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John Paul Cook

Hyper-V undocumented and unsupported features

The official list of supported operating systems, service packs, and numbers of virtual processors can be found here: If you are willing to venture into unsupported territory, you might find some surprises. I have both 32 and 64 bit Windows 2003 R2 Service Pack 2 virtual machines running with four virtual processors. The same is true of Vista Service Pack 1.

Also of interest is what happens with PAE. Hyper-V requires that hardware Data Execution Prevention (DEP) be enabled in the BIOS. Intel calls this hardware feature the execute disable (XD) bit. AMD calls it no-execute page protection (NX). When DEP is enabled, Windows automatically enables Physical Address Extension (PAE) without having /PAE in the boot.ini. Because of this, your 32 bit guests will work with large ram as the screen captures show. For more information, see


Published Monday, July 7, 2008 10:46 PM by John Paul Cook

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Roy said:


I found a post in a a forum where you (I assume) indicated that you were running Virtual Server 2005 within a Virtual Machine under Hyper-V.

I would like to know more about that expierence.


August 18, 2008 10:08 AM

John Paul Cook said:

Yes, that probably is my post. I consider running Virtual Server on a Hyper-V virtual machine as a last resort option. It's fine for demos and training purposes. Ideally you want to move from Virtual Server or Virtual PC to Hyper-V.

Ironically, the migration can be easier if you do have Virtual Server running in a Hyper-V virtual machine. You don't want to install Virtual Server on your Hyper-V machine, but it's quite handy to have a Virtual Server available. You can run that instance of Virtual Server from a Hyper-V virtual machine. I recommend that before migrating a virtual machine from Virtual Server to Hyper-V, you should apply all required service packs first. In other words, apply the service packs required by Hyper-V while you are still running on Virtual Server. The reason is that the mouse won't work and you can't install Integration Services until the service pack is installed. It's much easier to get the service pack installed when you have mouse control, which is in the Virtual Server environment. Also, I recommend uninstalling Virtual Machine Additions as the very last step when you are still in Virtual Server.

October 18, 2008 11:10 AM

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse currently studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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