Recently Microsoft posted the latest CRM 2011 virtual machine to partner source.  Information about the VM as well as where to download are available here: 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/dutchpts/archive/2011/05/25/microsoft-dynamics-crm-2011-virtual-machine-available-for-partners.aspx

To run the VM it currently requires you to boot to VHD or to have HyperV installed.  For the road warriors like me neither of these options are optimal.  I really want to be able to fire up the image from my laptop while still having my email and host machine.  So what do you do? 

Currently I am using VirtualBox to bridge this gap and it works quite well.  VirtualBox gives me the capability to run the image, do snapshots, and still give me access to my host OS.  With the latest CRM 2011 image however, it seems a lot of people (including me) are having issues booting the VM using VirtualBox.  The most common behavior is the VM goes into a blue screen of death boot loop.  Thankfully, this issue is easy to fix but a bit kludgy.  

VirtualBox by default mounts the VHD as a SATA controller.  HyperV however builds its bootable VHDs on IDE controllers.  Because of this, the image BSODs when attempting to launch.  To remedy this problem is simple but will require you to remount the VHD as an IDE controller.  Please see below for steps in how to do this.

After creating your virtual machine in VirtualBox your VM's settings should look like this:

Vbox SATA Controller

To remount the VHD as IDE you will need to "Remove Attachment" (Note: Removing the attachment does not delete the VHD, it only deletes the reference to it.)  

After you have finished removing the SATA controller navigate to IDE Controller and select "Add Hard Disk".

VBox Add Hard Drisk

Choose an existing disk and navigate to where your VHD is located.  Your end result should look similar to this:

VBox IDE Controller

When finished click "OK".

After this your VM should now fire up without the boot loop!

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.