How to Install Windows 8 Hyper-V in Under 3 Minutes

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Many of this site’s users have home labs for IT testing and certification. Microsoft threw these users a huge bonus with Windows 8, and something easily worth learning to deal with the “metro” UI. Microsoft’s Windows 7 included XP mode which was great, but nowhere near as robust as Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2. With Windows 8, Hyper-V is now part of the desktop and workstation environment. After using it for a few months, it is both stable and very familiar. This is a quick guide that will get you from the base Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise installation to have Hyper-V ready to go in under three minutes.

Windows 8 Hyper-V Test Configuration

I did this guide using my main workstation. The great thing about the solution is that it has a SLAT compatible CPU so Windows 8 Hyper-V is easy to setup. Also, there is enough capacity in the machine to support a few guest operating systems.

  1. CPU(s): Intel Xeon E5-1650
  2. Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 WS
  3. Memory: 32GB (8x 4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600
  4. Drives: Corsair Force3 120GBOCZ Vertex 3 120GB
  5. Power Supply: Corsair AX850 850w 80 Plus Gold
Let’s get on with the guide.

Installing Windows 8 Hyper-V

The first step to install Windows 8 Hyper-V is to enable the feature. By default, Windows 8 Hyper-V will not be installed on a clean installation or upgrade installation. For those that want this feature, it is a bit of a bummer. On the other hand, this is not going to be the most widely used feature in Windows 8 so it makes sense. The first step is to navigate to the control panel. Select Programs and Features. As a quick tip, you can also just start typing Programs and Features in the Metro UI and the below will pop up under settings.
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 - Control Panel Add Features Step 1
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 – Control Panel Add Features Step 1
To find Windows 8 Hyper-V you will want to click on the “Turn Windows features on or off” link. We need to install and turn Windows 8 Hyper-V on. After clicking the link, near the top is the option for Windows 8 Hyper-V.
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 - Select Hyper-V Features Step 2
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 – Select Hyper-V Features Step 2
You can install the entire package or opt out of installing certain features. Most users will probably want to install all of them with their Windows 8 Hyper-V installation.
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 - Reboot and Hyper-V Will be on Start Menu
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 – Reboot and Hyper-V Will be on Start Menu
After the machine reboots, Windows 8 Hyper-V will be installed. You will see tiles on the Start menu for Hyper-V manager and Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection. One other super important piece of advice is to remember to create virtual switches at this point. It makes guest VM setup much easier on Windows 8 Hyper-V.
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 - Create an external virtual switch
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 – Create an external virtual switch
Using Windows 8 Hyper-V manager creating an external virtual switch allows for virtual machines to reach the outside world.
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 - Create an internal virtual switch
Install Hyper-V on Windows 8 – Create an internal virtual switch
Using Windows 8 Hyper-V manager, another option is to create an internal virtual switch. I setup both upon initial installation. My workstation boots fast so I was at about 2 minutes 30 seconds even including taking and saving the screenshots in this guide. Enjoy!
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Wade —- Why? Don’t most peeps with Hyper-V VMs run machines 24×7? So CPU can’t be in sleep mode. Maybe on a Ivy Bridge this is a big deal but he is using high spec hardware so processor not going to sleep anyway. Better to deal with slightly higher power consumption with a high clock and low load. You don’t want to have the VM wig out on ya.

  2. Sizzle… Yes most people probably have machines running 24×7. And in that environment its evem more problematic that power saving is not working. I doubt your host maschine runs at 100% cpu usage all the time, and if not then you would benifit from cpu being able to go into power save when there is nothing to do.

    Basically for me this would mean there was NO WAY IN HELL I could run Hyper-V at home now, since I dont wanna pay for my processor drawing max power all the time 🙂

  3. Been playing with this a bit. If I get time I might try building a test machine this weekend. I think there might be some truth to the above link, but it is certainly false to say that it is shutting down all CPU power saving.

    I popped my C2 Core i7-3930K back in the machine to free up some hardware. Made a few Folding@Home VMs to simulate load. The chip runs at 3.5GHz and 1.232V. When I pull off the VM load, I can watch the voltage slip down to the 0.8V range in CPU-Z. Classic signature of Intel power saving technology so it is not completely off as that TechNet link may lead one to believe.

  4. In the end the fact is that having Hyper-V installed with no VM’s setup or running should not change your system performance or settings. I look forward to any further information you can gather on this subject Patrick.

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