This article describes the steps that we recommend that you follow to prepare a Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 virtual hard disk (.vhd) file before you send it to Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS).
If you contact PSS to help you troubleshoot a problem that you experience, you may want to send a Virtual Server 2005 virtual hard disk file to PSS to help reproduce the environment that you experience this problem in. Because these .vhd files may be large, this article contains steps that you can use to help reduce the size of the .vhd file.
To submit a file to PSS, you can ship the file on physical media such as a CD or a DVD, or you can transfer the file to Microsoft over the Internet. We recommend that you do not try to transfer a virtual hard disk file that is more than 2 gigabytes (GB) over the Internet. Instead, store or "burn" this file on a DVD. For larger files, divide the image into files that are no larger than 4 GB, and burn those 4-GB files to as many DVD discs as you require.
Note It is not important which tool you use to divide the virtual hard disk images into 4-GB files. However, verify that the PSS support professional has access to the same tool.
To help reduce the size of a virtual hard disk file, follow these steps:
Start the virtual machine, and then remove all nonessential files from the virtual hard disk that you want to send to PSS.
In the virtual machine, run the Disk Defragmenter tool to defragment the virtual hard disk that you want to send to PSS. To do this, follow these steps:
Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
Click Start, and then click My Computer.
Right-click the hard disk that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
Click the Tools tab, and then click Defragment Now.
You can also defragment the hard disk at the command prompt. To do this, follow these steps:
Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
Type defrag /? to view a list of the available options for the Disk Defragmenter tool.
In the virtual machine, run the Virtual Disk Precompactor tool to prepare the virtual hard disk for compacting. You can find Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso in the following folder:
If your virtual machine is running when you capture Virtual Disk Precompactor.iso, Virtual Disk Precompactor starts automatically. If you click Yes when you are prompted, Virtual Disk Precompactor precompacts all the virtual hard disks for this virtual machine. If Virtual Disk Precompactor does not start automatically, you can start it by browsing to the CD drive of the guest operating system and double-clicking Precompact.exe. For more information about how to obtain Virtual PC 2004 SP1, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.