How to upgrade to Virtual Server 2005 R2

With the Beta program for Virtual Server 2005 SP1 (as it was named when released to the web) having come to a close last week, and the imminent release of Virtual Server 2005 R2, here's run through of the steps to get you to the production release.

Critically, saved state information (.VSV) is not compatible between builds of Virtual Server 2005. Therefore, to ensure no data is lost, saved state data must be removed from the equation by shutting down each guest currently running. In addition, any guests sitting on the shelf in a saved state must either be restored and shutdown.

Take a backup of files relating to your Virtualised environment. This falls into two categories - those for guests themselves, and those for the Virtual Server configuration.
   - .vmc, .vhd, .vud (Configuration, Hard Disks & Undo drives respectively)

Virtual Server:
    - .vnc files (Virtual Network Configuration)
    - Options.xml (Site config under Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual Server

If you are running the Virtual Server 2005 SP1 Beta software, you must uninstall it fully. [For MSFT employees reading this with access to later Virtual Server 2005 R2 internal builds, this applies equally as well]. Upgrades are not supported from any beta or pre-releases. This also applies if you are using the Trial Version of Virtual Server 2005.

To remove Virtual Server 2005:

  • Cater for saved state (as described above)
  • In the Services applet (start/run/services.msc), stop the "Virtual Machine Helper" and "Virtual Server" services
  • From Add/Remove Programs, remove Microsoft Virtual Server 2005
  • At this stage, it is prudent to reboot the host.
  • Perform a fresh installation

At this point, for a production server, I would strongly recommend you now consider installing Windows Server 2003 SP1 if you have not already done so. Upgrades from Virtual Server 2005 as released last year are supported and you do not need to complete the uninstall first. The upgrade is treated as per a fresh install. Full information on this is well documented in the Virtual Server 2005 R2 Release Notes. For reference purposes, after installation, these will also be available in \Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Documentation\relnotes.htm

Post installation

  • Verify the server properties.
  • Fire up the administration web-site.
  • Close to the bottom on the far left, click server properties,
  • The Virtual Server Version and Administration Website version should read 1.1.465.292. Enterprise versions of Virtual Server will have the tag "EE" appended to this, followed by "R2"
  • Support Drivers for the VMM will also be 1.1.465.292
  • Support Drivers for Network Services will be 2.6.465.283

Virtual Machine Additions Update

For optimal performance, you must ensure the latest version of the Virtual Machine additions are installed in each and every guest.

  • Start each guest
  • In the Virtual Server 2005 R2 admin website, edit the guest configuration
  • Scroll down to CD/DVD and click on it
  • Select VMAdditions.iso (\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Virtual Machine Additions)
  • In the guest, if autorun is turned on, the installation should start automatically. If not, go into Windows Explorer, right-click the CD-Drive and select AutoPlay
  • Verify you are installing the correct versions of the additions - 13.552 as shown below.
  • Once the additions are installed, you must reboot the guest.

Comments (5)

  1. Solomon – VS is not supported on Windows 7.



  2. Janson Ragon says:

    Hi John,

    Are the new addtions also compatible with Virtual PC, and are they ‘Vista’ friendly?

    Thanks in Advance


  3. Hi – There _should_ be no problem using these additions under Virtual PC, although I haven’t tried it yet (and FYI, neither do the product group). However, officially, only the additions provided with Virtual PC are supported.

  4. Jeff Centimano [MVP - Windows Server] says:


    Excellent post. I’ve got a number of VS2005 B1 machines in need of an upgrade… and this post will come in handy. Now if I could just get the R2 bits off MSDN I’d be a happy camper. Keep up the good posting – and thanks for the link 😉

  5. solomon says:

    Hi John

    I just installed windows 7 and it seems like the virtual server 2005 r2 doesn’t work. How do i go about making the VS Comply with windows 7



Skip to main content