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Virtual PC « from the gut

First and foremost, I would like to thank the good people at Microsoft for introducing me to Virtual PC. It is quite possibly the mother of all resource hogs, but it does exactly what I want it to do. And it does it very well.

After installing Virtual PC and upgrading the memory on my laptop, I went about installing Windows Enterprise Server 2003. My objective is to use this virtual server to practice for my final MCDBA certification exam. My ulterior motive is to install SQL Server 2005 on the virtual server, so that I can finally start using SSIS.

Anyway, I ran into a hitch installing the OS on the virtual PC. It kept starting the install, then giving me a blue screen before proceeding with the install. At first, I thought it was because there wasn’t space on my drive. It looked like it was allocating 16GB to the virtual drive, and I only had 3GB remaining. So I spent all morning cleaning off my computer. Removing unused programs, running disk cleanup, even moving my MP3s onto my desktop. Then, I created a virtual disk of fixed space 10GB. Same error.

Next, I thought it was because of docking station and/or dual monitor set-up. (In case you haven’t figured it out already, I’m not really much of a systems person.) So I undocked the laptop, and tried it again. No dice.

Searched Google some more. No hints.

Finally, I changed media. I had been using an MSDN DVD. I tried using another MSDN DVD with ISO images of install CDs. I mounted that through Virtual PC, reset the instance, ran the install, and things are installing away as I write. I’m flummoxed as to why the Virtual PC won’t recognize the media at that point in the install. It’s already read all the drivers off the DVD when I get the blue screen, so it’s not that it can’t read the media. It has something to do with what it’s doing in the install immediately before it shows you the license agreement.

Oh well, as a non-systems guy, I can just shrug my shoulders and proceed.

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