It seems that there are still so many out there having problems installing Windows Vista RC1 on VMware Workstation. It turned out that my workaround is not the best solution to this problem. Some readers mentioned it here. Thanks for that! In this post, I will also give some additional tips on how to configure Vista RC1 on VMware Workstation and Server.
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To install Windows Vista RC1 on VMware Workstation you have to edit .vmx file of this virtual machine. Add these lines:
svga.maxWidth = "640"
svga.maxHeight = "480"
This is necessary, otherwise you won't be able to see the output of the setup routine. On VMware Server it works without this setting.
Next disable the USB devices on this VM. Change
<usb.present = "TRUE">
<usb.present = "FALSE">
in the .vmx file of this virtual machine. It is not enough to just disable the USB devices for this virtual machine in the VMware Workstation console. Without this setting every shutdown of Vista will end with a blue screen.
When you're done with the Vista setup, you should install the VMware tools. They include an SVGA driver which you'll need for higher screen resolutions. Before you can change the screen resolution, you have to remove the svga.maxWidth and svga.maxHeight entries in the .vmx file and restart the VM.
Especially if you remotely access your host system you might experience a sluggish screen output or a jerky mouse pointer. I, then, recommend changing some of the default display settings. Right click on the desktop and then choose "Personalize" in the context menu.
- Mouse Pointers: disable "Mouse pointer shadow" and select "None" as scheme
- Desktop Background: Choose a solid color instead of background picture.
- Display Settings: Use 16 bit as color depth instead of 32 bit.
- Window Color and Appearance: If your display output is still slow, you can try to use the Windows standard color scheme.
- Screensaver: Disable the screensaver: You probably have more than one VM running. The screensaver just wastes resources.
It is also better to disable power management. Otherwise, you have to start VM again after Vista entered sleep mode. And who needs power management on a virtual machine anyway? Go to Control Panel ->System and Maintenance ->Power Options ->Change when the computer sleeps and set "Put the computer to sleep" and "Turn of the display" to "Never".
There are still two VMware features which won't work with Vista RC1: Copy and paste from host to guest and autofit. With the latter feature of the VMware tools the screen resolutions are adjusted automatically when you change the windows size of your VM. If I find out how to fix these problems I'll let you know here.
There is a workaround for the copy and paste problem, though. You can copy the text to a text file on the host system. Then, you can drag this file to your guest desktop. This makes sense only for larger texts, of course.
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Update: If you want to install Vista RC2 on VMware Workstation or Server please check out this post.