Windows 8 Client Hyper-V : Installation and Configuration

One of the new features in Windows 8 that has me very interested is client Hyper-V, which was intended to fill the need that Windows Virtual PC never seemed to satisfy. Personally, I had been using the free VirtualBox solution from Oracle, but now that I have moved to Windows 8 I am planning on taking advantage of Hyper-V.
This is a five-part series. In this first article, I’ll show you how to install and configure the client Hyper-V feature in Windows 8. In part two, we’ll configure a virtual switch. In part three, I’ll demonstrate how to populate Hyper-V with virtual machines. In part four, I’ll create a new virtual machine from an existing VHD that had a previously installed operating system. And finally, in part five, we’re going to run through the steps in managing Windows 8 Client Hyper-V with PowerShell.

First, your computer must be able to run Hyper-V. This means you need a 64bit system that has the necessary hardware and BIOS bits to run virtualization. You’ll also need at least 4GB of RAM — the more the merrier, assuming you want to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously. Fortunately, if you need to run a server operating system, say, for testing purposes, running a Server Core edition can save a lot on memory. Windows Server 2012 will be a big help here because you will be able to install and configure it with a GUI and then take the GUI away, leaving a Server Core system.
Next, you need to configure Windows 8 to enable Hyper-V. It is not installed by default, so don’t bother looking for it if you have a new Windows 8 install. Instead you’ll need to enable a Windows feature. First, open Control Panel (I find it easiest to press Windows+R and type in Control). Then click Programs. Finally, select “Turn Windows features on or off.” This will require elevated privileges.

After a moment you should get a dialog box with available Windows features. Scroll down to Hyper-V and check the items you want to install. You can see my result below in Figure 1.
Fig1 Win8 Hyper-V dialog box
Go ahead and check (or uncheck) other features as needed. As long as you are here, click OK. The Hyper-V feature will require a reboot. You should get some new tiles like in Figure 2.
Fig2 Win8 Hyper-V new module
If you installed the PowerShell support, you should see a new module.

PS C:\> get-module hyper-v -ListAvailable
Directory: C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules
ModuleType Name             ExportedCommands
---------- ----             --------------
Binary     Hyper-V          {Add-VMDvdDrive, Add-VMNetworkAdapter, Add-VMF...


We’ll definitely be looking at this later. In the mean time, let’s open the Hyper-V Manager.
Fig3 Win8 Hyper-V manager
As you can see above in Figure 3, I could connect to another Hyper-V server in my environment. However, I’m only concerned about using Hyper-V on the client, which is the computer called SERENITY.
Fig4 Win8 Hyper-V client
As you can see above in Figure 4, nothing has been created or configured. Click Hyper-V Settings to check out the default configuration as seen below in Figure 5.
Fig5 Win8 Hyper-V default configuration
The primary settings you might want to change are the default locations for your VHDs and Virtual Machines. You can create disks and machines in multiple places. These are simply the defaults. One thing you might want to consider in selecting a path is if it will get backed up. I’m going to leave them be for now and make sure my backup processes include these paths. If you make any changes, click Apply or OK.
Next in this series, I’ll cover some additional configurations and setting up a virtual machine.