Windows Home Server “Vail” Public Preview Installation Failure on vSphere

I decided to sign up for Microsoft Connect and download the Windows Home Server “Vail” public preview and install it in my lab vSphere lab.  I recently picked up an Iomega ix4-200 and had some extra space so I wanted to try to streaming media and backup functionality.

After Windows (Server 2008 R2) installed, and the WHS configuration wizard started running, it would error out at 36% or 37% consistently.  It would post an error, and instruct me to reboot and contact the vendor if the error continued.  Hmm… contacting Microsoft about a beta, yehrite, and I’m impatient so I didn’t feel like posting on the forums and trying to wait for a response what would likely be a dance of posting log files etc.  I so I went into reinstall / reboot hell.

After numerous reboots, rebuilds, and a successful VMware Workstation deployment (yes I actually wondered if Microsoft put something in the bits to keep it from being installed on VMware… hahah), I tracked down the issue.  In the installation guide it says to use a hard drive that has a minimum of 160GB of space.  I made a drive that had exactly 160GB.  This was the problem.  The successful workstation VM I created had a hard drive of 165GB.  I went back and increased the size of the vSphere VM to 165GB and voila!  Success.  Hopefully this saves someone some time and trouble with virtualizing WHS “Vail”.

Good luck!

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