When SharePoint 2010 Beta released couple weeks ago, I tried to install it on a VM: What I got for this VM are: Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL 2008 R2(CTP), 1.5GB RAM, etc.
I selected the "Standalone" install, the installation process took about 15 minutes. When it completed, I ran the Configuration Wizard, it failed on the step 5:
Failed to register SharePoint services.
An exception of type System.ServiceProcess.TimeoutException was thrown. Additional exception information: Time out has expired and the operation has not been completed.
System.ServiceProcess.TimeoutException: Time out has expired and the operation has not been completed.
I Googled it, it seems like the RAM is far not enough(minimum 4GB); I also found that modify registry key doesn't help in my case.
The work around I found: Re-Install SharePoint 2010 by using "Server Farm" >> "Complete" option, then both installation and configuration went successful! That's good enough for me to test things. ;-)