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Installing Guest Operating Systems

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Windows Server 2003 Installation Guidelines

Windows Server 2003 Installation Guidelines

Support

Support

This guest operating system is supported on the following VMware products:

  • VMware Workstation 4.0 - Windows Server 2003 Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition
  • VMware ESX Server 2.0 - Windows Server 2003 Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition
General Installation Notes

General Installation Notes

You can install Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition in a virtual machine using the corresponding Windows Server 2003 distribution CD.

VMware Workstation only: To use SCSI disks in a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine under VMware Workstation, you need a special SCSI driver available from the download section of the VMware Web site at www.vmware.com/download. Follow the instructions on the Web site to use the driver with a fresh installation of Windows Server 2003. If you have a virtual machine with a SCSI virtual disk and a Windows 9x, Windows Me, Windows NT or Windows 2000 guest operating system and want to upgrade it to Windows Server 2003, install the new SCSI driver before upgrading the operating system.

Installation Steps

Installation Steps

If you want to run Windows Server 2003 in a virtual machine, be sure you have a full installation CD for the operating system.

Before installing the operating system, be sure that you have already created and configured a new virtual machine.

Installing the Guest Operating System

Installing the Guest Operating System

  1. Insert the Windows Server CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Power on the virtual machine to start installing Windows Server.
  3. Follow the installation steps as you would for a physical machine.
VMware Tools

VMware Tools

Be sure to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system. For details, see the manual for your VMware product.

Known Issues

Known Issues

Product Activation

Product Activation

The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 product activation feature creates a numerical key based on the virtual hardware in the virtual machine where it is installed. Changes in the configuration of the virtual machine may require you to reactivate the operating system. There are some steps you can take to minimize the number of significant changes.

  • Set the final memory size for your virtual machine before you activate Windows Server. When you cross certain thresholds - approximately 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB - the product activation feature sees the changes as significant.

    Note: The size reported to the Windows product activation feature is slightly less than the actual amount configured for the virtual machine. For example, 128MB is interpreted as falling in the 64MB-127MB range.

  • Install VMware Tools before you activate Windows Server 2003. When the SVGA driver in the VMware Tools package is installed, it activates features in the virtual graphics adapter that make it appear to Windows Server 2003 as a new graphics adapter.
  • If you want to experiment with any other aspects of the virtual machine configuration, do so before activating Windows Server 2003. Keep in mind that typically you have 14 days for experimentation before you have to activate the operating system. (Your EULA may define a different period before activation is required.)

For more details on Windows Server 2003 product activation, see the Microsoft Web site.

Display Hardware Acceleration

Display Hardware Acceleration

Windows Server 2003 has display adapter hardware acceleration disabled by default. This slows down graphics performance and mouse responsiveness in the guest operating system.

To enable hardware acceleration in a Windows Server 2003 guest, open the Control Panel, then open the Display Properties control panel. On the Settings tab, click Advanced. On the Troubleshoot tab, drag the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to Full.

Guest Screen Saver

Guest Screen Saver

On a Linux host with an XFree86 3.x X server, it is best not to run a screen saver in the guest operating system. Guest screen savers that demand a lot of processing power can cause the X server on the host to freeze.

Hibernation

Hibernation

The hibernation feature is not supported in this release. Instead of using the guest operating system's hibernate feature, suspend the virtual machine.

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