Being a demo master for Project 2010 - useful tips for every demo

Many if you were asking us lots of questions about setting up and running the demo VM effectively!

Choosing and setting up the machine/demo laptop


As noted here we recommend good performance laptop with 8GB RAM and Solid State Drive (SSD). The proven laptops are DELL E6400 (3GHz, duo Core, 8GB RAM, fast SSD) and HP EliteBook 8530w (Quad core, 8GB RAM, fast SSD) – similar configs from other manufacturers will work great too! You can use the SSD as secondary hard-drive, many manufacturers have solution for this, if not check this store and find solution for your laptop.

If you are considering laptop with Intel Core i3/i5/i7 then check this post.


You need to run Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled in order to run the SharePoint/Project 2010 Virtual Image in supported way. There are two options – have a dual-boot Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 on your machine or “tweak” Windows Server 2008 R2 to look and behave like Windows 7 box. From my experience I’d go with dual boot, especially in corporate environments or two laptops if you can afford it.

Install Windows 7 on your primary partition. If you have this already installed you can try to shrink your partition or add your secondary hard-drive to make room for the second OS.

Install Windows Server 2008 R2 on the secondary partition (joining the demo partition OS to corporate network generally not recommended)

  • don’t forget to install antivirus/malware protection and EXCLUDE the VM location
  • you may want to turn-on the following features - “Desktop Experience” (Win7 like UI) and “Wireless Networking” (you cannot use Wifi without this) using the “Server Manager”
One does all

You can tweak Windows Server 2008 R2 to look exactly and behave similarly like Windows 7 and run it as your production environment, there are however significant drawbacks:

  • Sleep and hibernate functionality is not available as soon as the Hyper-v service is started
  • Since such setup must be in the domain – be careful about what your IT pushes over to your demo machine – it could negatively impact your demo performance

If you want to go ahead – Bing for steps how to make Server behave like Windows 7.

Downloading and running the Project 2010 Demo Virtual Machine

1. Get the “ 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine” (

2. As soon as you have the image downloaded and extracted you have set-up INTERNAL Virtual Network and IMPORT it using Hyper-V manager

   a. These steps are very well described in this document

   b. Check the VM settings – if the window does not show “VMBus Network Adapter” connected to the “Internal” VLAN, don’t even boot. It will Not work. 

3. Take the snapshot of your initial state. This will help you go back if you need to.

4. Boot the image and login. Most likely you will be prompted for REBOOT. Do so.

5. After reboot login again and make sure the warm-up script has completed successfully

6. Get the “Microsoft Project 2010 Demonstration and Evaluation Installation Pack” from here

7. Mount it to the VM and run it based on the enclosed instructions and/or this webcast

    • The installation may take between 20 to 40 minutes depanding on the speed of your computer
    • After the set-up is done verify you can open PWA site correctly by navigating to

8. Prepare your initial demo setting (you also may want to run through your demo to make sure all pages are warmed-up)

7. Without shutting down the VM take your “Demo-ready” snapshot (yes – hyper-v supports live snapshots)

8. Turn off the VM in the Hyper-v Manager.

9. Before your DEMO

   a. Apply your “demo-ready” snapshot in the Hyper-v Manager

   b. Run your VM in the Hyper-v Manager

   c. Verify all is working fine

   d. Magic? Yes!

Cool Tricks

1. Running Terminal Services Client to show the VM has the following benefits:

   a. You can exchange files easily between your host machine and the demo VM

   b. Natively project on HD (16:9) screens

   c. Leverage  the “desktop experience” (Win 7 like look) in the VM

   d. Copy/paste text between your host machine and the demo VM

   e. It’s free.

   f. To set-up Terminal Services Client – just run “MSTSC”

      i. Point it to – which is your running VM

      ii. Make sure you boost settings in the “Experience” tab by selecting all

      iii. In the “Local Resources” tab, click “More…” and select “Drives”

      iv. Save it to your desktop.

      v. Ready to go!

2. Use snapshots!

   a. They will save you valuable minutes before the demo since you don’t need to boot the image, just restore it!

   b. You will be sure that you can revert the image to the “known” state before every demo or for troubleshooting

   c. It’s free too!

   d. To take a snapshot of your VM state, launch the Hyper-v Manager, right click on the VM and choose “Snapshot”

      i. You can take live snapshots of running VMs too Smile