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I am trying to create a Windows 2003 VM using MS Virtual PC 2007. My host machine is a Windows Vista. I have my dump of Windows 2003 from a CD on a folder on my host PC.

How will I be able to make the Virtual Machine read the setup.exe from the folder?

The following is what I tried -

    1. I found a software called Folder2Iso and built an ISO image. However, in my Vista it shows it as a WinZip file with the extension iso, so probably WinZip is setup as a default program for ISO images. 2. In my VM - I chose capture the ISO image and pointed to the ISO image created in step 1.

However, it just comes

Reboot and Select proper device or Insert Boot Media in Selected Boot device

Any suggestions, please do let me know.

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Interesting, that could let me do the same with my old Windows XP installation and install Windows 7. Need anything? Go back and get it :D –  Ivo Flipse Sep 23 '09 at 6:30
    
Didn't quite get it! –  Magic Sep 23 '09 at 6:38
    
Well I could use that method to create an VM of my old installation and then overwrite it. Nice way to backup your old OS. –  Ivo Flipse Sep 23 '09 at 7:04
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5 Answers 5

Typically you need a boot enabled CD/DVD in a physical drive, or a mounted ISO on a virtual drive.

The error you're getting is the VM isn't able to locate a device to boot from.

You should check out some guides on how to setup a virtual PC, including probably creating a boot enabled disc image from your Server 2003 dumped files.

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this guide explains how to create a bootable Windows 2000/XP/2003 Disc with NERO.

you can mount the disc with VPC or create a bootable ISO from this disc.

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What you need to do is to create a bootable ISO image of your Windows Server 2003 installation disks. Then, create a virtual machine in Virtual PC 2007. As soon as it starts up, go to the menu bar, drop down the "CD" menu and select the command "Capture ISO Image".

This will get you a File Open like dialog box. Point it to the bootable ISO image that you created earlier.

Ensure that your virtual machine is set to boot off the CD\DVD drive by going into it's BIOS settings, via pressing the Del key at boot-up.

Installation is then pretty much like it would be on a physical machine.

These same instructions work in principle for other operating systems as well, such as Ubuntu, etc. You would however need to change some settings for the Ubuntu installer before it would actually work.

In short:

  1. Boot the virtual machine off bootable ISO disk image.
  2. Run OS installer, normally.

Regarding turning a dump of an installation CD into bootable media, that bit might be a little tricky.

In the past, I have tried the following:

  1. Get your hands on a similar Windows bootable media, such as a Windows XP CD, etc. It doesn't really matter which version.
  2. Make an ISO image of it using a disc imaging software, such as WinISO. MagicISO, etc.
  3. Delete the entire contents of the ISO, and replace it with the dump from your Windows Server 2003 folder.
  4. Save the ISO.

Now you should have a bootable disc. What you are trying to do is to use the boot sector from the bootable media, which you don't have currently, because your installation is dumped into a folder. A folder is obviously not bootable. That is the missing ingredient that you need to get your hands on.

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My knowledge of this is fairly primitive and may be incorrect.

The problem is that a ISOs need to be made bootable, and even then, there needs to be something in the boot sector that can load the actual setup executable (after finding it in the file system). The CD-ROM drive and the BIOS have no knowledge of file systems or anything like that, it's all up to whatever is in the boot sector of the disc.

The BIOS loads the boot loader (found in the boot sector of the disc) into a particular address in memory and jumps to it. If the boot sector does not contain valid executable code then the disc is unbootable.

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What does it mean "dump of Windows 2003?"

If you've copied files from a 2003 computer, you can't use that in order to create a virtual machine. The virtual machine's hardware is different, and so the Microsoft license in the old 2003 machine cannot be reused for the new one. You have no choice get a 2003 installation cd and use that to construct a new virtual machine, and only then you may copy the old files into it.

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