W2K8 RC0 - Windows Server Virtualization Installation Experiences
So the day finally dawned, and RC0 was released. That same day I got word it would be okay to blog and show screenshots of Windows Server Virtualization.
So I went and bought a new laptop first because mine didn't quite make the grade.
While I was waiting for the RC0 download to finish, I thought I'd install and check out Windows Vista x64. I liked it so much I decided to keep it. And that's where the trouble started!
I thought I'd just eval it, so I just wiped the whole hard disk, made on partition and installed it. Because Windows Vista x64 can be on the same partition as Windows Server 2008 I was left with a dilemma. So to my first problem in getting Windows Server Virtualization working. I had to resize the partition, so I could create another! Simple you might think, but find a tool out there that does it. If you're like me and you know this was your own stupid mistake you'd rather reinstall everything, than buy a commercial tool (if you can find one that works on x64 Windows!).
After much hunting around I recalled that Linux had some tools to do it, so I found an openSUSE disc, booted it and edited the partition table. Fabulous! I then had two primary partitions, which was exactly what was needed for me to install Windows Server 2008 without destroying my beloved Vista x64 installation :)
It is important to bear in mind the following regarding the hardware you wish to use for Windows Server Virtualization (WSV):
- It only works on an x64 based system with Intel VT or AMD-V extensions. That means you need to be able to configure hardware assisted virtualization in the BIOS! If you don't have the option and you know from the processor vendor's web site that your processor can do it, start hunting for a BIOS upgrade.
On my Dell D630 laptop the option in the BIOS is located POST Behavior/Virtualization - Enabled
It is also important to note that on some systems you may need to completely disconnect the power from your system after you've saved the BIOS settings. So if you're experiencing problems with the setup steps below, it may be worth a try. Some BIOS/CPU combinations do not reset correctly. Remember to remove the battery too if it's a notebook system.
- You have to enable Data Execution Prevention on the BIOS. On AMD systems it's usually called No Execute (NX) bit and on Intel systems it usually known as Execute Disable (XD)
On my Dell D630 laptop the option in the BIOS is located at Security/CPU XD Support - Enabled.
So finally after all that, I got around to installing Windows Server 2008 x64 RC0. RC0 is important, as previous builds did not include the functionality at all.
After a successful installation I explored %systemroot%\wsv. In that directory there were two .MSU files called
I simply ran those in the order listed.
And that was it really. I was good to go.
The next steps were simple. I open Server Manager, went to the Roles Summary, and selected Add Roles.
Windows Server Virtualization was in the list! I simply selected it, and it began it's configuration.
Next, it prompted me for the appropriate network interface card(s) to use for my virtual machines
And then finally after a reboot, it proceeded to complete the installation and presented me with a results screen. Because my system was not connected to any network (it's a test system so why bother!) It warned me that Windows automatic updating was not enabled. It also gave me two informational messages stating that, "This is a pre-release version of Windows Server Virtualization", and also told me that WSV was installed.
To configure the environment and create a virtual machine all that was necessary was to access the management console via the server manager or the Start Menu.
After loading the Virtualization Management Console, I had to select my system name and then one right hand-side choose New/Virtual Machine. After a brief moment the New Virtual Machine Wizard appeared. It follows the same process as all wizards we're used to.
In the first dialog you get some "Before You Begin" information to read, which you can also disable for future running of the wizard.
Thereafter you are asked for the name of the virtual machine. You can also use the default folder for the virtual machine or create your own.
The third dialog simply asks how much memory you would like to allocate to the virtual machine.
The fourth dialog asks if you want the virtual machine to be connected to the network, and if so, which network card to send the traffic through.
Then the fun starts. The fifth dialog asks for the name of the virtual machine file, the location (again) and also the size. You can also use an existing hard disk, or attach a virtual disk later. Obviously using an existing hard disk has performance benefits.
You're then prompted for operating system details. This dialog is interesting as it is different than Virtual Server 2005 R2 or Virtual PC. It doesn't ask you which operating system! It just gives you the following options:
- Install an operating system at a later time
- Install an operating system from a bootable CD/DVD-ROM (you can also point to an image file)
- Install an operating system from bootable floppy disk
- Install an operating system from a network-based installation server
In my case I chose to install from a bootable DVD-ROM.
The last screen in the wizard is a summary screen. It also provides a check box to allow you to start the virtual machine once the wizard is finished.
And that's it!
I was returned to the Virtualization Management Console and right-clicked my virtual machine and chose start. Then nothing happened!
I had to right click the machine name again, and this time chose Connect... That opened a terminal server type session to the virtual machine and I was able to work within it.