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Release Notes for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

Microsoft® Virtual Server 2005 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) QFE contains the latest software updates for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. These release notes contain important information about the new features included with this release, installing the software, and known issues. To make sure that you understand these updates and their effects, review all of the information in this document before you install SP1.

ImportantImportant
Information in this document might differ from some of the information that appears in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide or the Getting Started Guide. If you find such differences, consider the information in this document to be correct.

These release notes cover:

What's new in this update?

The following new host and guest operating systems are supported with this QFE update.

New guest operating system support:

  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Ultimate Edition
  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Business Edition
  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Enterprise Edition
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Windows Server® 2008 Core
  • Windows Server® 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server® 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server® 2008 Small Business Server

New host operating system support:

  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Ultimate Edition (non-production use only)
  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Business Edition (non-production use only)
  • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) Enterprise Edition (non-production use only)
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3) (non-production use only)
  • Windows Server® 2008 Core
  • Windows Server® 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server® 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server® 2008 Small Business Server

What was introduced in Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1?

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 introduced the following features:

  • Support for hardware-assisted virtualization technology
  • Support for greater than 64 virtual machines on x64-based hosts
  • VHD Mount command-line tool and APIs
  • Interoperability with Volume Shadow Copy Service
  • Support for additional guest and host operating systems
  • Service publication using Active Directory Service Connection Points
  • Host clustering white paper
  • Virtual SCSI fix for Linux guests
  • Larger default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks
  • VMRC ActiveX control and Internet Explorer security zones
  • New VMRC client option to enable video stretch in full screen mode
  • IVMGuestOS::Get_OSName property returns more operating system information

Support for hardware-assisted virtualization technology (SVM/VT)

This release includes support for hardware-assisted virtualization technology (SVM/VT). By default, hardware-assisted virtualization is enabled if the feature is enabled on the physical server. You can turn this assistance on or off for each virtual machine by configuring the Enable hardware-assisted virtualization if available option on the Configuration page.

To turn this support off or on for all virtual machines, you can modify the Options.xml file. Set the value of the <enable_hw_assist> key to true or false. For example, when support is turned on for all virtual machines, the key is set to true as follows:

<preferences>

<virtual_server>

<hw_assist>

<enable_hw_assist type="boolean">true</enable_hw_assist>

</hw_assist>

</virtual_server>

</preferences>

noteNote
There is a known issue that affects the installation of this release on a computer that has AMD hardware-assisted virtualization support and uses an x64-based version of Windows® as the host operating system. For more information, see "Known issues" later in this document.

Support for greater than 64 virtual machines on x64-based hosts

Previous versions of Virtual Server had a hard limit of being able to run 64 virtual machines concurrently. With this service pack, Virtual Server can address up to 256 GB of memory and run up to 512 virtual machines on x64-based hosts. The 64 virtual machine limit remains when running on 32-bit hosts.

VHD Mount utility

VHD Mount provides the ability to mount a virtual hard disk file (.vhd file) as a virtual disk device on the host operating system. You can access this functionality by using the command-line tool or programmatically through APIs.

noteNote
You must have administrative credentials to run VHDMount. When User Access Control (UAC) is enabled, you need to run VHDmount using a command prompt with elevated permissions.

For more information about using the VHD Mount command-line tool, see "Mounting Virtual Hard Disks at the Command Line" in the Virtual Server Help.

For more information about using VHD Mount through APIs, see the Virtual Server Programmer's Guide.

Interoperability with Volume Shadow Copy Service

When you use backup software that works with the new Volume Shadow Copy Service writer for Virtual Server to back up your host operating system, you can back up Virtual Server and its running virtual machines without needing to install backup agents inside the guest operating system of the virtual machines.

For more information, see "Backing up and restoring Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server Help.

Support for additional guest and host operating systems

The following new host and guest operating systems are supported.

