Saturday, June 7, 2008

Just sit right back...

and you'll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful trip. That started from this tropic port aboard this 64 bit ship.." as the classic TV theme goes. Well almost.

 

So to recap, I have been trying to install SBS 2008 into a virtual environment. Problem is because SBS 2008 is only 64 bit I need something that supports a 64 bit guest operating system. However, I firstly need to purchase hardware that supports 64 bit and then install a 64 bit host operating system.

 

Hardware purchase, tick.

64 bit host operating system, tick.

64 bit virtual environment software, tick.

 

My initial choice for 64 bit virtual environment was Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. Which I discovered doesn't support host 64 bit operating systems. Strike one. Next option VM Ware Server. I install the current version (1.06). Problem is it doesn't have signed drivers and Vista 64 bit wants signed drivers. Long story short the current version of VM Ware server doesn't run on Vista 64 bit. Strike two. So now I try VM Ware server 2.0 Beta 2. Program installs but I can't actually log onto the VM Server. What the ...? I google here, I google there, turns out you have to enable the administrator account, (disabled by default under Vista), assign it a password and use that to log in. Ok, ok so I'm in. Now I create a VM machine and boot it but I can't connect to the VM console. I get a message about being unable to connect because a secure connection can't be established. I google here, I google there, turns out this a problem on Vista 64 bit. Damm! I try IE and Firefox to connect still no good. I google here, I google there but finally decide it's a lost cause. Strike three.

 

Next option, Virtual box from Sun. Turns out that doesn't support guest 64 bit operating systems either. <insert you favourite expletive here>. I know I can make this work, I ain't beat yet.

 

Thinking, thinking....ok let's try Windows 2008 and Hyper V as the virtual environment. This means an installation of Windows 2008 server 64 bit to remove the base Vista 64 bit I started with on my hardware. Luckily, I created a small system partition and had my data on another partition so all I needed to do was reformat and reinstall on the small system partition while my data remained intact. Hey, I'm not just a pretty face you know! Now my 64 bit machine doesn't have a mouse, keyboard and monitor since I was using remote desktop. So I stretch my existing keyboard, mouse and monitor across, boot to the Windows 2008 Server 64 bit system DVD and install Windows Server 2008.

 

Ok, Windows Server 2008 is up, I enable remote desktop, remove the keyboard, mouse and monitor and access it remotely again. I add the role for Hyper V and reboot. Bugger, Hyper V console won't load. Next stop Microsoft Update. Patching, patching, patching .... reboot, still no joy. Bugger x 2. So I search Microsoft.com and find that there is an update (not a critical or recommended update mind you for Hyper V on 64 bit Windows 2008 which I install and finally the Hyper V console is working. Phew. I go in and create a new virtual machine and start it up but am greeted by an error saying that the machine can't start because Hyper V isn't running. What the ...?

 

So I'm googling and I'm googling and learn that you have to turn on the virtualization stuff in your PC's BIOS since it is disabled by default in most cases. So I move the keyboard, mouse and monitor BACK to the 64 bit machine, reboot go into the BIOS and enable the virtualization stuff. I reboot the machine, move the keyboard, mouse and monitor BACK AGAIN to my original desktop and connect remotely.

 

That's all for this entries exciting tale. Stay tuned to the next entry for ... Just kidding, I couldn't do that to anyone who has read this far. Bottom line is I now have it working and am in the process of installing a guest SBS 2008 system on a Hyper V virtual machine on a Windows 2008 64 bit host operating system. I'm sure this story is far from over so do stay tuned!