VMware Fusion and Windows Server 8 Beta with Hyper-V 3.0

It’s been a couple of days since Microsoft announced it’s customer preview of it’s upcoming Windows 8. In the shades of it’s customer preview Microsoft also presented it’s new server product: Windows Server 8 beta.

As a VMware (virtualization) junkie I think you should always look at what the competition is offering. So I downloaded the Server 8 beta (Download here) and wanted to get it working within a VM in VMware Fusion on my Mac Book Pro (MBP).

I’ll do a step by step guide getting everything up and running.

First you’ll have to make sure you have the windows server 8 beta ISO on your MBP, as well as VMware Fusion (download a 30-day trial here). I will not do the Fusion install, but this is a straight forward process so you should be able to get it up and running in no time.

So let’s start with installing Windows server 8:

First of all open VMware fusion and Select the Create New VM:

Create New

In the Introduction screen press continue:

Snap 2012 03 03 at 22 31 39

In the installation media screen select the choose a disc or disc image:

Choose a disc

In the Choose a disc or Image window select the Windows server 8 Beta ISO and press open:

Choose iso

In the Choose operating System screen select Microsoft Windows as OS and Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 as Version and Press Continue:

OS Choose

At the Finish screen press Customize Settings:

Customize Settings

There will be a pop-up to save the VM. Choose a VM Name (step 1) the VM location (step 2) and press Save (step 3)

Save as VM

In the Settings screen press Processors and Memory to give your VM extra resources:


In the Processor and Memory screen edit the settings as you wish (2 CPU and 4096 MB RAM in my case) After that press close:


Now we’ll start the Windows Server 8 Beta installation. Press the big Play button:


The Installation process starts and the first screen is the language settings. Choose your settings and press Next:

Choose settings

In the next screen press the Install Now button:

Install Now

In the select the OS you want to install screen select the Server with a GUI option, and press the Next button:

Select right OS

In the which type of installation do you want screen press on Custom:

Custom Install

In the where do you want to install windows screen, select the right drive (if needed) and press Next:

Drive Selection

After the installation is finished enter the administrator password (twice) and press finish:

Finish install

The next screen will ask you to do a Ctrl+Alt+Del, with no del key on a MBP you have two options. Option 1 is explained in the screenshot below. The other one is to press the fn+ctrl+alt+backspace keys at once:


In the following screen enter your password and press enter:

Enter password

Accept the Windows error Reporting Privacy Statement:


After this it’s time to setup Hyper-V. In the Server Manager Dashboard (startup screen) choose the local server and from the Manage drop down menu choose Add Roles and Features:


In the before you begin window check the “Skip this by default” box and press next:


In the installation type window, choose role-based or feature-based installation and click Next:


In the Server Selection Screen select your server and Click Next:


In the Server Roles screen Check the Hyper-V box:


In the Hyper-V pop-up screen check the “include management tools” box and click Add Features:


There will be another pop-up saying Hyper-V can’t be installed because a hypervisor is already installed:


To solve this problem we have to edit the vmx file, and do some additional settings. To shutdown the press Fn+Ctrl+Alt+Backspace, then press the power button and shut down:


After the VM is shutdown we need to open the VMX file. Go to the VM in the VM Library and enter the Server 8 VM’s Menu. Hold the Alt key and press “open config file in editor”:

Virtual Machine Library

In the VMX file add the following lines:

vhv.enable = “TRUE”
hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE”
mce.enable = “TRUE”


Close the file and Right click the VM again and press settings:


In the setting screen press advanced:


IN the Advanced screen select “Intel VT-x with EPT” from the Preferred virtualization engine and press close:

Select VM engine

Close all windows and restart the VM. After the restart re-open the Add Roles installation and check the Hyper-V box again:

Select HyperV role

In the Virtual Switches box check one (or more) network adapter boxes and press Next:

Create Virtual Switches

In the Confirmation screen Check the restart option box, confirm yes in the pop-up and click finish to install the Hyper-V role:


After the installation and restart open the hyper-V manager and create a new VM:

The End

That’s it, you’re done! Good luck running Hyper-V within a Fusion VM. If you’ve any question, just leave a message.

Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 3)

So in part 1 and part 2 we installed a Hyper-V host and a Remote Desktop Session Host both with Server 2008 R2 SP1. This means we are ready to rumble.

Sorry to be the partypooper but that’s not exactly true, yet. Let’s see what i mean:


When examening my Hyper-V host and selecting the settings for my WINSRRDSH01 server. I see there is a RemoteFX Video Adapter option but it’s greyed out. So what should we do to be able to add (and use) RemoteFX?

