Windows Server 8 Beta Hyper-V runs fine on ESXi 5.0 Patch 02

Posted by Paul Braren on Mar 3 2012 (updated on Dec 28 2014) in
  • Beta
  • Virtualization
  • Windows
  • There's interest in using ESXi 5.0 Patch 02 to kick the tires on the latest Hyper-V, ideally, able to run "nested" VMs, as a learning/self-training exercise really. As of March 12 2012, I still don't have nesting working however, which is the ability to actually start a VM under Hyper-V. Then again, neither does anybody else, as far as I can tell.

    This is beta code, with no official support from VMware, Microsoft, or myself. This is just a lab test, nothing more. And you'll see me make some mistakes in the video, but I also learned a few things by fixing those mistakes, so I left those portions of the video in. Again, this is all just basic testing, and my results and experiences may not have much in common with what you might experience.

    Yes, Hyper-V seems to install and function on ESXi, but I haven't tested nested VMs yet, read onward for all the details...


    Here's the steps:

    1) Update ESXi 5.0 to Patch 02, and reboot

    2) Tweak ESXi 5.0 host
    Assuming you're already at ESXi 5.0 Patch 02 or later, you next use something like WinSCP or PuTTY to edit /etc/vmware/config, adding:
    vhv.allow = "TRUE"
    as described here:

    3) Configure the VM
    Configure a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 VM with 2 CPUs and 8GB of RAM, set to boot from the 3GB Hyper-V install ISO, click OK

    4) Change the VM Settings
    Go back into the VM Settings, now you'll see you can change to the "Windows Server 8" OS type, and click OK

    5) Tweak the VM's .vmx File
    Use Veeam FastSCP or WinSCP to edit the .vmx file for the VM you just created, adding this line to the end of the file:
    hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = FALSE
    Thanks go to this site for that tip:
    and here's the new part, the secret sauce to getting nested VMs to boot at all:

    which explains, Hyper-V R3 under the Windows 8 Consumer Preview requires the following additional option:
    mce.enable = TRUE

    6) Boot the VM, and install Hyper-V

    7) Configure Hyper-V
    Configure basic Hyper-V settings if you'd like, including allow Remote Management (I had to manually re-enable Remote Management after every reboot)

    8) Install Hyper-V Manager on Windows 8 Consumer Preview
    Now we're ready to use a Windows 8 Consumer Preview VM (or physical):
    then install the required version of RSAT, 6.2, which only runs on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, downloaded from here:
    Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview
    Next, go to Add/Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, then turn on the Hyper-V checkbox.
    Next, you'll get an error without performing this tweak on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview VM:
    Hyper-V Manager–“Access denied. Unable to establish communication between…”

    9) Run Hyper-V Manager and connect to Hyper-V
    Now you're ready to hit the Windows key on your keyboard, and type "hyper" and hit enter, and the Hyper-V Manager should start right up and allow you to connect

    10) Created "nested" VM
    This testing is next, but had a problem with creating the VM's drive, will try again, and will then update this post.

    Full walkthrough video now available below: