Installing Windows Home Server 2011 RC as a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

Installing Windows Home Server 2011 RC as a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

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Windows Home Server might be the coolest IT product that Microsoft makes for the consumer marketplace.  For those of you that have not used Home Server it’s time to go and get yourself a copy.  Now is a particularly good time to get involved with Home Server because the product team is in the process of testing a new Release Candidate called Windows Home Server 2011. You can download the Windows Home Server 2011 Release Candidate .ISO from  I personally love to be able to test new software in my virtual environment with Hyper-V.  So the question is how exactly do you install Home Server 2011 in a Hyper-V environment.  Here is how I did it today! 

1.  Create a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V.



2.  I allocated 2048 MB of Memory. 


3. Make sure to CONNECT to a network.  ( This is one of the issues folks have when trying to install Home Server2011 in Hyper-V.  It requires am internet connection.)


If you don’t connect to a network you will end up with this message.(Yes - I found out the hard way too.)


4.  Another problem with Home Server 2011 on Virtual machines is that the default disk space allocation is 127GB.  You need to set it to at least 160.  I went with 180 just because it felt right for me.


5.  I downloaded the ISO image from  so when it comes to installing I just pointed the install to the ISO. 


6. Here’s the summary of the VM.



Once we have the VM created you can go ahead and start the VM and the installation process will kick off. Now the installation process will run without incident if you have allocated enough disk space and if you have established the network connectivity.  Here’s the way my install ran. 



I chose a new installation.

Now when you look at this screen below you really wonder whether you want to check the box that says “I understand that if I click Install all files and folders on my primary hard drive will be deleted” Just check the box. Remember this is a VM.


Now you watch the paint dry.  (In my case I learned a valuable lesson I will pass on to you.  I saved the ISO to a USB drive and installed from there.  It took a long time.  Like over an hour.  I am guessing if I had copied the ISO locally the install would have proceeded much quicker.)



The files will copy, expand, and then install on your virtual machine. 



Your virtual machine will restart a couple of times during the installation process.  This is normal. 

When the installation of the operating system is completed (Windows Home Server 2011 is built on Windows Server 2008 R2) you will be prompted through the Windows Home Server Setup. 

First you will select Country, time and currency, and keyboard layout. 


Next agree to the license agreement. 


Next provide your product Key.


Next you will provide a name for the server, and a password including a password hint. 


Next define automatic updates for your server.


Finally we watch more paint dry!  These final install and configuration steps can take up to 30 minutes (on my box they took 12, so not too long.)


And finally last but not least Success! 


Now you are ready to run your Windows Home Server 2011 Virtual machine. 

The first thing I did was made a snapshot of the VM so I would have something to roll back to as I start my testing.  Have fun with Windows Home Server 2011.

  • Can you join a HomeGroup under Hyper-V? I can't, but my network adapter is bridged to a wireless adapter on the host (a wireless WS2008 R2), and that could be the reason.

  • I sure hope so, but i haven't tested it yet.  I will put that on my list of stuff to test and write a post about the results.  I will run the test with wired and bridged wireless connections based on your suggestion and let you know what i find out.  Thanks for the question and suggestion!

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