Since we're without a test environment at the moment I decided to try installing VMWare Server 1.0.6 on it. Even though I can't add the Vista Home machine to our Active Directory network, I can add virtual machines. The host OS doesn't matter to me in the least, just the virtual environment.
Getting VMWare Server installed proved a challenge because Vista Home
Disabling driver signing
- Press F8 after your BIOS POST screen to get to the Vista boot menu
- Scroll down and select the Disable driver signing requirement option.
- Log into Vista
- Open a command prompt and enter the following commands:
bcdedit /set nointegritychecks ON
bcdedit -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
- Restart Vista
Updating the NIC settings
- Start > Control Panel
- Locate the Network and Internet entry and click the View network status and tasks link under it
- Locate your NIC in the list and click View Status
- Click Properties in the status dialog
- Click the Configure button located at the top of the properties dialog, below the hardware listing
- Click the Advanced tab
- Change all the following to Disabled
IPv4 Checksum offload
TCP Checksum offload (IPv4)
UDP Checksum offload (IPv4)
Installing VMWare Server
A reasonable person may think that after changing these settings you should be good to go. Alas, you'd be wrong. You must go to the Vista boot menu and disable the driver signing requirement every time you reboot the computer. You will also get errors when installing VMWare server about the drivers being unsigned. If you click through the errors it will install the VMNet adapters just fine.
After you get VMWare Server installed and you launch the server console you need to select the Localhost option. If you don't see Localhost you either didn't boot Vista with the driver signing option disabled or you didn't change your NIC configuration.
After going through all this, I don't think we're going to use this system to run VMWare Server. It works... with a healthy dose of hacks and crazy workarounds. Heaven forbid the power goes out in the middle of the night. When the box comes back up VMWare can't automatically load any of the VM's since it will load with driver signing enforced, even though I have confirmed with a MS support person (who is a personal friend) that it should be disabled.
Using Vista has been incredibly painful. I understand things have to change, but options I have used for years no longer exist. Start > Run is gone. The Start menu is one long laundry list instead of a cascaded menu. I never found a way to get Explorer to show file extensions. There may be a way to turn some things on , but I find the OS too slow to bother learning.
This is an Intel Quad-Core with 6GB RAM running a 64-bit OS and a 7200 RPM SATA-2 drive. I shouldn't have to wait for it. Restarting takes between 2 and 3 minutes, opening the Network dialog hangs the computer for 2 - 3 minutes. Yes really for minutes, I timed it.