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

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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.


  • John,

    Thanks for the assistance and rapid reply. I have one more question, we also have a Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 setup, can we also change the host name without any adverse consequences?


  • Jay - similarly there should be no problem.



  • I am trying to install Hyper-V on Windows 2008 Core box and it asks for the reboot of the machine to complete the setup.

    After it came up,

    I gave oclist command to verify if Hyper-V is installed but it wasn’t.

    I checked event viewer and it showed that hyper-v is installed.

    I checked services but none of hyper-v services were there.

    I tried uninstalling and reinstalling hyper-v but no luck.

    DEP and VT are enabled.

    Have you seen this kind of behavior and how do I fix this issue?



  • Anupam

    What SKU of Windows Server 2008 are you running, and is it definitely 64 bit, not 32-bit.

    Can you confirm the ocsetup command you are running to add the Hyper-V role?



  • Anupam - should also add, if you are 64 bit and running "ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V", can you zip up \windows\logs\cbs\cbs.log and contact me through the email option at the top - I'll find a way to get it uploaded to Microsoft to examine.



  • I'm considering Hyper-V and have not touche it yet.  All my virtualizaiton experience is with Citrix Xen 4/5 Express and Enterprise  

    I'd be using Hyper-V for SBS Premium, loading both server OSes on 1 physical server, plus maybe adding a XP or linux guest.  What is the process for doing this?  Load Hyper-V to server, then install guests? simple like Xen?  Does Hyper-V allow for backp of guest while they're running?



  • Mike - I think the best place for you to start is As for backups, yes, if you have a VSS aware backup application running in the parent partition, it can backup virtual machines.



  • Hi, Just got a Dell 1340 laptop, try to install Hyper -V server 2008 R2  on it, it install ok but after finishing the install it display the logon prompt , but at this stage the pc locksup, try few times reinstalling but same results, yes the CPU hardware visualization is enabled at the BIOS. Any thoughts on this  issue?



  • Hi Sid - can you verify that you have the latest available BIOS installed on this machine, and if not, please ensure it is up to date, then retry. Can you also confirm this is build 7100 (RC release). If you do have the latest BIOS and public build, can you confirm the exact specs of the machine and I'll see if I can find the same machine in house to try investigate.



  • I got WIndows 2008 Core running, but I want Vista or WIndows 7 to come up by default on a boot and not the Windows Core command prompt.

    So how is this done?

  • Michael - I don't understand what you're asking. The server 2008 core interface is the command prompt - you can't have it come up as a different operating system.... What am I missing?



  • John just wondering when the below is to published for a read? many thanks!

    ''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. ''

  • Sydney - published a long while back. There's a five part series and each of the posts has a link to the others. But that said, for your own sanity (trust me!) use HVRemote (



  • John.

    I have installed 2008 core and Hyper V on my laptop (btw anybody else reading this adding hyperv from command line is case sensative it must be Microsoft-Hyper-V) this is so I can have xp and win7 on the same lappy.

    I cant seem to find how to invoke the Hyperv gui so I can install the two desktop OS. As this is my lab lappy you appreciate i dont want to manage it remotely but use it locally only.



  • John at the risk of repeting myself. (cause i dont see my last entry)

    I have 2008 core and Hyper V on my development lappy so that I can have XP and win7 OS together to compose and debug some scripts. So i will not want to remote to the lappy to run XP or Win7. Is this a mistake/missunderstanding on my part. Do I need the full blown 2008 install to beable to run Hyperv locally and install and configure my XP and Win7 OSs ?

    Ta. Kriss

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