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I have Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on my workstation at home. I am trying various virtualisation solutions but none of them have met all of my needs. I am now going to try Hyper-V, but can I setup Hyper V machines (or whatever the name is for a HyperV VM) via 7? I know there are Remote Server Administration Tools for Win 7 but does this give me all the functionality?

Is it possible to upgrade from my version of 7, above, to Server 2008 EE x64 and keep all my apps/data intact? The only issue with this is I will lose Win Media Player but I can get this back from MS's website, on the other side of the coin, I will lose stuff like games which I do not need.

My VMs are just MOSS/AD/Exchange, I don't really need staging servers.


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You say "none of them have met all of my needs". What are your needs? Which ones have you already tried? – Swoogan Dec 22 '09 at 17:35

No, you cannot setup Hyper-V on windows 7 as it is a Desktop OS, you need to running either server 2008, server 2008 R2 or Hyper-V server to run Hyper-V.

Unfortunately there is also not a way to upgrade from a Desktop OS to a Server OS, it needs to be a clean install.

That said, if you still plan on using this PC as an everyday machine, I would not reccomend installing a server OS, especially with a Hyper-V component. You would be better of using a type 2 hypervisor, such as VMWare Server or Workstation, Virtual Server or VirtualBox.

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Why would I be better off using a type 2 HV? – blade35 Dec 22 '09 at 16:39
beause a type 1 hypervisor is intended to be a bare metal hypervisor (hyper-v is slightly different in that it runs as part of the OS, but is generally accepted as type 1). Type 1 hypervisor are generally inteded to be run on a server who's sole purpose is to be a VM host. Where as a type 2 is more intended to run on top of your OS, along side other applications. – Sam Dec 22 '09 at 19:20

Along with the other comments - you should take a look at Sysinternals Disk2Vhd.exe - you could use this to dump your current win7 OS to a Hyper-V ready VHD file - then reinstall your machine with a server OS, and reattach that VHD to a new VM under the hyper-V install.

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This will make my life in the future so much easier! – Chris Marisic Dec 23 '09 at 14:49
Great idea! But I did read somewhere about a slight performance loss with VHDs? – blade35 Dec 23 '09 at 15:32
Sure, there'll be a performance loss on VHDs - but I imagine that it should be measurable in the single digits (or very low double-digits). Same should go for the difference between running a physical machine and a virtual machine as long as you have the guest services installed. – Scott Ivey Dec 23 '09 at 19:52

No you can't upgrade from a client OS to a server one, but by the same token you really shouldn't be trying to run those particular VMs from a client OS-based hypervisor unless it's purely for self-training. Move to a more serious hypervisor such as 2008 with HyperV, a VMWare product or one of the Linux VM systems.

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HYper-v is a type 1 (or bare metal) hypervisor. After replacing your current OS with hyper-v, it is possible to mange it via windows 7. You canot upgrade your system to hyper-c as it's not in that product line.

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