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How to Install Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

This page discusses the update to Hyper-V. The information in this article is provided as is and is subject to change without notice. For more information about product support for this feature, please refer to Windows Server 2008 Support.

Prerequisites

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is only available for x64 editions of Windows Server 2008 RTM. If you are using a version of Windows Server 2008 that is pre-RTM, you will need to perform a clean install of Windows Server 2008 RTM x64 edition on your host system. Hyper-V cannot be enabled on systems running inside virtual machines or on x86 versions of Windows Server 2008.

The RTM update of Hyper-V is available for Windows Server 2008 x64 editions. Hyper-V requires an x64-based processor, hardware-assisted virtualization, and hardware data execution protection.

Pre-installation Steps for Migrating from the Beta

If you had previously installed the Beta of Hyper-V  on Windows Server 2008 RTM, the following steps are recommended for moving to the RTM version of Hyper-V:

  • Take a backup of all your Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) once you have shutdown the virtual machines.

  • Take a note of all of the Virtual Machine (VM) configuration settings such as storage configuration, memory allocations, etc. You will need to re-create the virtual machine settings as these are not compatible with the RTM version.

  • Take a backup of all your data on the system.

  • Install the updates from Download Center or Windows Update (available post July 8, 2008) for the RTM version. As mentioned above the RTM update package will only install on RTM version Windows Server 2008. Reboot as requested.

Steps for Migrating from the RC0/RC1 to RTM

If you had previously installed the Release Candidate (RC0 or RC1) of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 RTM, the following steps are recommended for moving to the RTM version of Hyper-V:

  • As a backup, take a note of all of the Virtual Machine (VM) configuration settings such as storage configuration, memory allocations, etc. You will not need to re-create the virtual machine settings as these are compatible with the RTM version.

  • Install the updates from Download Center or Windows Update (available post July 8, 2008) for the RTM version. As mentioned above the RTM update package will only install on RTM version Windows Server 2008. Reboot as requested.
    NOTE: Once you install the updates, you will not be able to remove them.

Enabling the Hyper V role in Windows Server 2008

To enable Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V on a full installation of Windows Server 2008, follow these steps.

  1. If you are updating your existing server that is running a pre-RTM version of Windows Server 2008, you must back up necessary files from the existing Windows Server before proceeding and perform a clean install of Windows Server 2008 RTM x64 edition. All steps in the pre-installation section must be completed before continuing.

  2. Ensure that you have hardware-assisted virtualization and No-Execute Bit enabled prior to installation. If BIOS reconfiguration changes were made to enable hardware features, you must complete a full power-cycle before proceeding. A warm-reboot is not sufficient.

    1. Download and install the update package for Hyper-V RTM version.

    2. There are three update packages for Hyper-V RTM: Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 editions (KB 950050), Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB952627), and Language pack for Hyper-V (KB951636). You will need to install the Updates for Windows Server 2008 x64 editions on the parent partition for upgrading to Hyper-V RTM.
      NOTE: Once you install these updates, you will not be able to remove them.

    3. If you had not previously enabled the Hyper-V Beta role, you will need to follow the instructions in Steps 4-7.

  3. Start Server Manager. To do this, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager. To add roles to a server, you must be logged on with an account with administrative rights.

  4. In Server Manager, add the Hyper-V role. To do this, click Add Roles under Roles Summary, and then select Hyper-V in the Add Roles wizard.

  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Add Roles wizard.
    Note: It is optional to allow Virtual Machines access to network resources; at least one network adapter must be selected to bind a Virtual Network Switch to. If there is a single network adapter in the computer, a warning popup will appear. It is recommended that at least two network adapters are available.

  6. At the end of the Add Roles wizard, you must restart the system for the Hyper-V role to be enabled.
    Note: It is recommended that no other Windows Server 2008 role be enabled on the host system if the Hyper-V role is enabled on the system.
    Important: Upon restart, log on with the same account used to install the Hyper-V role above.

Enabling Hyper-V in a Server Core deployment

The following steps will replace steps 4-7 above for a Server Core installation.

  1. Type “start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V” to enable Hyper-V role.

  2. Restart when prompted.
    Note: To Manage Hyper-V, you can remotely connect to the server from an existing Hyper-V Manager MMC on a different system.

Migrating Virtual Machine Configurations and VHDs from Beta to RTM

Migration of virtual machine configurations from Hyper-V Beta is not supported.  All virtual machine configurations must be recreated using Hyper-V RTM.  However, customers will be able to migrate VHD files for released operating systems (Pre-release version of Windows Server 2008 will need to be recreated with the RTM version).  There are several important factors to consider and steps to be followed for migrating VHDs to Hyper-V RTM.   These steps are covered below. Please refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949222 for instructions on how to move VHDs created on Hyper-V Beta to RTM. The following steps provide a high-level summary:

  1. Document existing settings for

    1. Virtual machines (example: memory, CPU, virtual network adapter settings, etc.).

    2. Virtual switches including all configuration information.

    3. Network adapters within the virtual machine (example: IP Address, DNS address, etc.).

  2. Your virtual machines must be shut down and all saved-states must be deleted.

  3. All snapshots must be deleted or merged into the parent VHD.  You cannot bring a virtual machine into Hyper-V RTM if it has snapshots.  Merging of your snapshots can take some time.  Ensure that your snapshots have merged and all that remains is a single .VHD file.

  4. Copy your VHD files to a safe location.

  5. Apply the updates for RTM as described in the section Enabling Hyper-V. After you upgrade to Hyper-V RTM, your virtual machine configurations must be recreated.

  6. Create new virtual switches and configure based on the information you collected in Step 1.

  7. Create new virtual machines using the ‘New Virtual Machine Wizard’ in the Hyper-V Management Console.  Use the information you collected during Step #1.  When prompted, attach your existing VHD to the newly created virtual machine. Once you launch your virtual machine, you should install the new integration components included with Hyper-V for supported guest operating systems. Install the latest Integration Components contained in the VMGuest.ISO file.  This is achieved by clicking on the ”Action” menu in the VM Connect session and selecting “Insert Integration Components”.

  8. Configure the network settings within the virtual machine using the information you wrote down in step #1.

Managing Hyper-V via MMC

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V can be managed via Microsoft Management Console (MMC) similar to other roles in Windows Server 2008. Select the "Hyper-V Manager " from the Administrative Tools folder on the Start menu to start the virtualization MMC console. With this console, you can manage either the local system or connect to other Hyper-V host systems and manage them.

Recommended Hardware Devices

Hyper-V is supported on a broad range of x64 capable hardware devices at RTM. Please refer to the www.windowsservercatalog.com for the list of supported hardware platforms. An update to the latest available BIOS version for your server hardware might be required. Use of other hardware platforms could result in some incompatibilities.

Removing Hyper-V

To remove the Hyper-V role from active use, click Remove Roles under Roles Summary in Server Manager, and then select Hyper-V in the Remove Roles wizard. You will need to restart the system to complete the removal.