John Howard - Senior Program Manager in the Hyper-V team at Microsoft

Senior Program Manager, Hyper-V team, Windows Core Operating System Division.

How to install the Windows Server virtualization role in Windows Server 2008 RC0

How to install the Windows Server virtualization role in Windows Server 2008 RC0

  • Comments 19
  • Likes

Update: Feb 2008. This post no longer applies for the Hyper-V (formerly known as Windows Server virtualization) Beta, as present on the Windows Server 2008 RTM (Release To Manufacture) media. To install the Hyper-V role from the Beta release onwards (will apply also all the way up to Hyper-V RTM), you should use Server Manager to add the Hyper-V role. The server manager walkthrough is very similar to the screenshots in this post. Note that there is no longer a need to install the two update packages prior to the role appearing in Server Manager - it will always appear. The prerequisites of hardware remain through.

This post walks through how to install the Windows Server virtualization (WSv) role in Windows Server 2008 RC (Release Candidate) 0 . As I mentioned in my previous post, WSv is a “preview” – in other words, pre-Beta release.

If you have access of MSDN, Technet or have signed up at Microsoft Connect, you will be able to access the installation media for Windows Server 2008 (note it may take a little while for the builds to propagate). If you want to give WSv a whirl, you must have specific hardware capabilities. Your processor must be 64-bit, have XD/NX (eXecute Disable/No Execute) turned on, and support Intel VT or AMD-V. Further, the BIOS must support these features. It is recommended that even if your hardware does have these capabilities, you upgrade to the latest version of the BIOS.

Although the WSv preview is now generally available, we have a relatively limited hardware support matrix at this time. In other words, even if you have a machine which meets the hardware capabilities above, it is possible we have not tested WSv on that hardware - there always remains the possibility of a BIOS or hardware incompatibility.

If you do have to make a BIOS changes, it is important that you perform a fully power cycle. In other words, turn the machine off, then back on again. A reboot is generally not sufficient, especially when turning on hardware virtualization support.

If you have HT (HyperThread) capability in your processor, you should disable that in the BIOS before installing WSv – HyperThread support is planned to follow in a future release.

Once you have setup your hardware, proceed to install Windows Server 2008 x64 en-us Enterprise as a “Full Installation”. Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 is not supported in the Preview release of WSv, nor are any other locales.

As I mentioned in my previous post, WSv is a “role” in Windows Server 2008. Roles are installed through “Server Manager”, available directly on the start menu on a default installation. By all means, take a browse through Server Manager. It won’t take long to realize that WSv is not present. That is because you need to install a couple of updates to Windows Server 2008 before the role is present.

- Navigate to the <systemdrive>\windows\wsv directory
- Double-click Windows6.0-KB939854-x64.msu and complete the installation
- Double-click Windows6.0-KB939853-x64.msu, read and accept the EULA and complete the installation

If you now look at Server Manager, you will notice that the Windows Server virtualization role is listed.


Without documenting a detailed walkthrough in the process of adding roles using Server Manager, hopefully everything is reasonably self-evident.

Once the role has been added, it is essential that you restart your computer.


On a restart, the role configuration will complete and WSv is installed and ready to use. You will find the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) for Windows Server virtualization on the Administrative tools menu available on the Start button.

A few common “gotcha’s” and FAQs we are aware of:

- Occasionally after installing the two .MSUs, the Windows Server virtualization role does not show up as a possible role to install. If you hit this, close Server Manager, re-open Server Manager, select the Roles node from the treeview on the left hand side and hit F5. The role should show up after the refresh has completed.

- On the Installation Results page, you may get the following warning: “Attempt to configure Windows Server virtualization failed with error code 0x80078000. Configuring the virtual network for failed. Please attempt to configure the virtual network again using the Virtualization Management console". Use the Virtual Network Manager in the

- It is highly recommended that no other roles are installed on the physical machine. In particular, if the machine is configured with the Active Directory Domain Services role and the role is configured through dcpromo.exe, it is not possible to start any virtual machines.


  • Peter - with F2, you need additional motherboard support in the BIOS for the hypervisor to launch. I'm not sure if there is any support for F1 - my mistake in saying "F2 or earlier" in my response to Rob. I should have said just "F2".

    To get this to work, you need two things: Either F2 with BIOS support, OR F3 and later. Note that even with F3 and later, the BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer must still provide full support for hardware virtualization. I can only suggest speaking with the motherboard manufacturer to confirm they have full support for hardware virtualization and if so upgrading to an F3 or later. I know of several people internally at Microsoft who have done a processor swap and the machine starts working.

    You have confirmed that NX/XD support is turned on in the BIOS too, of course?



  • Windows Server Virtualization (WSV), es el servicio de virtualización disponible e integrado como un

  • Hello,

    we have installed the Windows Standard 2008 Server with Hyper-V installed on an HP ProLaint BL460c G1 , all Services are Running and I great 2 Virtual Machines, but when I start them I get the Message "hypervisor is not running"

    The Intel Virtual Technology in BIOS are enabled

  • Patrick - Can you verify on that your machine is listed as compatible with Hyper-V. THere's several BL460c's up there, but I don't know the range specifically. Also check that VT and Execute Disable are set in the BIOS, and if you change them, cold start the machine. Finally, make sure you have the latest BIOS (or at least the version listed on the site above as supported by HP). If the system is listed and the Hypervisor still isn't launching, can you look in the Hypervisor and system event logs for errors.



    BTW - You are using Hyper-V RTM I assume? you posted the comment against a pre-release version.

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment