Running MOC Courseware Virtual Machines on Windows 7 RC

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in virtual pc, virtualisation, windows 7

Once you have installed Windows 7 RC and downloaded Microsoft Virtual PC you might have the need to run Microsoft Official Curriculum courseware virtual machines. And therein is a problem.

The virtual machines are built to use Virtual Server 2005, but that cannot install in Windows 7, so you cannot use the Lab Launcher. Though you can install the courseware drives, you will need to run the installer in compatibility mode or the VHD installer will not run.

Once you have the VHD files unzipped you need to configure Microsoft Virtual PC to load them up. This though is a problem if you are not located in the same timezone as the creators of the base disks (PST timezone).

The steps to create a virtual machine when you are in a different timezone are:

  1. Start the virtual machine wizard and make a note of the location value. You will need to modify files in this location later on
  2. Set memory and untick the network connections option
  3. Browse to the exiting hard disks folder. Enable undo disks at this time as well
  4. If you are in a different timezone you will get the following cryptic error
  5. Click OK and modify the file used to point to either any of the “allfiles” disks (as these are not differencing disks) or create your own empty vhd for the time being
  6. Complete the creation steps and then bring up the settings of the new virtual machine (with the wrong disk attached)
  7. Modify the network settings to Internal Network and add any additional disks needed (this will be described in the full setup guide for the course) and close the settings dialog.
  8. Browse to the folder that contains the actual settings file (the vmc file). This folder is the location value from step 1 (defaults to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines).
  9. Open the vmc file in Notepad (or an XML editor) and change the settings to that which you require. These changes are for disks. Look for ide_controller 0 and ide_controller 1 (if present) and change the name of the vhd file to the correct disk name.
  10. Modify the time sync. settings as per disabling-time-synchronization-under-virtual-pc-2007. The virtual machines from Microsoft for training purposes have a grace period and if you bring them up with the current date/time on them (which Virtual PC 2007 does automatically) then you will need to activate them.
  11. Save the file when your changes are completed.
  12. Start the virtual machine. You will see this error message – Inconsistency in virtual hard disk time stamp detected – The virtual hard disk’s parent appears to have been modified without using the differencing virtual hard disk. Modifying the parent virtual hard disk may result in data corruption. It is strongly recommended that you mark the parent virtual hard disk as read-only to prevent this in the future. If you recently changed timezones on your host operating system, you can safely continue using this virtual hard disk.
  13. This can occur for a number of reasons, but if the reason is timestamps then click OK. DO NOT click the option not to show the message again, or you will not be able to get past this error without modifying the options.xml file in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC.

The virtual PC will start, and will prompt you about updates to the integration components, but that is only a minor , so that can be ignored when you are presented with that error, unless you want the error to never show again per machine, in which case install (at your own risk and numerous reboots) the integration components.

Finally, you might need to reactivate some machines, as the hardware will have changed.


Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 2003, 2007, active directory, error, exchange, kerberos, virtual pc, virtual server

This rather imposing message is found if you try to force replication between to Active Directory Domain Controllers when one of the controllers machine account password is out of sync with the password as stored on the other domain controller.

I have seen this a number of times on Virtual PC or Virtual Server Active Directory deployments with more than one DC in the virtual environment.

So, how do you fix it:

  1. On the DC that is broken (the one that when using replmon reports the error above) set the Kerberos Key Distribution Center Service to manual and stop the service.
  2. From a command prompt on the broken DC enter the following:
    netdom resetpwd /s:name_of_working_DC /ud:domain\user /pd:*
    where domain\user is an administrator of the domain in the domain_name\user_name format. You will be prompted to enter your password.
  3. Upon pressing Enter, if the command fails then restart the broken DC and repeat the above command (this restart clears the Kerberos ticket cache and so clears the broken credential attempts that it has stored).
  4. Upon successful completion of the command in step 2 restart the broken DC. You must do this even if done already in step 3.
  5. Check that replication is working, and if so restart the Kerberos Key Distribution Center Service and set the service back to automatic.

This is a summary of Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 325850, with some more specific detail mentioned.

Mouse Pointer Delays in Virtual Server

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in virtual pc, virtual server, virtualisation

I am running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and every 10 seconds or so I get a pause in the mouse movement on the screen – very annoying.

Examining the performance logs of the server I see that the Virtual Server service “vsssrv” goes to 0% CPU utilisation when this happens – so something is interupting the service.

Stopping my anti-virus software solves the problem, but introduces another problem in that my computer is now unprotected, so I will post back here later my results on not have the AV software (McAfee Managed Anti-Virus) from scanning the filesystem where my virtual machines are installed and the vsssvc.exe application (“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server” folder).