New guest operating system support:

  • Windows Vista® Ultimate
  • Windows Vista® Business
  • Windows Vista® Enterprise
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Standard Edition with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Web Edition with Service Pack 2
  • OS/2 4.5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 7)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 (update 8)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 (update 4)
  • Red Hate Enterprise Linux 5.0
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.0
  • Red Hat Linux 9.0
  • SuSE Linux 9.3
  • SuSE Linux 10.0
  • SuSE Linux 10.1
  • SuSE Linux 10.2

New host operating system support:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Standard Edition with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Datacenter Edition with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Standard Edition x64 with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Enterprise Edition x64 with Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Datacenter Edition x64 with Service Pack 2
  • Windows Vista® Ultimate (non-production use only)
  • Windows Vista® Business (non-production use only)
  • Windows Vista® Enterprise (non-production use only)

Service publication using Active Directory Service Connection Points

Virtual Server service now publishes its binding information in Active Directory as a Service Connection Point (SCP) object. Clients of the Virtual Server service can use this information to easily locate all instances of the Virtual Server service within an Active Directory forest.

The following keywords are available for search:

  • 2005 R2
  • Microsoft Virtual Server
  • Microsoft Corporation

The following binding information is published for a Virtual Server instance:

  • Fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the host operating system. For example, hostname.contoso.com
  • Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) server address—for example, vmrc://host name.contoso.com:5900

Host clustering white paper

The host clustering white paper is now included with Virtual Server. It is installed at: %systemdrive%\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Host Clustering.

Virtual SCSI fix for Linux guests

An issue was fixed when trying to install certain Linux distributions inside a virtual machine on the emulated SCSI bus. The issue occurred most often with the Linux 2.6.x kernel.

Larger default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks

The default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks has been changed from 16 GB to 127 GB.

VMRC ActiveX control and Internet Explorer security zones

The Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) ActiveX control now uses the security zone information in Internet Explorer to determine whether to prompt you for your credentials when you load the control. If the Administration Web site is in the Internet Zone, the VMRC ActiveX control will prompt for credentials every time you navigate to it. To suppress the prompt, you can add the fully qualified domain name of the server as shown in the address bar of Internet Explorer to the Local Intranet zone. The prompt will be suppressed when you use VMRC or the Administration Web site.

New VMRC client option to enable video stretch in full screen mode

A new command-line option -fullscreenstretch has been added to the VMRC client. With this option, the console opens in full screen mode and the display is stretched to resized to the fill the entire screen.

IVMGuestOS::Get_OSName property returns more operating system information

Now, the IVMGuestOS::Get_OSName property returns service pack information of the guest operating system appended with the full name of the guest operating system—for example, "Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, Service Pack 1".

Running Virtual Server on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

To run Virtual Server on the Windows Vista operating system, you must enable both Internet Information Services (IIS) and the settings shown in the table below. There is an option when you install Virtual Server to do this automatically. To change these settings manually, from Control Panel, under Programs, click Windows Features, and then click Turn Windows features on and off.

noteNote
Windows Vista support is for non-production use only.

 

Setting Enable

Web Management Tools

IIS Management Console

IIS 6 Management Compatibility

IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility

Application Development Features

CGI

Common Http Features

  • Default Document
  • Directory Browsing
  • HTTP Errors
  • Static Content

Health and Diagnostics

  • HTTP Logging
  • Request Monitor

Performance Features

Static Content Compression

Security

Windows Authentication

What was introduced in Virtual Server 2005 R2

Virtual Server 2005 R2 introduced the following features:

Support for additional host operating systems

In addition to the host operating systems supported by Virtual Server 2005, Virtual Server 2005 R2 adds support for the following host operating systems:

  • Windows Server® 2003 R2, Standard Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition with SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Datacenter Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition with SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Standard x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows XP Professional, x64 Edition
ImportantImportant
You should use Windows XP Professional as a host operating system only in a non-production environment.

Support for additional guest operating systems

In addition to the guest operating systems supported by Virtual Server 2005, Virtual Server 2005 R2 adds support for the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Standard Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition with SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 R2, Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition with SP1
  • Windows XP Professional with SP2
noteNote
Per-incident and security update support for Windows NT® Server 4.0 ended on December 31, 2004. This includes support for Windows NT Server 4.0 running on a virtual machine under Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2. For more information, see Changes in Windows NT Server 4.0 Support (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=43663).

