Archive for October, 2013

Windows 8.1 Hyper-V – Simplified VM Import, and Generation 2 VMs

October 16, 2013

After upgrading my Windows 8 workstation to Windows 8.1, i was eager to try out all the new functionality within Hyper-V in 8.1

Simplified VM Import

The first thing i noticed was that i could easily re-import my VMs, which i had stored on another disk during the migration. While in previous versions you had to properly export a VM before you could import it again, this has gotten a lot easier. Now, you can just import any VM from disk, without it having been exported first.

This is called Simplified Import.

After getting my lab-VMs back in the Hyper-V Management Console, i created a new VM.

Second Generation VM

In this wizard i got the option to create a Generation 1 or a Generation 2 VM:

HYPER-V GEN 2 vm

Here i chose 2nd generation of course:

2nd generation Virtual Machines, providing features like

* UEFI and Secure Boot

* boot from virtual SCSI harddisk or DVD instead of IDE

* PXE boot by using a standard (synthetic) NIC instead of an old  legacy NIC

So the new VM looked like this:

GEN 2 - UEFI BOOT

Notice the Synthetic NIC for PXE Boot, the SCSI bootdisk, and the UEFI BIOS.

This asked for a test installation using SCCM 2012 SP1, using all these features of course 🙂

Booting this machine in UEFI mode caused the PXE boot to look and behave different too:

uefi-pxe-1

Also, no more “Press F12” , but “Press Enter for network boot service”

uefi-pxe-2

Also, a slightly different WDS – PXE screen where the client is contacting the Siteserver to determine applicable client policy:

uefi-pxe-3

Finally we’re in the Task Sequence.

uefi-pxe-5

No keyboard during OSD

What i noticed here, is that i could not use the keyboard.

Keyboard commands were simply not passed on into the VM.

So I could only select the desired Task Sequence using the mouse.  This seems to be a bug.. (link)

I tried disabling the Enhanced Session Mode but that didn’t solve it unfortunately.

Update – This turned out to be a bug indeed: click.
Something with keyboard drivers in WinPE and WinRE. Workaround is to use Windows 8.1-based WinPE

FAST

After selecting the proper OS to install (Generation 2 VMs are only supported when using 64-bit Windows 8 or 8.1, or Server 2012 / 2012 R2) the install started.

And it went FAST!

Where starting ConfigMgr OSD by booting from PXE tended to be quite slow using Hyper-V before, this was as quick as when using bootable media (iso).

Very fast indeed. Downloading the WIM file and applying the OS took no more than 3 minutes…

Installing the ConfigMgr client took 5 minutes.. within a total of 12 minutes the thing was up and running. Nice.