Virtualization: Running Windows server 2008 R2 as Host/Hypervisor on a laptop

While experimenting with getting a laptop up and running with a virtual host OS I put together a small procedure

Why choosing Windows server 2008 R2 as hypervisor?

Since the laptop HW was not compatiple with VMware (see HCL), the next choise was Hyper-V server 2008 R2.
Hyper-V server has almost no GUI, which makes it more difficult to learn, since you have to discover everything by commandline. And the driver disk from the laptop vendor required VB6 runtime installed. So should the host be Windows 7, Windows server 2008 R2 or something else?
Win 7 takes up 8GB after install and Win 2k8 takes up 11GB (17GB recommended).
Choosing Win 2k8 would teach me how to use the Hyper-V feature, so Hyper-V or Core could be easy to use later on.
If you choose Win 7 you get easy WLAN setup, Power plans with sleep and a lot of drivers.
Anyhow, I tried with Win 2k8 server.

Install OS

  • Connect LAN and Power to PC. Insert Win 2k8 R2 installation disk and let the PC boot on it.
    Follow a few steps from the installation wizard and you’re done.

Enable Hyper-V

  • Still with LAN connected the Hyper-V role must be added to be able to host virtual machines. From Server Manager choose add Role from the Roles node in the treeview. During installation you will have to select a connected LAN card. After installation the server will boot and and give you a Hyper-V node under the Roles node as shown:
    Hyper-V role
    Warning: Adding role Hyper-V without LAN connected the OS will crash and show the blue screen of death! You might end up needing to reinstall the OS!

Enable WLAN

  • Check if your WLAN driver is working:
    Control Panel – Hardware
    Link to Device Manager
    Device Manager: Is WLAN driver working and enabled?
    WLAN driver active
    If the driver is not working you will need to download and install it.
  • Add the WLAN feature from Server Manager.

    Note: The Hyper-V role also added the Hyper-V Tools feature.
  • Now you can Enable the WLAN network connection and connect to a Wireless router
    Physical and virtual networks
    In the above image there are two physical and two virtual netwok cards. The virtual networks will be available, if the Hyper-V role has been added.
    The name of the networks has manually been renamed.

Install miscellaneous drivers

  • Next there could be some other drivers you would like to add.
    A suggested installation order could be:
    – Notebook system SW
    – Chipset drivers, Cardreader
    – Video driver
    – Modem driver
    – Input drivers
    – Audio driver
    – Laptop utilities and apps

The End.


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