Installing Windows Home Server Vail (Beta) In VMware vSphere

It was a nice surprise to find that Microsoft had released the Windows Home Server (WHS) Vail Beta today.

Here is a quick guide for installing Vail in VMware vSphere. First download the Vail Beta from Microsoft Connect and then upload the InstallDVD.iso to vSphere.

  1. Create a new custom virtual machine and give it a name.
  2. Select a datastore for the system drive. (You will need 160+ Gb of space available).
  3. Select version 7 as the virtual machine version. Click Next.
  4. Select Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64 bit) (experimental) as the guest operating system.
  5. Click Next to continue with 1 virtual processor.
  6. Adjust the memory size to 1GB (unless you have plenty of RAM to spare).
  7. Click Next to assign 1 NIC on the default virtual machine network.
  8. Click Next to use the LSI Logic SAS SCSI controller.
  9. Click Next to create a new virtual disk.
  10. Create a disk that is larger than 160 GB. I created a drive that was 165 GB.
  11. Click Next to keep the default virtual disk options.
  12. Check the Edit the virtual machine settings before completion check-box and click Continue.
  13. Check the Datastore ISO File button and Browse to the Vail InstallDVD.iso that you uploaded to vSphere. Check the Connect at power on check-box and then click Finish.
  14. Open the Console for the virtual machine and click the Power On button to boot the virtual machine and begin the installation (see screenshots below).

Vail will reboot several times during the installation – so be patient!

Once the installation is compete remember to install VMware Tools (VM > Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools).

Enjoy the Vail Beta!

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