Windows Vista RC1 installation on VMWare

Since the 5384 build of Vista came out, I have been playing around with it and checking out some new features. Since then, I have installed build 5536 and most recently RC1 (build 5600). Here I will share my preliminary experience with the latest RC1 build, particularly the installation process on VMWare 5.5.2-29772 and in a later post, I will talk about a few problems I find.

The first thing I noticed is that the RC1 image is significantly smaller the the previous versions of the test imsages:

5384: 3,276,952 KB

5536: 2,796,768 KB

5600: 2,646,272 KB

As you can see, there is more than half gig in size reduction from build 5384 to RC1. Installing either 5536 build or 5600 build on VMWare 5.5.2-29772 is not as smooth as the installation of build 5384 however due to some VMWare display driver bugs. After researching on the internet, I found that this post (Vista RC1 – VMWare – Stuck at “Window is loading files”) to be very helpful. Here is a brief recap (in case you do not want to dig around in the original post) of what needs to be done before you can install RC1 under VMWare 5.5.2.

  • Create a virtual machine (use the Windows Vista Experimental option from the dropdown)
  • Open the .vmx file from the directory where you created the virtual machine. Add these two lines at the bottom:
  • The above two lines forces the display to be the standard VGA mode which works for the install process. Now, you can install either 5536 or RC1 build on VMWare.
  • After the installation, install VMWare tools (which include the VMWare SVGA driver), and you will need to close down the VMWare after the tool installation and change the two lines you added earlier to whatever maximum resolution you want to have. In my case, I set it to 1024×768:
  • And now, everything should work.
  • The first thing I noticed after installing RC1 is that the latest build is significantly faster then any of the previous builds, this is probably due to the removal of debug code and the reduction in image sizes, which is totally expected as the build reaches release candidate level. Also, the memory RC1 consumes is significantly less then previous builds.

    Another thing I noticed right away is that the prompting of those annoying dialog boxes that were supposed to add security is significantly reduced, which is certainly a great improvement. Other changes include some cosmetic touch ups as well.

    The RC1 build, however, still has some bugs/issues I encountered from the 5384 build, which is quite annoying. I will discuss some of them in details in a later post.

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