Support for eight additional languages

In addition to English, Virtual Server 2005 R2 is also available in Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Virtual Disk Precompactor

Virtual Server 2005 R2 includes Virtual Disk Precompactor, a utility designed to "zero out" (overwrite with zeros) any available blank space on a virtual hard disk (VHD). We recommend that you use Virtual Disk Precompactor before you compact a dynamically expanding VHD in order to create a smaller compacted VHD.

noteNote
Compacting VHDs is described in "Compacting dynamically expanding virtual hard disks" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. This topic describes using a non-Microsoft tool to zero out data, however, you can use Virtual Disk Precompactor instead.

After you install Virtual Server 2005 R2, you can find Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso in the folder: %systemdrive%\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Virtual Machine Additions\.

To use Virtual Disk Precompactor, you must first capture Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso using the standard procedure for capturing .iso files as described in "To add or remove a CD or DVD drive" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

If your virtual machine is running when you capture Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso, Virtual Disk Precompactor starts automatically. If you click Yes when prompted, Virtual Disk Precompactor precompacts all virtual hard disks for this virtual machine. If Virtual Disk Precompactor does not start automatically, you can start it by navigating to the CD drive of the guest operating system and double-clicking Precompact.exe.

Alternatively, you can also run Virtual Disk Precompactor from the command line by navigating to the CD drive of the guest operating system and typing Precompact. The available parameters are:

-Help - Displays help for the precompactor.

-Silent - Runs the precompactor in unattended mode.

-SetDisks - Specifies the disks to be precompacted. If this parameter is not specified, then all virtual hard disks for this virtual machine are compacted. For example, the following command will precompact your C, D, and E drives in unattended mode:

Precompact -Silent -SetDisks:CDE

noteNote
You can only compact dynamically expanding VHDs. To compact a fixed-size VHD, you can convert it to a dynamically expanding VHD, compact it, and then convert it back to a fixed size VHD.

Performance enhancements

Changes have been made to the way that Virtual Server allocates physical memory to guest operating systems. In some scenarios, this could result in significant performance improvements.

Built-in support for network installations

Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot support has been added to the virtual machine network adapter. This means that when the appropriate network infrastructure is in place, you can perform a network installation of a guest operating system without needing a PXE boot floppy disk.

Reserved disk space for saved state files

With Virtual Server 2005 R2, Virtual Server now reserves sufficient space on the physical disk to save the state of each running virtual machine. It does this when the virtual machine starts up by creating an empty saved state (.vsv) file equal to amount of memory allocated to the virtual machine plus a 20 MB buffer. For example, if 200 MB of memory is allocated to a virtual machine, Virtual Server will create an empty .vsv file that is 220 MB in size. This ensures that you will have sufficient disk space to save the state of the virtual machine. When you shut down the virtual machine, Virtual Server deletes the empty .vsv. If you have selected the option to save virtual machine state, Virtual Server replaces it with a populated .vsv file. If not, Virtual Server simply frees the space on the disk without creating another file.

ImportantImportant
If there is insufficient disk space to create the .vsv file, the virtual machine will not start. To start the virtual machine, you will need to make additional space available on the physical disk that is at least equal to the memory allocated to the virtual machine plus 20 MB.

Virtual floppy disk for pre-loading emulated SCSI drivers

Virtual Server 2005 R2 includes a virtual floppy disk, SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd, which you can use to load the emulated SCSI drivers during installation of a Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Server, or Windows XP Professional guest operating system. This will speed the installation when the virtual hard disk is attached to a virtual SCSI adapter. For instructions on using this virtual floppy disk, see "Speeding operating system installation on SCSI disks" later in this document.

Support for hyper-threading

With Virtual Server 2005, we recommended that you disable hyper-threading on the host operating system to improve the performance of your virtual machines. With Virtual Server 2005 R2, this is no longer necessary. Hyper-threading does not affect virtual machine performance, except when Virtual Machine Additions is not installed.

Support to specify NUMA node programmatically to allocate virtual machine memory

On computers that use a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) system which supports non-uniform memory access (NUMA), you can now specify the NUMA node to allocate the virtual machine's memory to the specified node. The value is stored in the virtual machine configuration (.vmc) file in a new key, Settings/Numa/Memory/Preferred_Node. You can specify the node programmatically by using IVMVirtualMachine::SetConfigurationValue.

