Installing Windows Server 2012 RC on VMware Workstation Step-by-Step

With Windows Server 2012 RC being released just yesterday, I wanted to see if I could still install it on VMware Workstation as I had done with the Beta version before. The good news is that everything works beautifully. Here is a nice picture of my Windows Server 2012 RC running in VMware Workstation 8.

I was also able to install the Hyper-V Server 2012 RC as well without a problem.

There certainly are a few tricks to be aware of in order to get them to install, so please reference my previous article for the detailed instructions.

It probably will only be a matter of time before I put Windows Server 8 RC on my laptop and switch to Hyper-V instead of VMware Workstation, but I’ll probably save that for another day when I don’t have some work to get done!

Installing Windows Server 2012 RC on VMware Workstation Step-by-Step

How to Install Windows Server 8 Beta on VMware Workstation 8

Below are the screen shots that walk you through the process of installing Windows Server 8 Beta on VMware Workstation 8. I have notated the most important things to notice.


Take note, I choose Windows 7, NOT Windows 7 64-bit. I’m not sure it matters, but I believe this will work best for you.

The download is pre-licenses, so you don’t have to enter anything here. However, this will cause problems later if you don’t disconnect the floppy – more on this later.

Click Customize Hardware

Choose the processor that matches your host and enable Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT (your processor must support this) if you want to run the Hyper-V role on this server. See my earlier blog post on how to make that happen.

Make sure you unselect “Power on this virtual machine after creation”, we need to edit one more thing before we continue.

After you create the VM, go back in and disconnect the Floppy, otherwise the install will fail because the autoinst.flp is missing the product key.








A long while later after a few reboots…

You are now ready to use Windows Server 8 Beta! I have not installed the VMware tools yet, but I’ll probably try later. If you try it let me know what you think.

How to Install Windows Server 8 Beta on VMware Workstation 8

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview will not support the Hyper-V Role while running on VMware Workstation…at least on my laptop

Unless someone knows a trick that I don’t, it doesn’t appear as if I will be able to test out some of the Hyper-V clustering features unless I identify some actual hardware for Windows 8. I had hoped that just maybe VMware Workstation 8 would be able to fool Windows 8 into thinking it was actually a physical server, but so far no dice. This article appears to indicate it will work if you have an Intel Nehalem or Intel Core i7 processor, but my two year old Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 doesn’t seem to be able to do the trick.

I added the hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE” to the config file and I changed the CPU settings to use Intel VT –x/EPT as shown below.

But this is what I get when I try to enable the Hyper-V role.

Maybe it is time to invest in a new laptop?

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview will not support the Hyper-V Role while running on VMware Workstation…at least on my laptop

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview Running on VMware Workstation 8

I’m pretty excited that I was able to get Windows Server 8 up and running on my laptop today. I wasn’t really looking forward to having to boot from VHD just to check out some of the features. I really wanted to run multiple copies of Windows Server 8 at the same time so I could check out some of the cool new clustering features, so once again, booting my laptop from a VHD really wasn’t going to give me the experience I needed. I do have some servers running Hyper-V that would have been fine, but I really like having something quick and easy on my laptop that I can fire up anywhere at any time. VMware Workstation has been my go to virtualization platform for my Windows 7 laptop for quite some time due to the lack of a real client based hypervisor alternative from Microsoft.

When I downloaded the Windows Server 8 Developer Preview Edition from MSDN earlier this week I was assuming I was getting an installation ISO. What I discovered was that I actually downloaded a pre-installed VHD. I haven’t gone back yet to check to see if there is an ISO, but from reading the blogs it appears there is an ISO available somewhere, so I probably just grabbed the wrong file. Without a Hyper-V player available for Windows 7 (well, maybe VirtualBox?), I decided to get really crazy and try out the free Starwind V2V Converter and turn it into a bootable VMDK file so I could launch it in VMware Workstation.

I found the Starwind V2V Converter to be very straight forward and soon enough I had a VMDK file ready to launch in VMware Workstation. What I soon found out was that you cannot run Windows Server 8 Developer Preview in VMware Workstation 7; you need the newly released Workstation 8. In VMware Workstation you get a message that begins as follows…

*** VMware Workstation internal monitor error ***
vcpu-0:NOT_IMPLEMENTED vmcore/vmm/intr/apic.c:1903

So, I went ahead and upgrade to Workstation 8 and tried to turn on the converted VMDK file. At first I got a message about hardware being changed and the VM would not start, but after I adjusted the processor so that it match the processor that I have (1 CPU, 2 Core) the VM launched! One other setting you need to make sure to set right is the operating system version. Since Windows 8 is not an option yet, choose Windows 7. Windows 7 x64 doesn’t work – make sure you choose Windows 7!

