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I'm running the new Windows 7 RC x64. I would like to set up a couple of virtual servers running on the same box as my desktop OS. I know that I can do this with some of the other virtualization pacakges (Windows Virtual PC, VirtualBox, etc.) but there a couple features of Hyper-V that I would like to take advantage of.

Is it possible to install Hyper-V on Windows 7 x64? If so, how?

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8 Answers 8

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I would say it isn't possible to use Hyper-V on Windows 7. You could put Server 2008 with Hyper-V as the host and use Windows 7 as a guest machine. Your best bet is to either use the new Windows Virtual PC or VirtualBox and the like.

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+1 as win7 has NO support for hyper-v. Only Virtual XP on specific processors. –  Wayne May 18 '09 at 4:01
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@Wayne not correct - all currently supported Microsoft OS's are offically supported on Virtual PC, but other things like Linux are working too. Virtual XP is a preconfigured XP VM, also runs a new version of terminal services (to allow application sharing) and has some special hooks into the Win7 OS to make it easier to start/stop them. You are correct on specific processors - they need the virtualisation support. That is the same as Hyper-V currently. –  Robert MacLean May 18 '09 at 8:00
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Oh, c'mon, saying that approach uses Hyper-V on Windows 7 is like saying you can use VMware ESX on Windows 7 if you install 7 as a guest on ESX. The on word is important. The question asked if the user could install Hyper-V on Windows 7 x64, and that answer is no. –  Brent Ozar May 18 '09 at 12:00
    
Thanks for the answers. There isn't Windows Virtual PC doesn't support 64 bit guests, right? If not, looks like I'll have to go with VirtualBox or VMWare –  heavyd May 19 '09 at 4:50
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Correct, even the new Windows Virtual PC only supports 32-bit guests. I would recommend VirtualBox over VMWare but that's just personal opinion at that point. Good luck! –  Joshua May 19 '09 at 4:58

Has nobody considered creating a Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 instance on a 2k8 box, and booting to that Hyper-V virtual hard drive using Windows 7 multi-boot? Win2k8R2 and Win7 can both boot to a Hyper-V OR Virtual PC virtual hard drive so that the virtual host becomes the physical host.

As an added benefit, the virtual OS running as a physical OS (multi-booted to Win2k8 R2 virtual hard drive) should be able to utilize the virtualization hardware to run Hyper-V. With the assistance of a 2k8 Hyper-V box, you won't even need a separate partition to do this.

I recommend researching "boot to a VHD with Windows 7." As stated above, this solution would require another Windows Server 2008 box, or a Server 2008 multi-boot partition to create the VHD (I have a spare / clean external hard-drive for such drop-of-the-hat configurations). This VHD, once created, should be movable to a Hyper-V server, and if multi-booted in Win7 should be able to utilize the virtualization hardware once the HAL is detected.

Someone smarter than me should chime in to validate this.

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In fact, yes, it is somehow possible.

Windows 7 includes a "boot to VHD" feature. So, it is possible to install Windows Server 2008 R2 (64bits) inside a VHD that resides on the Windows 7 file system. This system will be available as dual-boot on system startup.

When booted on Windows Server 2008 R2, it is possible to enable the Hyper-V Server Role and everything works perfectly.

In order to set this up on your Windows 7 workstation: a) Boot on the Windows Server 2008 R2 Installation Media b) When the language selection dialog appears, hit Shift+F10 c) In the command prompt, run a series of command to create a virtual hard disk.

Something like:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744338(WS.10).aspx

diskpart create vdisk file=c:\windows7.vhd maximum=25600 type=fixed select vdisk file=c:\windows7.vhd attach vdisk

Then, you can proceed with the installation.

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This isn't running Hyper-V from Windows 7, you are still booting directly to Server 2008, Windows 7 would never be loaded. My question is specific to running Hyper-V from within Windows 7. –  heavyd Jan 24 '10 at 3:10

Might want to look at remote server administration tools for Windows 7 (KB958830)

Microsoft KB958830

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Looks to be more geared at managing Hyper-V enabled Windows 2008 servers. I'm looking to install Hyper-V on a Windows 7 system. –  heavyd Dec 14 '09 at 23:17

Windows 7 is a client OS and thus does not support the bare metal (level 1) Hyper Visor technology that Win2k8 server does. However Windows 7 does have a new Virtual PC client - which is NOT the same as the old one (which used emulation), this basically uses a level 2 hyper visor. Mark Wilson covers it in detail in his blog post

So it is much faster than the old one, but not as fast as native Hyper-V. The trade off is that with this you get more hardware support (USB devices are fully supported) and some of nicer features like drag/drop support.

Finally an important note (since you already have VM) is that Hyper-V machines do not natively run on the new virtual PC due to HAL issues (I have yet to try uninstalling the Hyper-V components first, but I suspect it won't work because the HAL is a driver update). Old Virtual PC to new Virtual PC is fine.

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This is true, but it's worth pointing out that it's a result of Microsoft's business model to force people to use server products, not a technical restriction. –  nicodemus13 Mar 8 '12 at 15:53
    
@user65549 I dunno, Windows 8 has full Hyper-V support (provided you have a CPU with SLAT) and it is a client OS. I think it was purely a feature that didn't make the cut, because it wasn't important enough - not deliberately removed as a business move. –  Robert MacLean Mar 9 '12 at 6:53
    
Hmm, ok, you may be right. –  nicodemus13 Mar 9 '12 at 10:53

You'd need to run the server version of Windows 7, AKA Server 2008 R2 or whatever it ends up being called.

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Windows 7 has a new version of Virtual PC available currently in Beta. This is available here. There is also the new Virtual Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 available.

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Hyper-V only available on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V or the freely available Hyper-V Server

You could install one of these as the base OS and then install Win7 into a Hyper-V VM

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