Use Windows 8 Client Hyper-V to set up a test machine

Accessing Windows Feature tool from the Start Screen is easy

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In the article, Get the free 90-day evaluation of Windows 8 Enterprise, I showed you how to download and install the free 90-day evaluation copy of the final version of Windows 8 Enterprise so that you could begin experimenting with the new operating system. I recommended that you install Windows 8 Enterprise to a VHD and use it in a dual-boot configuration, as I showed you in the article titled Dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 using a VHD. After experimenting with Windows 8 in a dual-boot configuration with Windows 7 for a while I decided that I wanted to expand my test bed a bit and rather than setting up another dual-boot system, I decided that I wanted to experiment with the operating system from within Windows 8's Client Hyper-V tool.

So, I installed the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation on a system, set up the Client Hyper-V tool, created a virtual machine, and then installed the Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation on that virtual machine. This new setup is working great and has not only allowed me to expand my Windows 8 test bed; it has also allowed me to experiment with all the great features in Windows 8's Client Hyper-V. In this post I'll show you how to setup and configure Windows 8's Client Hyper-V. As I do, I'll show you how to install see your virtual machine in the Hyper-V Manager on that virtual machine. Along the way, I'll show you some of the neat features in Client Hyper-V.

About Client Hyper-V

As you may know, Microsoft has done away with Windows Virtual PC in favor of focusing on Hyper-V, which is also the main virtualization platform in Windows Server. Of course the server version of Hyper-V provides several advanced features that you won't find in the client version. Advanced features aside, the client version provides the same powerful and feature rich virtualization platform, along with an identical user interface and functionality as the server version. For instance, Windows 8's Client Hyper-V will allow you to simultaneously run multiple virtual machines and it can be used to run both 32- and 64-bit operating systems. Of course there is much more to Windows 8's Client Hyper-V than I will be able to cover in one article. But rest assured I will cover this topic in more detail in the future.


Windows 8's Client Hyper-V is only available in the 64-bit versions of Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise and of course that means that it will only run on computers with 64-bit CPUs. And, these 64-bit CPUs must incorporate Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) technology. While most current CPUs from AMD and Intel support SLAT, you can verify your system by running the Coreinfo command-line utility from Microsoft's Windows Sysinternals site.

Your system must have at least 4GB of memory. However, if you want to be able to comfortably run more than one virtual machines at a time, you'll want more the 4GB.

Getting started

Windows 8's Client Hyper-V isn't enabled by default, but you can add it rather quickly from the Windows Features tool. To begin, just press the [Windows] key to bring up the Start Screen. Then, type Features, select Settings, and click Turn Windows features on or off.

Credit images to Greg Shultz for TechRepublic

By Greg Shultz

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.