I tried to install the VMware tools, but that didn’t work out so well for me as I simply got a black screen with a pointer after the tools were installed. Until they come out with VMware tools specific for Windows 8 I would avoid installing the VMware tools for the time being.

Here is my first view of Windows 8. I’ll be writing more about the HA features and Hyper-V next week once I start poking around J

Windows Server 8 Developer Preview Running on VMware Workstation 8

Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – Free Online Classes – March 29 – 31

Just one week after Microsoft Management Summit 2011 (MMS), Microsoft Learning will be hosting an exclusive three-day Jump Start class specially tailored for VMware and Microsoft virtualization technology pros.  Registration for “Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals” is open now and will be delivered as a FREE online class on March 29-31, 2010 from 10:00am-4:00pm PDT.


What’s the high-level overview?

  • This cutting edge course will feature expert instruction and real-world demonstrations of Hyper-V and brand new releases from System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Beta (many of which will be announced just one week earlier at MMS).  Register Now!
  • Day 1 will focus on “Platform” (Hyper-V, virtualization architecture, high availability & clustering)
    • 10:00am – 10:30pm PDT:  Virtualization 360 Overview
    • 10:30am – 12:00pm:  Microsoft Hyper-V Deployment Options & Architecture
    • 1:00pm –   2:00pm:  Differentiating Microsoft and VMware (terminology, etc.)
    • 2:00pm –   4:00pm:  High Availability & Clustering
  • Day 2 will focus on “Management” (System Center Suite, SCVMM 2012 Beta, Opalis, Private Cloud solutions)
    • 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT:  System Center Suite Overview w/ focus on DPM
    • 11:00am – 12:00pm:  Virtual Machine Manager 2012 | Part 1
    • 1:00pm –   1:30pm:  Virtual Machine Manager 2012 | Part 2
    • 1:30pm –   2:30pm:  Automation with System Center Opalis & PowerShell
    • 2:30pm –   4:00pm:  Private Cloud Solutions, Architecture & VMM SSP 2.0
  • Day 3 will focus on “VDI” (VDI Infrastructure/architecture, v-Alliance, application delivery via VDI)
    • 10:00am – 11:00pm PDT:  Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Architecture | Part 1
    • 11:00am – 12:00pm:  Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Architecture | Part 2
    • 1:00pm –   2:30pm:  v-Alliance Solution Overview
    • 2:30pm –   4:00pm:  Application Delivery for VDI

  • Every section will be team-taught by two of the most respected authorities on virtualization technologies: Microsoft Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman and leading Hyper-V, VMware, and XEN infrastructure consultant, Corey Hynes

Who is the target audience for this training?

Suggested prerequisite skills include real-world experience with Windows Server 2008 R2, virtualization and datacenter management. The course is tailored to these types of roles:

  • IT Professional
  • IT Decision Maker
  • Network Administrators & Architects
  • Storage/Infrastructure Administrators & Architects


How do I to register and learn more about this great training opportunity?

  • Register: Visit the Registration Page and sign up for all three sessions
  • Blog: Learn more from the Microsoft Learning Blog
  • Twitter: Here are a few posts you can retweet:
    • Mar. 29-31 “Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros” @SymonPerriman Corey Hynes
      @MSLearning #Hyper-V
    • @SysCtrOpalis Mar. 29-31 “Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros” @SymonPerriman Corey Hynes
    • Learn all the cool new features in Hyper-V & System Center 2012! SCVMM, Self-Service Portal 2.0,
      #Hyper-V #Opalis

What is a “Jump Start” course?

A “Jump Start” course is “team-taught” by two expert instructors in an engaging radio talk show style format.  The idea is to deliver readiness training on strategic and emerging technologies that drive awareness at scale before Microsoft Learning develops mainstream Microsoft Official Courses (MOC) that map to certifications.  All sessions are professionally recorded and distributed through MS Showcase, Channel 9, Zune Marketplace and iTunes for broader reach.

Please join us for this fantastic event!

Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – Free Online Classes – March 29 – 31