How to Setup a Lab so students can Install Windows

Stephen Lynch 0 Reputation points

As part of our course our students needs to learn how to install Windows? How would I setup a lab so it's in the state of installing Windows when it is turned on and in that case how could they access it. Am I on the right track to setup a Nested VM and use a hyper-V VM to install windows. This is actually a very basic course where they learn to navigate the windows desktop, but there is also a course requirement to install Windows so I need to find a super simple way for them to demonstrate they can do it.

They will need to do a screen recording of the installation.

Thanks so much!

Azure Lab Services
Azure Lab Services
An Azure service that is used to set up labs for classrooms, trials, development and testing, and other scenarios.
250 questions
Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
6,021 questions
{count} votes

7 answers

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. kobulloc-MSFT 17,376 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    Hello, @Stephen Lynch !

    How would I go about creating a lab where students install copies of Windows?

    This is a deceptively simple sounding task but installing Windows on a VM creates some challenges.

    I spoke with some other people and we all agree that nested virtualization is going to be your best bet and using Windows 11 as the base OS is going to be the least complicated to set up. We've written a script you can use to enable nested virtualization:

    Invoke-WebRequest '' -Outfile SetupForNestedVirtualization.ps1 .\SetupForNestedVirtualization.ps1User's image

    As far as the licensing portion is concerned, it sounds like you are on the right track as I've heard of people using either evaluation versions or a volume license keys. I'm not a licensing expert in this area though, and while the evaluation center describes these versions as "a free trial to exploring technical documentation, virtual labs, and demos", I would contact sales to get an official answer regarding licensing.


    A quick thank you to @Stephen Lynch for following up with additional information which I've included below and to @Dave Patrick for working through this solution.

    I did get it fully working. I used the medium nested VM CPU in Azure labs with windows 11 image for the base. Running your scripts to enable hyper-v etc worked great. I had trouble at first but just a few changes to hyper-v Setup got me up and running. Enable secure boot and trusted platform module. Also, ensure 4gb of ram at startup on the VM or install will fail. Trial enterprise edition of Windows 11 worked fine as the machine is wiped the same day as the install. To make it super simple and not need to explain hyper-v I put a shortcut in the desktop to load the nested virtual machine. And another shortcut to a PowerShell script to reset the VM to the checkpoint to wipe the install if it fails or they want to practice again. The students need to screen record what they do on the install and clipchamp in the windows 11 lab does achieve this.

    1 person found this answer helpful.

  2. Dave Patrick 393.5K Reputation points MVP

    One option is to use the evaluation downloads here.

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

    0 comments No comments

  3. Stephen Lynch 0 Reputation points

    Thanks Dave. So it looks like I can get an evaluation edition of Widows 11 which is great. What Lab environment do you suggest the user install this on?

    Should I just install the Windows 11 Enterprise over the top of Windows 11? Should I use a different base OS? I was thinking originally that they should have a blank machine to install windows on which is why I thought of Hyper-V but I guess the installation process of an upgrade is similar.

    0 comments No comments

  4. Dave Patrick 393.5K Reputation points MVP

    Assuming the pc can be reimaged that could work or simply use a hyper-v session.

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

    0 comments No comments

  5. Stephen Lynch 0 Reputation points

    Thanks - I'll try some things. and upvote you if it works. I'm also open to other ideas if anyone has any. My skills are very basic.