Converting a Windows Vista KVM Virtual Machine to Redhat VirtIO Drivers

Redhat recently released a set of virtualized I/O devices for KVM, the kernel virtual machine. This short post will outline a method of converting a Windows Vista install (on KVM) to the new drivers using Virt-Manager. It has been tested on Fedora 11.

  1. Make sure Vista VM is up to date on patches and the disk is error free.

  2. Download drivers from Redhat network or here.

  3. Mount the .iso file as a CD-ROM device.

Now you might think you can use the ‘Add Hardware Wizard’ here and add the drivers, add the hardware, and be good. I did. I wound up with an unbootable disk. Apparently Vista’s autodetection is required in this process. So…

  1. Add a new network device of type ‘virtio’. Vista will do its “you’ve got hardware” routine and run you through all of its wizards. When it asks you for drivers, point it at the i386/2008 directory on the driver disc image. Yes, Yes, OK, Yes, Really, Continue, etc.

  2. Shutdown the VM and remove the old ethernet controller. Boot up Vista and make sure the network works. You can conceivably skip this step for now if you want to make troubleshooting harder.

  3. Add a new Storage controller. Leave the existing one as-is for now. You’ll have to pick a disk image you’re not using right now, or make a new one. Anything is fine, we’re not going to ever use it inside Vista. Do the driver dance again.

  4. Shutdown Windows. Remove the storage controllers, and add a new one, type ‘virtio’, with your normal hard drive image. Take care of the old ethernet controller here too, if you ignored my previous advice.

  5. Boot Windows normally. It should now be coming up on VirtIO disk and network drivers. If you get a bluescreen or a plea to use the RepairCD, something went wrong. Use the repair CD to restore to a previous restore-point and try again.

If anybody knows where to find a sound driver, please leave a comment!

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