Installation notes

Upgrading from Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

To install the QFE updates for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, simply double-click the setup files to start the Setup Wizard and follow the remaining steps.

ImportantImportant
You must have SP1 installed prior to installing KB948515.msp.
ImportantImportant
In Windows Vista® and Windows Server® 2008, the update would need to be installed from an elevated command prompt using the following syntax: msiexec /p <path to .msp file>

Upgrading from Virtual Server 2005 R2

This section provides information for those who currently do not have R2 SP1 installed. There are two installation scenarios:

  • Upgrade in place. Install SP1 on a computer on which Virtual Server 2005 R2 is currently installed.
  • New installation. Install SP1 on a computer on which Virtual Server 2005 R2 is not currently installed.
noteNote
You cannot upgrade from Virtual Server 2005 to Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. You must first remove Virtual Server 2005 as described in "Remove Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. Then you can perform a new installation, as described in "Performing a new installation" later in this document.
ImportantImportant
You must shut down all guest operating systems or turn off all virtual machines before performing the installation, including any virtual machines that are currently in a saved state. This is important because saved states are not compatible between Virtual Server 2005 R2 and all previous versions of Virtual Server 2005.
noteNote
Virtual Server requires .NET Framework 2.0. If you do not have this version installed, the Virtual Server Interop DLLs will not be registered with the Global Assembly Cache (GAC), and you will need to manually register these as described in the Knowledge Base article 315682 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=88030).

Upgrading in place

On a computer that is running Virtual Server 2005 R2, you can upgrade to this version of SP1 using the following procedure.

ImportantImportant
You cannot upgrade a trial version of Virtual Server 2005. In this case, you must first remove Virtual Server 2005 as described in "Remove Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. Then you can perform a new installation, as described next, in "Performing a new installation" later in this document.
ImportantImportant
If you are upgrading from 32-bit or 64-bit versions, you must upgrade to the same version type. In other words, you can upgrade from a 32-bit version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 to a 32-bit version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, or from a 64-bit version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 to a 64-bit version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. You can also only upgrade an OEM version to an OEM version, or a Volume version to a Volume version.
To upgrade to SP1 on a computer that is currently running Virtual Server 2005 R2
  1. Make sure that all virtual machines are turned off, including any virtual machines in a saved state. Saved states are not compatible between Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

  2. Back up all of your Virtual Server files. In the unlikely event that your installation becomes corrupted, you can restore the files from these backups. The files to back up include:

    • Virtual Server configuration file (Options.xml)
    • Virtual machine configuration (.vmc) files
    • Virtual network configuration (.vnc) files
    • Virtual hard disk (.vhd) files
    • Undo disk (.vud) files

    For more information about the default locations of these files, see "Virtual Server folders and files" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. For more information about backing up your files, see "Backing up and restoring Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

  3. From the Services snap-in, stop the Virtual Server and Virtual Machine Helper services. For instructions, see "Start and stop the Virtual Server service" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

  4. If you want, on the host operating system, install Windows Server 2003 SP1 or Windows XP Professional SP2 as appropriate.

  5. Depending on your installation, follow the instructions in "Install SP1 on a single computer" or "Install the Virtual Server service and the Administration Web site for SP1 on separate computers" later in this document.

  6. After completing the installation, reinstall Virtual Machine Additions in each guest operating system, as described in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. When you reinstall Virtual Machine Additions, the guest operating system will restart twice.

Performing a new installation

You can install SP1 on a computer that is not currently running Virtual Server 2005 R2 using the following procedure.

ImportantImportant
Internet Information Services (IIS) must already be installed on the computer on which you install the Administration Web site.
To install SP1 on a computer that is not currently running Virtual Server 2005 R2
  1. Ensure that the computer on which you want to install SP1 meets or exceeds the requirements listed in "System Requirements" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator’s Guide. In addition to these requirements, it also can be running one of the operating systems listed earlier in "Support for additional operating systems".

  2. Install the World Wide Web Service component of Internet Information Services (IIS) on the computer on which you want to install the Administration Web site.

