Home > development > Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007 – part deux

Install Ubuntu 9 on Virtual PC 2007 – part deux

July 4th, 2009

Ok, so you installed Ubuntu 9.04 on Virtual PC 2007, and it now asks you to reboot, (or you already tried to reboot, cursed me, and came back here to see if you missed something).
If you are lucky, everything works fine, if not you cannot see anything or you get a bunch of errors. This is because, once again, Ubuntu is trying to guess your virtual screen resolution and it is guessing it wrong.

So you need to edit the ‘boot’ file once and for all so that from now on it boots into the right screen.

You need to do 2 things, first you need to edit the boot, one more time to get into Ubuntu and then you will need to update the boot file so that you no longer have to do this again.

So, reboot Ubuntu, when you see something like ‘grub loading…‘, press esc and you will see a menu.

Select the first line, it will say something along the lines of ‘Ubuntu 9.0.4, Kernel …’. The other lines should say almost the same with extra words like, ‘Recovery mode‘ and ‘memtest86+‘ don’t choose those.
Press ‘e’ to edit the boot commands.

Select the line that says something like “Kernel …“, (normally the first one, but sometimes the second line).
Press ‘e’ again, (to edit that line).
At the end of that line simply add


Press ‘enter‘.
Press ‘b’ to start the boot sequence.

Now you are back in business, Ununtu is up and running again.
The last thing you need to do is make sure the changes you just did are saved so you don’t have to do the same thing over and over.

So, once Ubuntu is up and running select the menu option, ‘Applications>Accessories>Terminal’ and you should get a white window with a blinking cursor.
Next to that cursor type the following, ‘gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst‘, press enter, give your password.

At the end of the line that says ‘Kernel‘ add ‘noreplace-paravirt‘, (without the quotes of course).
Save the file.
Close the editor

Back at the command prompt simply update the grub, (in other words tell Ubuntu that you changed the file).

And that’s all, you can now reboot into your Virtual PC Ubuntu and all should be fine.

Note: If like me you are lazy and you don’t want to type everything, simply copy the text, place your cursor where you want the text to go and in Virtual PC select ‘Edit>Paste‘ and it will ‘type’ everything for you.

<Edit>Have a look at the third post to help you handle updates.

modprobe s
  1. John
    August 29th, 2009 at 10:44 | #1

    This didn’t work for me. It resized to 800×600 as Ubuntu was loading, even after editing the menu.lst file. Nothing. At all. Any tips?

  2. Angel Araujo
    September 6th, 2009 at 06:19 | #2


    Thanks! Worked Perfect…!

    Thanks again..

  3. marcopolo
    September 10th, 2009 at 12:28 | #3

    Thanks heaps. Worked perfect

  4. September 12th, 2009 at 02:04 | #4

    Great article.. Every word worked as is !
    Thanks a ton for your help !

  5. Axel
    November 4th, 2009 at 19:26 | #5

    I just posted a solution on my blog for getting Ubuntu Server 9.10 to run on Virtual PC in Windows 7:


    Credits go to this post for inspiration!

  6. admin
    November 4th, 2009 at 21:13 | #6

    Not sure I understand, what solution are you talking about? What I posted here works just fine on Windows 7.

  7. Axel
    November 5th, 2009 at 19:43 | #7

    Actually you’re right! Somehow I must have tried it first with vga=791 which somehow doesn’t boot correctly in the VM and assumed the kernel had to be changed. With vga=771 it indeed does work perfectly.

    Thanks for pointing it out and making me look into this issue again!

  8. March 10th, 2010 at 10:33 | #8

    grub.lst has been removed in Ubuntu 9.x
    Pressing escape key has no effect…

  9. admin
    March 16th, 2010 at 05:28 | #9

    I am not sure I understand what you are saying?
    What has this got to do with Ubuntu 9.04?

  10. hank
    September 22nd, 2011 at 15:11 | #10

    i tried all the previous steps and ubuntu loaded fine untill it asked me to reboot. once it rebooted it just powers vpc down i cant make any changes to grub. nothing loads it just powers down. what do i do next please help. or is it because im trying to load a 64 bit version of ubuntu

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