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Windows 8 Pro has Hyper-V

I had need this weekend for a virtual machine (VM). I wanted to carry it with me, but I also wanted it to be a 64-bit VM.

I’m a relative novice when it comes to VMs. There will be many posts I suspect that point to many of the details for setting up VMs and the differences in all the different Microsoft Windows versions. This post focuses on the steps I took to get a virtual machine up and running on my Windows 8 Pro notebook.

Having the right hardware

It helps to start with the hardware. There are some hardware requirements and configuration for running Hyper-V.  See this page for more details: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36188 

The highlights are that you need to have Windows 8 64-bit with a CPU that has SLAT (Second Level Address Translation) – whatever that is.

I have the following hardware:

  • PC: Lenovo X1 Carbon (very light)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3427U @ 1.8 GHz 2.29 GHz
  • Memory: 8.00 GB (7.70 GB usable)
  • Windows Edition: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
  • Drive: 215 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) SanDisk SD5SF2256G1052E (Nice speed in a light package)

So this is what some of my key screens looked like in the BIOS setup:




Since each machine is different I’m only pointing out that you need to have Virtualization Technology and Data Execution Prevention enabled.

Turning on Hyper-V in Windows 8

Now that I have the right configuration I can turn on the Hyper-V in my operating system. It is not installed by default. If you type “programs and features” on the Windows 8 Start Screen you can launch the right part of the control panel:


Then select Turn Windows features on or off.


Or you can select Settings from the Charms (lower right of your screen with a mouse or swipe from right of screen), then select Control Panel, then select Programs, and finally select Turn Windows features on or off.


Next, simply check the Hyper-V checkbox and press OK.


In a short time you will have Hyper-V installed.

Setting up a Network Adapter

In the past it seemed pretty easy to use a network adapter on the host. With Hyper-V on Windows 8 you actually need to setup a Virtual Switch yourself. I put this step here because the New Virtual Machine Wizard works much better if you perform this step first.

First, start the Hyper-V Manager. If you type “hyper” on the Windows 8 Start Screen you should see this now:


Select the Hyper-V Manager to start it.

In the Hyper-V Manager you will see the host machine name. Select that, Karl-Think in my case. Select your machine name as I have mine shown here:


Then on the right-hand side you should see the Virtual Switch Manager… option. Select that action.


With “External” selected, choose Create Virtual Switch.


When that came up I named it after the network adapter that would be used on the host. Here’s what it looked like for my setup:


Then select Apply.

So now you have a Virtual Switch… On to the Virtual Machine.

Setting up a new Virtual Machine

No under actions select New –> Virtual Machine…


I’ll show most of the screen shots with the settings I used here that are quite self-explanatory.



On the Configure Networking screen, choose the newly created Virtual Switch:


I didn’t need a big system, so I only allocated 45 GB of disk space:


I already had the .iso file for the operating system I wanted to install, Windows 7 Enterprise with Service Pack 1 64-bit, so you see that option selected here. You could decide later if you like.


Once I did that I could select the VM and then choose Turn On from the machine name on the right had side under actions.


Now Microsoft seems to be using the same technology on their servers and their desktops/notebooks for virtualization. This is nice so that you can more easily move machines between the two worlds. (Previously the Virtual PC used on desktops/notebooks was completely different from the Hyper-V used on servers – painful.)

Second, it will support both 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines. Something that Virtual PC did not support.

1 Comment  »

  1. karlz says:

    There is room for improvement on the way the network is setup. Here is an excellent post that describes the best way to do that. The way I show here seems to have problems every time I move. This uses Internet Sharing to give access to an Internal Virtual Switch. As long as I’m on wireless this seems to work great.

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