  3. Review conceptual information about configuring the Administration Web site to run as either the authenticated user or the Local System account. Once you select either of these options, you can only change the option by reinstalling Virtual Server. For more information, see "Installing the Administration Web site" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

Install SP1 on a single computer

In this scenario, you install the Virtual Server service for SP1 and the Administration Web site for SP1 on the same computer. For more information about this configuration, see "Installing Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

noteNote
To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.
To install SP1 on a single computer
  1. Log onto the computer on which you want to install SP1.

  2. Download the appropriate SP1 installation program.

  3. For a new installation, double-click Setup.exe to start the Setup Wizard and follow the remaining steps.

  4. Proceed through the wizard until you reach the Setup Type page.

  5. On the Setup Type page, select Complete, which installs the Virtual Server service and the Administration Web site on this computer, and then click Next.

  6. On the Configure Components page, either accept the default Web site port value of 1024, or type a new value for the port.

  7. Select Configure the Administration Web site to always run as the authenticated user, or Configure the Administration Web site to always run as the Local System account. Then, click Next.

  8. If users will need to access Virtual Server through Windows Firewall, select Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall. Otherwise, leave this check box blank.

    If you leave the Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall check box blank, you will need to manually configure any firewall settings. For instructions, see the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

    If you select Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall, setup adds an exception for the Virtual Server service (vssrvc.exe). It also adds an exception to port 135 for Remote Procedure Call, which is required for DCOM.

  9. Click Next and then click Install to begin the installation.

  10. Once the installation is complete, the Setup Complete page appears. Click Finish to close the page and exit the Setup Wizard.

Install the Virtual Server service and the Administration Web site on separate computers

In this scenario, you install the Virtual Server service for SP1 on one computer and the Administration Web site for SP1 on a different computer. For more information about this configuration, see "Installing Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

noteNote
If you select Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall, setup adds an exception for the Virtual Server service (Vssrvc.exe). It also adds an exception to port 135 for Remote Procedure Call, which is required for DCOM. If you leave the Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall check box blank, you will need to manually configure any firewall settings. For instructions, see the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.
noteNote
To perform these procedures, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.
To install the Virtual Server service for SP1
  1. Log onto the computer on which you want to install the Virtual Server service.

  2. Download the appropriate SP1 installation program.

  3. For a new installation, double-click Setup.exe to start the Setup Wizard and follow the remaining steps.

  4. Proceed through the wizard until you reach the Setup Type page.

  5. On the Setup Type page, select Custom, and then click Next.

  6. Click Virtual Server Web Application, select This feature will not be available, and then click Next.

  7. Click Install to begin the installation.

  8. Once the installation is complete, the Setup Complete page appears. Click Finish to close the page and exit the Setup Wizard.

To install the Administration Web site for SP1
  1. Log onto the computer on which you want to install the Administration Web site.

  2. Download the appropriate SP1 installation program.

  3. For a new installation, double-click Setup.exe to start the Setup Wizard and follow the remaining steps. For an upgrade, click Next, and skip to the last step.

  4. Proceed through the wizard until you reach the Setup Type page.

  5. On the Setup Type page, select Custom, and then click Next.

  6. Click Virtual Server Service, select This feature will not be available, and then click Next.

  7. On the Configure Components page, either accept the default Web site port value, or type a new value for the port.

    Select Configure the Administration Web site to always run as the Local System account, and then click Next.

    For more information about the options to configure the Administration Web site, see "Configuring constrained delegation" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

  8. Click Install to begin the installation.

  9. Once the installation is complete, the Setup Complete page appears. Click Finish to close the page and exit the Setup Wizard.

    When installation is complete, Microsoft Internet Explorer opens and an installation summary appears. In addition, a message may appear depending on whether you have enabled Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. You can click OK to dismiss this message.

Migrate your resources to the new installation

You might need to migrate your resources — including virtual machines, virtual networks, and Virtual Server configuration—from Virtual Server 2005 R2 to your new SP1 installation. This might be the case, for example, if your installation of Virtual Server 2005 R2 is on a different computer than the original installation. Migrating your resources is not necessary when you perform an in-place upgrade.

