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Pre-configured VHD (Virtual Appliance) available from Microsoft

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The Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is the common virtualization file format for

  • Virtual PC (host: Windows XP or 2000, guest: multiple PC-based operating systems)
  • Virtual Server (host: Windows 2003, Small Business Server or XP, guest: Windows 2003, XP, 2000 and NT4 SP6a)
  • Windows Server 2008 with built-in hypervisor Hyper-V (host: Windows 2008 64-bit, 64-bit and 32-bit guests: Windows 2008, 2003, SuSe Enterprise Server 10, WIndows Vista, Windows XP)

Microsoft’s has introduced the Run IT on a Virtual Hard Disk program so that customers can try Microsoft’s and its partner’s products downloaded as a pre-configured virtual hard disk, i.e., virtual appliance, for free in their own environment , for 30, 60 or 90 days, without the need for dedicated servers or complex installations.

Windows Server 2008 VHD’s:

Pre-requisites: Microsoft Server 2008 Hyper-V must be installed on a physical machine. A 64-bit system with hardware-assisted virtualization enabled and data execution prevention (DEP) is required. You should have a clean install of x64 edition of Windows Server 2008 to be able to use the Hyper-V technology. Detailed pre-requisites are availabe here.

Full Install:

Core Install:

Application VHD’s:

Pre-requisites:: Microsoft Virtual PC or Virtual Server


Pre-configured VHD

What is it used for?


Exchange Server 2007 SP1 VHD

Evaluate the new capabilities of Exchange Server 2007 SP1.


Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 VHD

System Center provides you a solution for operating system deployment, patch management, software distribution, virtual application streaming and more (product homepage and Configuration Manager Techcenter)


Windows 2003 R2

Windows Server 2003 R2 simplifies branch server management, improves identity and access management, reduces storage management costs, provides a rich Web platform.


Office SharePoint Server 2007

Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a collaboration and content management server that supports all intranet, extranet, and Web applications across an enterprise within one integrated platform.


Forefront codename “Stirling”

An integrated security system that delivers comprehensive, coordinated protection across endpoints, messaging and collaboration servers, and the network edge. It simplifies management and provides critical visibility into threats, vulnerabilities, and configuration risks


System Center Essentials 2007 SP1

System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 is a new management solution specifically designed for IT professionals working in midsize businesses troubleshooting user problems, automating management tasks, managing multiple systems, and diagnosing and resolving IT problems


Windows Vista

Dekstop OS

None of Microsoft’s partners are offering pre-configured VHD’s on Microsoft’s site at the time of writing. I am wondering why this is so?

Written by paule1s

January 21, 2009 at 11:56 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Pre-configured VHD (Virtual Appliance) available from Microsoft (593) […]

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