Virtual Server under Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC1 Early Experiences

I went the whole hog this morning and installed Windows Server 2003 SP1 RC1 on my main laptop, not under Virtual Server or Virtual PC as I blogged about yesterday. Now I don't recommend this to anyone as a rule, but there's a fair chance when working for Microsoft there's going to be someone to call on if it all goes wrong. I hope so anyway :-). Bear in mind that I totally rely on this laptop using it as a workstation as well. Hence my uses aren't typical of most "servers". However, everything looked good:

Wireless, LAN and VPN - check
Read and send a few emails - check
Browse the net - check
Catch up on blogs - check
Windows Messenger - check
Start Virtual Server - uhoh

First problem to resolve. The Virtual Server 2005 administration website threw an error in big red letters: "Could not connect to Virtual Server. Access was denied". Although I happened to know that this was likely from reading the virtual server internal discussion groups, I couldn't lay my hands on the solution immediately. But, for the second time today, the Microsoft Knowledge Base dug me out the hole. Article 887491 tells you about how to allow Local DCOM activation for Virtual Server. Note that this problem is as a result of the increased security in both Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1, and only happens if Virtual Server is installed before the service pack.

The thing that really amused me was the date of the KB article given that it referenced 2003 SP1 explicitly - 7th November 2004. Lots of foresight on someone's part.