ImportantImportant
Saved state (.vsv) files are not compatible between Virtual Server 2005 R2 and SP1 and cannot be migrated.
To migrate your resources
  1. Shut down or turn off all virtual machines that you want to migrate, including any virtual machines that are in a saved state.

  2. Make backup copies of all Virtual Server configuration and resource files. These include:

    • Virtual Server configuration file (Options.xml)
    • Virtual machine configuration (.vmc) files
    • Virtual network configuration (.vnc) files
    • Virtual hard disk (.vhd) files
    • Undo disk (.vud) files
  3. For more information about the default locations of these files, see "Virtual Server folders and files" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. For more information about backing up your files, see "Backing up and restoring Virtual Server" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

  4. Install or upgrade the host operating system as appropriate.

  5. Install SP1, following the instructions earlier in this document.

  6. Restore the copied files to the new SP1 installation, in the same location as they had in your original installation of Virtual Server 2005.

  7. Reinstall Virtual Machine Additions for each virtual machine. For instructions, see the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

    When you reinstall Virtual Machine Additions, the guest operating system will restart twice.

Installing SP1 from the command line

You can install SP1 using either the Setup file or the .msi (Windows Installer) file. This topic describes both approaches.

Installing SP1 using the Setup file

You can install SP1 from the command line using the following syntax:

Setup.exe /v" /qn"

This installs SP1 in unattended mode.

Installing SP1 using the .msi file

In Virtual Server 2005 R2, the .msi file is embedded in Setup.exe. If you need to use the .msi file for installation, you can extract this file—Virtual Server 2005 Install.msi—from Setup.exe by using the following syntax:

Setup.exe /c /t drive letter :\ path to the .msi file

Example: Setup.exe /c /t c:\SetupFiles

This extracts Virtual Server 2005 Install.msi to the specified location. To perform the installation, you can then use the syntax described in "Installing Virtual Server from the command line" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

noteNote
The ALLUSERS and PIDKEY options for Msiexec.exe are not relevant for Virtual Server setup.

Speeding operating system installation on SCSI disks

Virtual Server now includes a virtual floppy disk file named SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd that contains the virtual machine emulated SCSI drivers for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows XP Professional. When you install one of these operating systems on a virtual hard disk that is attached to an emulated SCSI adapter, you can increase the speed of the installation by using this disk to load the SCSI drivers.

noteNote
SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd does not include the emulated SCSI drivers for Windows NT 4.0 Server. To speed an installation of Windows NT 4.0 Server on a SCSI disk, you can change the attachment of the VHD from the virtual SCSI adapter to a virtual IDE adapter, install the guest operating system, and then reattach the VHD to the SCSI adapter.
To load the emulated SCSI drivers
  1. Start the guest operating system installation.

  2. When prompted to load a third-party SCSI or RAID driver, press F6. This prompt will display at the bottom of the setup screen. You must press F6 as soon as the prompt displays.

    The setup screen will display a message indicating that Windows could not determine the type of mass storage device on your system.

  3. Go to the Floppy Drive Properties page of the virtual machine and capture SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd. For instructions, see "To add or remove a floppy disk" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide. To capture it, you can either select SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd in the Known virtual floppy disks list, or you can type the fully qualified path, which is %systemdrive%\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Virtual Machine Additions\SCSI Shunt Driver.vfd.

  4. Return to the setup screen, type S, and then press Enter.

  5. Scroll to the SCSI driver for your operating system and press Enter.

  6. Complete the guest operating system installation.

Virtual Server performance counters

Virtual Server 2005 adds the Virtual Machines performance object to Windows Server 2003 Performance Logs and Alerts. This object has the following counters:

  • Allocated MB. For each virtual machine, displays the currently allocated memory in megabytes (MB).
  • Allocated Pages. For each virtual machine, displays the number of memory pages currently allocated.

The Virtual Machines performance object is available only when at least one virtual machine is running. On the Add Counters page, when you add one of these counters, you can select the virtual machine instances to monitor. You can either select all instances or select the instances from the list.

For more information about adding and using performance counters, see the Performance objects and counters topic in Windows Server 2003 Help (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=71559).

Known issues

The following are descriptions of known issues.

SP1 with KB948515.msp QFE issues

The following sections describe the known issues for this release.

