the server via Remote Desktop Connection. Once Integration Services are installed, everything is fine, but first you have to get them installed without using a mouse.

There is a simple trick to doing a mouseless installation of Integration Services. Create an iso file containing both the Integration Services installer and an autorun.inf file. Attach the iso file to the running virtual machine and use the keyboard to kick off the installation.

Creating an iso file can be done using many commercial CD/DVD burning applications. There are also two free applications that quickly and easily create iso files. IsoRecorder can be downloaded from and Folder2Iso can be downloaded from It isn't an either or choice, you need them both. IsoRecorder is a very convenient tool because it allows you to right-click on a folder and create an iso file. But it does require an installation, something that you might not want to do or even been allowed to do on a server. Folder2Iso is an executable you just run without ever installing anything. It is ideal for servers you want to keep clean.

Both IsoRecorder and Folder2Iso require that you create a folder and put all of the files you want in the iso file in that folder. You'll need to add one additional file, the autorun.inf file, to that folder before creating the iso file.

Here are the steps for installing Integration Services via Remote Desktop Connection. Although this example is for a 64-bit child partition, the steps for a 32-bit system are the same, except for the Integration Services file to use.

  1. Create a folder with a descriptive name such as Hyper-Vx64RC0
  2. Add the Integration Services installer file Windows6.0-KB949219-x64.msu (or whatever is the most current version) to the Hyper-Vx64RC0 folder.
  3. Add the following two line autorun.inf file to the Hyper-Vx64RC0 folder.


  4. Create an iso file from the Hyper-Vx64 folder. IsoRecorder is used in this example.

  5. Attach the iso file to the running virtual machine. Use the enter key to run the installer file.

  6. Reboot.

The installer for the Integration Services requires a reboot, which I could not accomplish until I sent a CTRL+ALT+DEL to the vm and used keyboard commands to force a reboot. After the vm rebooted, full mouse control was enabled.

Published Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:57 PM by John Paul Cook

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wharrislv said:

This is a great article, I've become pretty good with keyboard shortcuts due to my fascination with them for everyday work, but this will sure save a lot of ALT Tab Tab Tab etc.

April 17, 2008 8:47 PM

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse currently studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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