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 add the Hyper-V role to a Windows Server 2008 Server Core machine

How to add the Hyper-V role to a Windows Server 2008 Server Core machine

  • Comments 37
  • Likes

Soon, I promise, I will be publishing part 3 which is the workgroup server-core version of “Hyper-V Remote Management: You do not have the requested permission to complete this task. Contact the administrator of the authorization policy for the computer ‘COMPUTERNAME’.”. However, to get there, we need to get Hyper-V up and running on server core first.

(For a refresh, here's the links to part one and part two.)

In the meantime, today's post backs up a bit, starting the story where the Windows Server 2008 installation of server core has just completed. Before reading further, it may help to take a look here for the server core “idiots guide” crib-sheet.

Step 1 - Logon

The first thing you notice after pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del is a prompt for “Other User”


Here, you should enter “administrator” with a blank password. (Note that administrator is localized as I found out a few weeks ago installing Spanish Windows Server 2008 where it is 'administrador'. Never knew that!)

Step 2 – Set the administrator password and get to the desktop

You then need to set an appropriate password which meets the password complexity policy.


After changing the password, this is what you see: A command prompt.  (I love the irony in that it sits “Preparing your desktop…” for quite some time – I’m sure it takes longer than on a full installation!)


Step 3 – Initial configuration

The first few things I like to do are:

a) Set an appropriate computer name (note I’m not joining this machine to a domain)

  • hostname (to get the current computer name)
  • netdom renamecomputer currentname /NewName:newname

b) Enable remote management

  • netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes

c) Enable remote desktop

  • cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /ar 0
  • cscript \windows\system32\scregedit.wsf /cs 0

d) Reboot for the computer name change to take effect

  • shutdown /t 0 /r


Step 4 – Apply the Hyper-V update

Now you need to enable to Hyper-V role. First, you should apply the latest update to Hyper-V to the machine (now at RTM as at 6/26). This is no different from applying the update to a full installation of Windows Server 2008. You just have to launch it from a command prompt. Note that I had already “net use”’d to a share on another computer that had the update available locally and copied it across to the server core machine. Confirm the installation and reboot as requested. (Obviously if you are reading this when builds after RC0 are available, replace the MSU KB number with the appropriate number.)


Step 5 – Enable the Hyper-V role

To enable the Hyper-V role, use “ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V” and reboot when prompted


So at this point, we have a machine running a server core installation option of Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role up and running. Soon then will be post showing you how to manage this machine remotely using the Vista management tools for Hyper-V when in a workgroup environment.


  • Thank you for the detailed step through.  I'm a little gun shy working with the new Core OS and this has saved me a great deal of grief and second guessing.

  • John - thanks for this.  I thought I _was_ clued up on Server Core and Hyper-V and I'm finding it really useful!

    Just one question - why do I need to enter:

    netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Remote Administration” new enable=yes

    I thought installing roles in WS08 enabled the appropriate firewall rules for management?

    Cheers, Mark

  • Mark - it may well do, and I'm being a little over zealous on the commands - however, no harm in doing it again. To be honest, I need to go back and check to see what the remote management firewall state is after installation - you may well be right.



  • In point of fact, the Remote Administration firewall exception does _not_ get enabled when installing the Hyper-V role.

  • Hi John,

    This may be a dumb question but I'll ask it anyway.  I have a full installation of Windows Server 2008, Not Core and I am trying to add the Hyper-V role in server manager but it is not listed.  Under Rolse I have 0 of 16 installed but none of the ones listed are Hyper-V.  Under Features I did see a Hyper-V Tools which I was able to install but just not sure where to go at this point.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Jeff - sounds like you have the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008 installed rather than 64-bit. You can verify by start/right click computer/properties. It should say 64-bit Operating system under System type. The entry you are seeing are the management tools for Hyper-V rather than the Hyper-V role.



  • Hi John,

    Thank you for the quick response and you are correct I am running the 32 bit version.  Does that mean that Hyper-V role is not available in this version, only available in the 64 bit version?



  • Jeff.

    Yes, that is correct. Hyper-V has specific hardware requirements and is only available on x64 architecture. More information is in the release notes for RC0.



  • With the RTM release of Hyper-V just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit

  • So after even more feedback and questions, part 4 of this series provides the walkthrough steps necessary

  • In the Hyper-V shiproom, we have signed off on Hyper-V RTM (Release To Manufacturing). The build and

  • Lately it's been very quiet on my blog. There are a couple of things to that. First and foremost there

  • Hyper-V HW & SW requirement: Hyper-V RTM

  • We currently are using Hyper-V and would like to change computer name of the host machine. Will this cause any complications to the virtual machines on this system?

  • Jay - no, this should not cause any problems.



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