Microsoft

Get started with Windows 8 Client Hyper-V the right way

Set up Client Hyper-V the right way and avoid the frustrations experienced by others.

Microsoft announced that they are ending support for Windows XP SP3 on April 8th 2014. Since that official announcement I have been receiving a lot of email from Windows XP users making the move to Windows 8 and wondering about support for something like Windows 7's XP Mode. In other words, they want to be able to move to Windows 8 and take Windows XP with them so that they have something to fall back on as they get used to Windows 8.

Well, unfortunately Microsoft did not incorporate anything similar to XP Mode in Windows 8. However, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Professional or Windows 8 Enterprise, these versions of the operating system come with a new virtualization tool called Client Hyper-V that you can use to run a virtual Windows XP machine inside of Windows 8.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

Of course, in order to be able to run Client Hyper-V, your system must meet several hardware requirements. For instance, the 64-bit CPU in your system must support Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) technology and your system must have at least 4GB of RAM. (There are several other system requirements that must be in place as well, but I'll cover these in a moment.)

In most cases, the procedure of setting up is Windows 8's Client Hyper-V is relatively straightforward. However, as I have corresponded with various users performing the necessary steps, I've learned that the procedure can be tricky and confusing - especially if the users were not sure how to get started or ran into problems along the way.

One of the most common problems people were encountering has to do with a key virtualization feature being disabled in the computer's firmware and them not knowing it. Unfortunately, you can't install Client Hyper-V without these features being enabled and as you can imagine the problem just snowballs from there.

As I worked through this problem, I developed a set of steps that eventually led these users to success. To save other users who may be thinking of incorporating Client Hyper-V from frustration, I decided to write an article showing you how to get started with Windows 8's Client Hyper-V the right way.

Requirements

Let me begin with a brief reiteration of the most obvious requirements. As I mentioned, Windows 8's Client Hyper-V is only available in the 64-bit versions of Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise. It is not available in the 32-bit versions nor is it available in Windows 8 basic or in Windows RT.

Again, your system must have at least 4GB of RAM and your 64-bit CPU must support Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) technology. Most of the current crop of 64-bit CPUs from Intel and AMD provide SLAT support.

Checking System Information

Before you attempt to install Windows 8's Client Hyper-V, you need to verify that everything in your system is ready to run a virtualized environment. Unbeknownst to many Windows 8 users, Microsoft added new information gathering features to the old System Information tool thus making it very easy to verify whether your Windows 8 system can run Client Hyper-V.

To launch System Information in Windows 8, use the [Windows] + Q keystroke to access the Apps Search page. Then, type msinfo32 in the text box and click msinfo32.exe, as shown in Figure A. If you prefer, you can use the [Windows] + R keystroke to bring up the Run dialog box, type msinfo32 in the Open text box, and click OK.

Figure A

Accessing the System Information from the Start screen is easy.
Either way you launch the System Information, once it is up and running, you'll want to remain on the System Summary screen, which appears by default. Now, scroll to the bottom of the right panel. When you do, you'll see four key pieces of information about your system's ability to run Hyper-V. As shown in Figure B, all of them should have a value of Yes.

Figure B

In order to successfully install Windows 8's Client Hyper-V, all these values must be set to Yes.
Now, if any of the key virtualization features are disabled in the computer's firmware, System Information will alert you to that fact immediately. My test system for this article is an HP Pavilion P2-1124 and when I ran System Information, I discovered that the Virtualization Enabled in Firmware had a value of No, as shown in Figure C. What this means is that the system has the capability to provide virtualization support, but the feature is disabled in the firmware. So, you just have to enable it.

Figure C

This indicates that the system has the capability to provide virtualization support, but the feature is disabled in the firmware.

In general, if either the Virtualization Enabled in Firmware or the VM Monitor Mode Extensions are set to No, you can enable those features in the firmware. However, if the Second Level Address Translation Extensions or the Data Execution Protection settings are set to No, then you will not be able to use Windows 8's Client Hyper-V.

Enabling the Virtualization support

As you can imagine, there are a wide variety of interfaces and naming conventions when it comes to accessing and changing the Virtualization support in a computer's firmware, so you may want to begin by investigating the technical support section of your computer manufacturer's Web site to learn more about the specifics of your particular system's firmware

As I mentioned, my test system for this article is an HP Pavilion P2-1124 and the only setting that needs to be changed is the Virtualization Enabled in Firmware. However, if on your system the VM Monitor Mode Extensions are also set to No, you should be able to enable them in the firmware. Again, check the technical support section of your computer manufacturer's Web site.

To access my HP computer's firmware Setup Utility, I must press the [Esc] when I am prompted to do so as the system is booting up. I then saw the Startup Menu and selected the Computer Setup item, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

On the HP Pavilion P2-1124, I see the Startup Menu after pressing [Esc].
Once in the Hewlett-Packard Setup Utility, I pulled down the Security Menu and selected System Security. When I saw the System Security dialog box, I used the arrow keys to change the Virtualization Technology setting from Disable to Enable. This procedure is illustrated in Figure E.

Figure E

In the Hewlett-Packard Setup Utility, the Virtualization Technology setting is on the Security menu.

To put the setting into play, I pressed [F10] and then selected the Save Changes and Exit command from the File menu. I then encountered an Are you sure prompt and selected Yes. The system then rebooted.

Installing Client Hyper-V

With the Virtualization Technology setting now enabled, I can install Client Hyper-V correctly on my example system. While Client Hyper-V is built into the 64-bit versions of Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise, it is not installed by default. However, you can do so easily from the Programs and Features tool.

To install Client Hyper-V, you begin by pressing [Windows] + X to access the WinX menu and then select Programs and Features. When the Programs and Features dialog box appears, you select Turn Windows features on or off. You'll then see the Windows Feature dialog box and will locate the Hyper-V in the list. This process is illustrated in Figure F.

Figure F

You install Windows 8's Client Hyper-V from the Programs and Features tool.
If you expand the Hyper-V tree, you'll see that all the items in the tree are selected, as shown in Figure G.

Figure G

When turning on Hyper-V it is best to enable all of the features.
When you click OK, Windows Features will install Client Hyper-V and then prompt you to Restart your system. This process is illustrated in Figure H.

Figure H

Installing Client Hyper-V requires a Restart.
As the operating system processes the installation, you'll see messages on the screen similar to the one shown in Figure I, both before and after the initial restart.

Figure I

Once you initiate the restart, you'll see a message on the screen similar to this one.
When Windows 8 completes the installation, you'll find you'll find two tiles on the Start Screen for Hyper-V, as shown in Figure J. The Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection is a Remote Desktop-like tool that you will use to connect to your virtual machine after it is created and the Hyper-V Manager launches the management console that you'll use to create and manage your virtual machine.

Figure J

Hyper-V places two tiles on the Start Screen

Creating a new Hyper-V Virtual Machine is a detailed and intricate procedure in and of itself. As such, I plan to cover the process in detail in several future articles. Stay tuned.

What's your take?

Have you attempted to install Windows 8's Client Hyper-V and encountered problems? Are you planning on installing Windows 8's Client Hyper-V in the future? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

Also read:

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

19 comments
CarlosAMuniz
CarlosAMuniz

I tried to follow your instructions but when I checked the system information, I received a message that read "Hypervisor has been detected.  Features required by Hyper-V wont be displayed".  Obviously, I don't have the right access even thou I am administror on that machine.  (This is my personal machine).  How do I obtain the necessary access to administer Hyper V. 


Also when I try to use Hyper V I am told that I don't belong to the Hyper V administrator group.  How do I add myself to the group.


This is a windows 8.1 professional machine with a 64 bits CPU. 

mpestana2
mpestana2

Hi there,


Many thanks for the article. I have the same Pc desktop and i follow this steps, but after enable virtualization machines in Setup Menu I can not find the hyper V in the Windows features with the check box. But know the Virtualization Enabled in Firmware turned yes. Why I can not find the hyper V in the Windows features? Many thanks, Marco

Tareq.Samy
Tareq.Samy

Yeah! you rock :) you pinned me to the right way to configure it and getting it to work perfectly!

Thanks for your help.

p.crawford
p.crawford

Does Windows 8's Internet Sharing work as NAT for HyperV Client?

We can only put 2 MAC addresses on a network port at work so need NAT to allow more systems.

Currently using Virtual Box to overcome this limitation.

jamz2277
jamz2277

I have a brand new computer with a Core i5 , 6 GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro x64, and in my features window, Hyper V is not even in the features for me to turn on or off, and in trying to run the WP8 emulator, it stops and tells me I don't have a 64 bit version of Windows 8 when I clearly do. This is insane.