Cannot use VMRC to connect to Virtual Server through a proxy server

The Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) client does not support connecting to Virtual Server though a proxy server. You must be running the ISA firewall client on the local computer or have a direct Internet connection to connect to Virtual Server.

Clustering of Virtual Server on Windows Server 2008 is not supported

Cluster options are available on Windows 2003 and Virtual Server but not on Windows Server 2008 and Virtual Server.

Floppy Disk Access from Guest Operating System is not supported on Windows Server 2008

On Windows Server 2008 and Virtual Server, the Guest Operating System will not be able to access the physical floppy disk on the host.

Physical media change not reflected in the Guest Operating System

On Windows Server 2008 and Virtual Server, the Guest Operating System may not be able to reflect the change in the physical media. Reassign the CD/DVD to the Virtual Machine from the Administrator Web site to resolve the issue

Issues with VHDMount on VHDs configured as dynamic disks on Windows Server 2008

On Windows Server 2008, mounting a VHD configured as a dynamic disk containing one or more volumes spread across multiple disks might result in the disk or the volumes not showing up online. In some scenarios mirrored volumes might be broken into simple volumes.

SP1 issues

The following sections describe the known issues for this release.

Toshiba support

Toshiba M400 and Toshiba M7 laptops can stop responding when the hardware virtualization assist (VT) mode is on. Check with Toshiba for BIOS updates to resolve this issue.

Need to upgrade old VMRC clients

With this release, multiple simultaneous Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) connections to Virtual Server are disabled by default. This change means that VMRC clients using an earlier release will not work with a server running this release. To avoid this issue, upgrade your VMRC clients to the latest version.

noteNote
New VMRC clients will work with old servers.

VSS writer does not support online backup of virtual machines that contain FAT/FAT32 volumes

The VSS writer for Virtual Server does not support online backup of virtual machines that contain FAT/FAT32 volumes, volumes that do not allow snapshots, or volumes whose shadow copy areas exist on a different volume.

Virtual Server performance degrades under a virtualized environment

Running Virtual Server on top of a virtualized environment (like a hypervisor) will degrade performance substantially and is not recommended.

Backup using Volume Shadow Copy Service will not work if Virtual Machine Helper (VMH) service is stopped

Writer support for Volume Shadow Copy Service in Virtual Server depends on the Virtual Machine Helper (VMH) service. If the Virtual Machine Helper service is stopped, backups will fail.

Error message: VMH service will not restart.

Possible cause: If the Virtual Machine Helper service is stopped while running, it may not automatically.

To troubleshoot this error
  1. Log on with administrative credentials.

  2. Restart the Virtual Machine Helper service.

  3. Restart the Virtual Server service.

Update required on certain x64-based computers

Installing Virtual Server on a computer that has AMD hardware-assisted virtualization support and uses Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP as the host operating system generates a bug check and shuts down the operating system. This issue occurs because these versions of the Windows operating system protect a critical system register that Virtual Server modifies to enable hardware-assisted virtualization. You can resolve this issue by installing a hotfix (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89454). For information about this hotfix, see the Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Web site http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=89247.

Undo Disks is not compatible with live backups

You cannot use the Virtual Server VSS writer to perform a live backup of a virtual machine on which Undo Disks is enabled. However, you can back up the virtual machine while it is turned off or in a saved state.

Live backup requires volume size of 300 MB or more

If a virtual machine has a volume attached to it that is less than 300 megabytes (MB), live backup using the Virtual Server VSS writer will fail.

Cannot use VMRC to connect to Virtual Server through a proxy server

The Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) client does not support connecting to Virtual Server though a proxy server. You must be running the ISA firewall client on the local computer or have a direct Internet connection to connect to Virtual Server.

Virtual Server 2005 R2 issues

The following are descriptions of known issues in Virtual Server 2005 R2 that also apply to this release.

Data loss can occur when compacting a differencing disk with Undo Disks enabled

When compacting a differencing disk that is attached to a virtual machine with Undo Disks enabled, any changes saved in an undo disk (.vud) file will be lost. This occurs because compacting the differencing disk makes the undo disk file unusable. To help prevent data loss, commit the changes stored in the .vud file when you shut down or turn off the virtual machine before you compact any disks attached to that machine.

