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Hyper-V Getting Started Guide

Applies To: Windows Server 2008


Hyper-V is enhanced in Windows Server 2012. Explore the Evaluation Guide and download the Windows Server 2012 Trial.

Hyper-V is a role in Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 that provides you with the tools and services you can use to create a virtualized server computing environment. This type of environment is useful because you can create and manage virtual machines, which allow you to run multiple operating systems on one physical computer and isolate the operating systems from each other. This guide introduces Hyper-V by providing instructions for installing this role and configuring a virtual machine.


For a more in-depth introduction to using Hyper-V, see Getting to Know Hyper-V: A Walkthrough from Initial Setup to Common Scenarios. It shows you how to use features that make it easier to create multiple virtual machines and to make temporary changes that you can easily roll back.

In this guide

Requirements for Hyper-V

Step 1: Install Hyper-V

Step 2: Create and set up a virtual machine

Step 3: Install the guest operating system and integration services

Step 4: Configure virtual networks

Requirements for Hyper-V

Hyper-V has specific requirements. Hyper-V requires an x64-based processor, hardware-assisted virtualization, and hardware data execution prevention (DEP). Hyper-V is available in x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008—specifically, the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter. For more information about the requirements, see the Hyper-V installation prerequisites (

Known issues

Known issues are described in the release notes. We recommend that you review the release notes before you install Hyper-V.

To download the Hyper-V release notes, see The release notes are also available in the Windows Server 2008 Technical Library (

Step 1: Install Hyper-V


If your computer is running Windows Server 2008, verify that your computer has been updated with the release version of Hyper-V before you install Hyper-V. If your computer is running Windows Server 2008 R2, skip this step.
The release version (RTM) of Windows Server 2008 included the pre-release version of Hyper-V. The release version of Hyper-V is offered through Windows Update as a recommended update, ‘Hyper-V Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB950050)’. However, you also can obtain the update through the Microsoft Download Center. To download this update, see To determine whether the update has been applied to your computer, do one of the following:

  • On a full installation of Windows Server 2008, click Start, click Windows Update, click View update history, and then click Installed Updates.

  • On a Server Core installation, at the command prompt, type:

    wmic qfe list

    Look for update number kbid=950050, which indicates that the update for Hyper-V has been installed.

You can install Hyper-V on either a full installation or a Server Core installation. You can use Server Manager to install Hyper-V on a full installation, as described in the following procedure. To install on a Server Core installation, you must perform the installation from a command prompt. Run the following command:

Start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V


To manage Hyper-V on a Server Core installation, you can use the Hyper-V management tools to manage the server remotely. The management tools are available for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. For more information, see article 950050 ( and article 952627 ( in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

To install Hyper-V on a full installation of Windows Server 2008

  1. Click Start, and then click Server Manager.

  2. In the Roles Summary area of the Server Manager main window, click Add Roles.

  3. On the Select Server Roles page, click Hyper-V.

  4. On the Create Virtual Networks page, click one or more network adapters if you want to make their network connection available to virtual machines.


The type of network you can create in this step is called an external virtual network. If you create it now you can connect the virtual machine to it when you create the virtual machine in Step 2. To create virtual networks later or reconfigure existing networks, see “Step 4: Configure virtual networks.”

  1. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.

  2. The computer must be restarted to complete the installation. Click Close to finish the wizard, and then click Yes to restart the computer.

  3. After you restart the computer, log on with the same account you used to install the role. After the Resume Configuration Wizard completes the installation, click Close to finish the wizard.

Step 2: Create and set up a virtual machine

After you have installed Hyper-V, you can create a virtual machine and set up an operating system on the virtual machine.

Before you create the virtual machine, you may find it helpful to consider the following questions. You can provide answers to the questions when you use the New Virtual Machine Wizard to create the virtual machine.

  • Is the installation media available for the operating system you want to install on the virtual machine? You can use physical media, a remote image server, or an .ISO file. The method you want to use determines how you should configure the virtual machine.

  • How much memory will you allocate to the virtual machine?

  • Where do you want to store the virtual machine and what do you want to name it?

To create and set up a virtual machine

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.

  2. From the Action pane, click New, and then click Virtual Machine.

  3. From the New Virtual Machine Wizard, click Next.

  4. On the Specify Name and Location page, specify what you want to name the virtual machine and where you want to store it.

  5. On the Memory page, specify enough memory to run the guest operating system you want to use on the virtual machine.

  6. On the Networking page, connect the network adapter to an existing virtual network if you want to establish network connectivity at this point.


    If you want to use a remote image server to install an operating system on your test virtual machine, select the external network.

  7. On the Connect Virtual Hard Disk page, specify a name, location, and size to create a virtual hard disk so you can install an operating system on it.

  8. On the Installation Options page, choose the method you want to use to install the operating system:

    • Install an operating system from a boot CD/DVD-ROM. You can use either physical media or an image file (.iso file).

    • Install an operating system from a boot floppy disk.

    • Install an operating system from a network-based installation server. To use this option, you must configure the virtual machine with a legacy network adapter connected to an external virtual network. The external virtual network must have access to the same network as the image server.