Flashman007
Flashman007

Hi Greg,


I followed your steps and found my virtualization was not enabled in firmware.  I then went into the startup menu and enabled virtualization per your instructions.  After rebooting, I go into System Information and all 4 Hyper V's say yes, but when I go to "Turn Windows Features On/Off" Hyper V option is not there. I've rebooted the PC 2 or 3 times and downloaded coreinfo from Systernals and ran it to verify Hypervisor is present.  Any ideas?

Webminotaur
Webminotaur

Greg,

I followed your instructions. My MB manual showed me how to enable VM Firmware. After that, everything went as explained.

Now on to the next step.....

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

I tried Hyper-V soon after getting Win8 on a new laptop. Setup was easy enough, except for networking, as mentioned by others. Networking should be simple and automatic, with manual intervention required only for unusual situations. I was not happy with the quality of Hyper-V's display and audio drivers. So, I reverted to VMWare. The Player version is free for non-commercial use, and it installs on Win8 without a hitch. Windows XP and Windows 7 run well as virtual machines. Two general VMWare tips that seem to avoid setup issues: 1. Install VMWare and create an empty virtual machine, one without any OS. Then when you first run the VM it will look for an ISO from which to install the guest OS. 2. Setup invites you to enter the product key for the guest OS early in its setup process. I recommend skipping that because VMWare may not correctly hand off the key to the OS. When the OS is installed, or installing, provide the product key directly to the OS.

ajenterprises
ajenterprises

after I installed windows 8 I my hypertext with privy documents wont pull up documents, how can I fix this ?

ajenterprises
ajenterprises

I installed xp pro and it is ok but how do I get it to connect to the internet ?

mikef12
mikef12

Rather than fret about the hardware requirements, you can simply use Virtual Box. If necessary, wait a bit longer for VB to work out any remaining problems running on Win8 host. And, a question: why does everything, like SysInfo, in 8 take a couple extra steps to run?

frank_s
frank_s

I spent about half an hour blundering around trying to get Hyper-V to install until I remembered about SLAT needing to be turned on in the BIOS. It went better after that. Greg: if you write another article with more info on Hyper-V machines, be sure to point out the info on networking. I can't speak for all installations but it was necessary to install a bridge and virtual switch. This is problematical for me right now as I'm away from home and my choices for broadband are a very poor Wi Fi or using my phone as a hotspot when I need to get things done (a lot of sites just time out with the Wi Fi--and I can't afford data charges to use the phone hot spot all the time). Switching back and forth almost always requires me to run network troubleshooting or manually reset the virtual switch. I need to run a 32 bit version of Windows in order to run an old DOS program and used Win 8 32 bit. It's annoying that I need to use networking to get to the host PC's hard drive as either I'm missing something or you can't get directly to the host's hard drives. Also there doesn't seem to be a way to use the host's USB. XP mode was a lot more convenient.

ubwete
ubwete

But it further confirms why MS virtualization solutions will continue to remain in servers. A budget-seeking presentation to CFOs, that proposes this solution as part of workstation replacements will most likely be stopped in its tracks. Personally, this solution is attractive only to already-existing hardware specs.

briankwartler
briankwartler

Many users shopping for Windows 8 PCs online often don't have access to the PC to run msinfo32 (or systeminfo) to confirm that the computer can meet all the requirements for Client Hyper-V. Even when you shop in a brick and mortar store, because many Windows 8 PCs have virtualization support turned off in the firmware, there is no easy way to tell whether or not there is a way to enable this support. It would be nice if HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc. could indicate whether their Windows 8 PCs support the Client Hyper-V feature so customers don't have to purchase their computers and then go into the firmware to look for the appropriate undocumented options to turn on virtualization support. Also, many PCs come with Windows 8 and not Windows 8 Pro. I am assuming that one does not need to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro first before determining whether the PC would support Client Hyper-V after the upgrade, but would appreciate confirmation.

cybershooters
cybershooters

The problem I've been having is with the networking, is there something concise out there about how it works? There's a recent video on the microsoft website but it's over an hour long and is aimed at Windows Server 2012. I'm having various problems, e.g. I can't see the computer with a network browser after Hyper-V is installed, the virtual switch or whatever it is called seems to stop it working.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you attempted to install Windows 8's Client Hyper-V and encountered problems?

mpestana2
mpestana2

sorry my English. I mean "now" and not "know"