Share a SCSI adapter only when using ID 0

You should share a SCSI adapter only when a virtual hard disk attached to the SCSI adapter is attached to ID 0. Otherwise the following error will occur: IVMHardDiskConnection::get_HardDisk() failed. This hard disk object has not been properly initialized. This error prevents you from returning to the configuration page to modify the configuration.

Default Host key assignment and non-English characters

The Host key is assigned to the right ALT key by default, which might interfere with inputting certain characters on a virtual machine running a non-English operating system. You can resolve this issue by assigning the Host key to a different key. For instructions, see "To change the default Host key" in the Virtual Server 2005 Administrator's Guide.

Installation requires support for 8.3 file names

If you have used the fsutil command to turn off support for creating file names in 8.3 format, the Virtual Server 2005 R2 install will fail. You must turn on this support in order to install this operating system.

Incorrect user rights on virtual machine folder causes unexpected or disk-related errors during startup

When you try to start a virtual machine with a user account that does not have Write access to the virtual machine configuration folder, you will receive a message such as, "The virtual machine Virtualmachinename could not be started. An unexpected error occurred." Or "Virtualmachinename could not be started because a disk-related error occurred." This occurs because Virtual Server creates an empty saved state (.vsv) file in the virtual machine configuration folder when a virtual machine starts up. You can resolve this problem by granting Write permission on the virtual machine configuration folder to the user account for the virtual machine.

Setup modifies ACL on default virtual machine configuration folder with settings from custom folder

If you specify a custom folder to store virtual machines and use Virtual Server security settings to add permission entries for a new user, removing and reinstalling Virtual Server will modify the access control list (ACL) on the default folder by adding the new user with the rights that were assigned on the custom folder. The default folder is %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Shared Virtual Machines.

Removing Virtual Server does not remove configuration files

When you remove Virtual Server, the removal process does not delete files that store settings for virtual disk files or virtual machines and virtual networks. If you do not want to keep these files, you can delete them manually. The default locations of these files are as follows:

  • Virtual machine configuration (.vmc) files are stored in %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Shared Virtual Machines
  • Virtual network configuration (.vnc) files are stored in %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Shared Virtual Networks.
  • Virtual hard disk (.vhd) files that are created when a virtual machine is created are located by default in the virtual machine configuration folder (%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Shared Virtual Machines). Other virtual hard disk files and all virtual floppy disk (.vfd) files are stored in the location that was specified when the file was created.

Availability of 32-bit and 64-bit versions of VMRC

The version of Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) that is provided with Virtual Server matches the version of Virtual Server, either 32-bit or 64-bit. If you install the 64-bit version of Virtual Server VMRC, you must install the 32-bit version of Virtual Server on a separate computer if you need to obtain a 32-bit version of VMRC.

Virtual Machine Additions on remote systems

When you remotely manage a virtual machine from a computer on which Virtual Server 2005 R2 is installed, virtual machine details for the remote virtual machine might include a warning that Virtual Machine Additions is out of date. This warning occurs when the remote physical computer is not running Virtual Server 2005 R2. You can ignore this warning.

Documentation corrections

This section provides additions and corrections to the Virtual Server 2005 documentation.

Default paths

In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, the default paths for Virtual Machine files are changed from \Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Shared Virtual Networks to \Users\Public\Documents\.

Virtual Machine Additions setup change affects information for Virtual Server Migration Toolkit users

Virtual Machine Additions in Virtual Server 2005 R2 is installed as part of the .msi setup package instead of through the Virtual Machine Additions .iso image file. As a result, the instructions in the topic "Load Virtual Machine Additions" in the Virtual Server Migration Toolkit Help (Vsmt.chm) are incorrect.

Correction: Instead of capturing the .iso and copying files from that source, you will need to copy the following files from a guest operating system on which Virtual Machine Additions is installed. Vmsrvc.sys is located in the %systemroot%\System32\Drivers folder of the guest operating system. Msvmscsi.sys is located in the %systemdrive%\Program Files\Virtual Machine Additions folder of the guest operating system.

The instructions for pasting them to the Deployment Agent repository folder remain the same.

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