With the release of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft’s Network Operating System also provided its first accompanying Virtualization utility called Hyper-V. Although Microsoft is not new to virtualization technologies providing solutions such as Virtual PC and Virtual Server in previous years, the company developed a solution more home grown and integrated with the Windows platform. With the release of Windows 8 in 2012, Microsoft made Hyper-V available to the Windows client for the first time, eschewing its previous efforts for a more robust solution. In this article, we take a look at using it.
In this article we take a look at setting up a Virtual Machine using the built in Hyper-V virtualization manager in Windows. The benefits include the ability to run multiple operating systems at the same time as long as you have enough hardware resources to do so (powerful enough CPU, memory). Personally, I decided to do this because I need to do some application compatibility testing. So this also a great way to try and test apps before using them on your main production installation.
- In order to use Hyper-V you need to be running Windows 8/8.1 Pro 64 bit, Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
- Your processor (Central Processing Unit) brains of your computer needs to support the SLAT (Secondary Level Address Translation) extension, see instructions below to determine whether your processor supports or not.
- Virtualization must be enabled in your computers BIOS or Firmware.
Check if your processor supports SLAT
Press Windows key + X
See if you can check off Hyper-V and all its sub options
If not, it does not support Hyper-V.
– Restart the computer and enter BIOS setup (usually F2, F10 or F12 key on your keyboard, you need to do this before the computer loads the Windows operating system. This might vary according to brand, so consult your computers manual for instructions how to load the BIOS.
On my Computer, I had to hit the F10 key, select my language, select Security > System Security and enable the following:
* Virtualization Technology (VTx)
* Virtualization Technology Directed I/O (VTd)
– Search virtualization setting in BIOS and enable the setting.
– Save BIOS settings (usually F10).
– Power off the computer, wait for a few seconds and start the computer.
Setting up and configuring Hyper-V
Press Windows key + R
This will open the Turn Windows features on or off item
Once it has loaded all the features, check off all the options for Hyper-V
Wait while Windows installs and configures Hyper-V
You will be prompted to restart to confirm changes. Windows will go through a series of restart and configure your system.
Launching Hyper-V Manager and create a virtual machine
After Hyper-V has been setup, launch it from Control Panel > Administrative Tools.
Press Windows key + X
Click Control Panel
Open Administrative Tools
Double click Hyper-V Manager
In the left pane of the Hyper-V Manager, select your machine name. This will enable the actions pane on the right.
Under the Actions pane, click New > Virtual Machine.
This will start the Create New Virtual Machine wizard.
Click Next and follow the on screen instructions. Here I can give my Virtual Machine a name and specify its location where it be stored. So if you have additional partitions or a drive you can browse and save it there.
Choose the type of generation would prefer to use. If you are basing your needs around legacy or older applications, go with Generation 1.
Choose how much memory you would like to give the virtual machine. This will be dependent on how much you have available. The more the better. For my purposes, I will be doing application testing, so this should be enough for the operating system in addition to the applications I will be testing.
Choose the option best available to you. If you are seeing a similar screen, click Next to continue. You can always configure your Network settings after.
Go ahead and configure your Virtual Hard disk where you will install the operating system. You can make quick changes here such as the location where it will be stored along with the amount space you would like to give the Virtual machine. Here you can see, I have given the virtual machine 50 GBs of disk space. You can also choose an existing Virtual hard disk if you already have one.
Here you can choose the option to designate the install media or its location or choose the option to do so later. I will choose to do so later.
Review your options. You can click Previous and make any necessary changes. Once you are satisfied, click Finish.
Installing Operating System
For the purposes of this article, I will be installing Windows 10 Technical Preview. You have a wide choice of operating systems to choose from, which include previous versions of Windows and even some Linux distributions.
Select Install media
For the purposes of this article, I will be using a .ISO file image to install Windows from. Its convenient and easy to do. You can install from a DVD or CD if you wish to do so.
In the right pane under your Virtual Machine name, click Settngs.
Select the DVD Drive menu in the Hardware tree. Choose whether you will be installing from a DVD drive if your system has one that is available or browse to an available .ISO which what I will be using. Click Apply and OK
Double click the Virtual Machine itself under Virtual Machines to open the instance.
This will start the Virtual Machine manager. Follow the on screen instructions to install your favourite operating system as you normally would on physical hardware.
When setup is complete, you should have a successful setup you can use for testing.