  9. Click Finish.

After you create the virtual machine, you can start the virtual machine and install the operating system.

Step 3: Install the guest operating system and integration services

In the final step of this process, you connect to the virtual machine to set up the operating system, which is referred to as the guest operating system. As part of the setup, you install a software package that improves integration between the virtualization server and the virtual machine.

The instructions in this step assume the following:

  • You specified the location of the installation media when you created the virtual machine.

  • You are installing an operating system for which integration services are available. For a list of these operating systems, see About Virtual Machines and Guest Operating Systems.

To install the guest operating system and integration services

  1. From the Virtual Machines section of the results pane, right-click the name of the virtual machine you created in step 2 and click Connect. The Virtual Machine Connection tool will open.

  2. From the Action menu in the Virtual Machine Connection window, click Start.

  3. Proceed through the installation.


    • When you are at the point where you need to provide input to complete the process, move the mouse cursor over the image of the setup window. After the mouse pointer changes to a small dot, click anywhere in the virtual machine window. This action "captures" the mouse so that keyboard and mouse input is sent to the virtual machine. To return the input to the physical computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Left arrow and then move the mouse pointer outside of the virtual machine window.

    • After the operating system is set up, you are ready to install the integration services. From the Action menu of Virtual Machine Connection, click Insert Integration Services Setup Disk. On Windows operating systems, you must close the New Hardware Wizard to start the installation. If Autorun does not start the installation automatically, you can start it manually. Click anywhere in the guest operating system window and navigate to the CD drive. Use the method that is appropriate for the guest operating system to start the installation package from the CD drive.

After you have completed the setup and integration services are installed, you can begin using the virtual machine. You can view or modify the virtual hardware that is configured for the virtual machine by reviewing the settings of the virtual machine. From the Virtual Machines pane, right-click the name of the virtual machine that you created in step 3 and click Settings. From the Settings window, click the name of the hardware to view or change it. For more information, see Configuring Virtual Machines (

Step 4: Configure virtual networks

You can create virtual networks on the server running Hyper-V to define various networking topologies for virtual machines and the virtualization server. There are three types of virtual networks you can create:

  1. An external network, which provides communication between a virtual machine and a physical network by creating an association to a physical network adapter on the virtualization server.

  2. An internal network, which provides communication between the virtualization server and virtual machines.

  3. A private network, which provides communication between virtual machines only.

The following procedures provide the basic instructions for configuring virtual networks. For more information about designing and deploying virtual networks, see Configuring Virtual Networks.

To create a virtual network

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager.

  2. From the Actions menu, click Virtual Network Manager.

  3. Under Create virtual network, select the type of network you want to create. The types of network are External, Internal, and Private. If the network you want to create is an external network, see “Additional considerations” below.

  4. Click Add. The New Virtual Network page appears.

  5. Type a name for the new network. Review the other properties and modify them if necessary.


You can use virtual LAN identification as a way to isolate network traffic. However, this type of configuration must be supported by the physical network adapter. For information about configuring virtual LAN identification, see “Configuring virtual local area networks” in Configuring Virtual Networks.

  1. Click OK to create the virtual network and close Virtual Network Manager, or click Apply to create the virtual network and continue using Virtual Network Manager.

To add a network adapter to a virtual machine

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.

  2. In the results pane, under Virtual Machines, select the virtual machine that you want to configure.

  3. In the Action pane, under the virtual machine name, click Settings.

  4. In the navigation pane, click Add Hardware.

  5. On the Add Hardware page, choose a network adapter or a legacy network adapter. Network adapters can only be added to a virtual machine when the machine is turned off. For more information about each type of adapter, see "Additional considerations" below.

  6. Click Add. The Network Adapter or Legacy Network Adapter page appears.

  7. Under Network, select the virtual network you want to connect to.

  8. If you want to configure a static MAC address or virtual LAN identifier, specify the address or identifier you want to use.

  9. Click OK.

Additional considerations

  • By default, membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. However, an administrator can use Authorization Manager to modify the authorization policy so that a user or group of users can complete this procedure.

  • A legacy network adapter works without installing a virtual machine driver because the driver is already available on most operating systems. The legacy network adapter emulates a physical network adapter, multiport DEC 21140 10/100TX 100 MB. A legacy network adapter also supports network-based installations because it includes the ability to boot to the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). The legacy network adapter is not supported in the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2003 or the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

  • When you create an external virtual network, it affects how networking is configured on the physical network adapter. After installation, the management operating system uses a virtual network adapter to connect to the physical network. (The management operating system runs the Hyper-V role.) When you look at Network Connections in the management operating system, you will see the original network adapter and a new virtual network adapter. The original physical network adapter has nothing bound to it except the Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Protocol, and the virtual network adapter now has all of the standard protocols and services bound to it. The virtual network adapter that appears under Network Connections will have the same name as the virtual network with which it is associated. It is possible to create an internal virtual network, which will expose a virtual network adapter to the parent partition without the need to have a physical network adapter associated with it. Hyper-V only binds the virtual network service to a physical network adapter when an external virtual network is created. However, networking will get disrupted for a short period of time on the network adapter when a virtual network gets created or deleted.