There are a couple of needs for this, but let’s start with the obvious, the Hyper-V host. On the host we must do four things to enable RemoteFX:

  1. Make sure SP1 RC for Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed. (If you didn’t already, download it here. And install it)
  2. Add the Remote Desktop Services / RemoteFX role
  3. Use GPedit.msc to set RemoteFX compression
  4. Set Windows Firewall

So let’s check or set them step by step:

Make sure SP1 RC for Windows Server 2008 R2 is installed

  • Go to Start and right click on Computer in the menu click on Properties. In the screen you’ll see if SP1 is installed:


If you didn’t install SP1 by now, do so by following this link.

Add the Remote Desktop Services / RemoteFX role

Go to start go to administrative tools and click Server Manager. The Server Manager window will open:


Go to Roles and on the right side click on Add Roles:

Roles1 Roles2

The Before you begin screen will show, click Next. The Select Server Roles window will show. Select Remote Desktop Services and click Next:


The Remote Desktop Services role will show. Click Next:


The Select Role Services window will Show. Click RemoteFX, there will be a Add Roles Wizard popup (click Add Required Role Services) and click Next:



The Confirm Installation Selections window will show. Click Install:


And after install the Installation Results window will show. Click close, and on the reboot window clik yes:



After reboot log back in and let the installation continue. The Installation Results window shows. Click close:


We’re almost there, just a couple more changes and we’re ready to try RemoteFX….

Let’s begin with giving our RDS Host a RemoteFX 3D video adapter. In the Server Manager go to the Hyper-V host and right click on the RDS vm, click settings.

Click Add Hardware select the RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter and click add:


The RemoteFX 3D video adapter will be added, you can then choose the maximum monitors and resolution options (for me 1 monitor 1280 x 1024). Click Apply:


Just to be sure memory will not be a bottleneck we’ll set dynamic memory (see this post for more info). Select Memory, select memory and set Maximum RAM. Click OK:


On the host, the guest and the client, the following firewall settings must be changed, Remote Desktop – RemoteFX select all 3 (just to be sure ;-)):


The last settings need to be made on the RD Session Host and the client computer. First the RDSH go to start, run and enter gpedit.msc press enter:

In the Group Policy Editor Console go to Computer Settings, Administrative templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Session Environment, and double click on Configure RemoteFX:


In the Configure RemoteFX window select enable and click OK:


That’s it for the RD Session Host. For the client we can do some tuning. Go to start run gpedit.msc press enter, and go to the same folder as you did on the RDSH. So go to Computer Settings, Administrative templates, Windows Components, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Session Environment, and double click on Optimize visual Experience when using RemoteFX:


In the Optimize visual exprience… window select enable and set Screen capture Rate and Screen Capture Quality to Higest, and press OK:


Your al set to test RemoteFX on a RD Session Host now! Start a mstsc.exe and go to experience. Set the performance on LAN (10 Mbps or higher):


On the general tab set the name to the name of your RD Session Host and click connect to set up a connection. To check if RemoteFX is installed correctly do the following check. Log in to the RD Session host with administrative rights. Go to start, administrative tools and click on event viewer. In event viewer go to Application and Services\Logs\Microsoft\Windows\RemoteDesktopServices-RemoteDesktopSession Manager. If the your client computer is connected to the RDSH by using RemoteFX for Remote Desktop Session Host, Event ID 1000 will be shown:


The installation of RemoteFX is completed! Hope it works as good for you as it did for me! See you on the next post!

Download PDF of Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3

Step by step installation guide installing a RD Session Host with RemoteFX (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post we installed a Hyper-V host and a Server 2008 R2 VM on it. To be able to install and use RemoteFX it is necessary to add  the Remote Desktop Session Host Role to the VM. In this post we’ll do that, step by step.

To enlarge the screenshots you can click on them!

Log in to the guest VM (WINSRRDSH01 in my case) and go to start, administrative tools and click on Server Management:


Click on Roles and on the right side on Add Roles. The Select Server Roles window will show. Select Remote Desktop Services and click Next:


The Remote Desktop Services Window shows. Click Next:


The Select Role Services Window Shows. Select Remote Desktop Session Host and click Next:


The authentication Method for RDSH will show. select Do not … (you can change this if you want) and click Next:


The Specify Licensing Mode window will show. Select Configure Later and click Next:


The Select User Groups Allowed Access to this RDSH server window will show. click Next and leave Administrators as default:


The Configure Client Experience window will show. Select all three options and click Next:


The Confirm Installation Selections window will show. Click Install.


After installation the installation results window will show. Click Close


And click Yes to reboot the server:


After the reboot log on to the server, and let the installation do it’s final thing. The last window will show. Click Close:


This is the end of part 2. We’ve now installed the Hyper-V server role, and a Guest VM running Server 2008 R2 SP1 with the Remote Desktop Session Host Role installed.

In the Part 3 of this post we’ll finally go to configure RemoteFX.

Download the PDF for Part 2 Here