Windows XP x64 as Hyper-V Guest

May 4, 2008

After another late night of fruitless trying, I have to ask: has anyone managed to get Winows XP x64 to work (including network) as guest OS in Hyper-V?

Last night I tried for 3rd time (less than 3 hours before that I deleted the OS VHD from my HDD :-)), this time using a “Legacy Network Adapter”. The result was consistent with previous attempts (failure). The x64 display drivers seems to work, but others (most importantly, the NIC driver) don’t and after installation Device Manager shows a yellow exclamation mark. Maybe I should just trust the docs – not supported and can’t work.

Out of despair I previously tried the same guest OS on VirtualBox and VMware Workstation 6.x – neither support x64 guests. And this was on Windows Server 2008 SE x64 on which Hyper-V RC0 does support x64 operating systems. I ran that VMware test proggie to make sure and indeed my fairly new Intel Core Duo processor obviously won’t do. Luckily I’ve no this problem with Hyper-V.

Update (2008/09/28): In the meantime Hyper-V RTM (with Windows XP x64 SP2 support) shipped, but for some reason my OS didn’t get the update (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/95005) so I just wasted a day on  troubleshooting  this stuff…  Wonderful.

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Getting Windows 2003 Service Pack into a Hyper-V Guest VHD

May 3, 2008

You install Windows 2003 Hyper-V guest and you can’t install add-ons required to get access to the network because it’s a pre-SP1 Windows OS. You can’t copy/download the SP to the VM because it’s got no network adapters.

Solution 1: the VHD mount script posted here. Shut the VM down, mount the VHD and copy the SP (and whatever you want) to that disk. I used the PowerShell version because it’s shorter and – of course – again got stuck with the unsigned PowerShell script problem. This time, though, I reused the “worst practice” workaround that I wrote about here. Done! To unmount, Save As… and add “un” before “mount” in the last line.

Solution 2: In your Hyper-V manager right-click on your (host) server and select Edit Disk.

So far I’ve been happy with Hyper-V although I’ve unnecessarily wasted too much time trying to get Windows XP x64 going (not supported).


Oracle and Hypervisors

November 13, 2007

A piece on Oracle’s hypervisor news says that Oracle offers virtualization at a cost that’s lower than competitors’ prices.”

But, according to a News.com article, “Microsoft said … that it will sell its new virtualization technology separately from its Windows Server operating system, in addition to as a bundle.” A stand-alone MS hypervisor will sell for a cheap $28.

Obviously, compared to Microsoft’s hypervisor pricing, any savings would be insignificant. The loser number one would be VMware (ESX Server) and the two main enterprise Linux vendors, Red Hat and Novell, share the second place. Only VMware’s stock tanked, though. Why? I guess not many folks believed that the OS vendors would make any money from their free hypervisor solution in the first place.

The Microsoft news seems more significant. Now that it’s clear than even commercial enterprise hypervisors are going freeware, this means that the battlefield is moving towards cloud management.

Oracle’s first take at Red Hat’s piece of cake – Unbreakable Linux – didn’t quite work out (one still needs to support whatever binaries apart from Oracle’s run on the OS), but this time, with “container VMs” they could be more successful. You have a free hypervisor, a free DB-tuned open source OS and your own scalable database. Wouldn’t it now make sense for Oracle to acquire one of promising VM management vendors and round up its grid/cloud computing story?