In modern times most organizations are switching to the virtual machines. Virtual machines are mainly used by the IT teams for server virtualization, strengthening their resources and providing more efficiency. Using the VMs, any individual or the business can run an entire operating system separately.
If you want to run a Virtual Machine on your Windows 10 system, you don’t need to download any external third-party tools. Windows 10 comes with an in-built virtual machine client known as Hyper-V.
In this guide, we would discuss more on Hyper-V, the requirements to create a VM using Hyper-V, how to install the Hyper-V, and how to set Virtual Machine on Windows 10 using Hyper-V.
What is Hyper-V?
For different purposes, many Windows 10 users may want to use multiple OS on their system. This is where Hyper-V comes to rescue. It lets you run multiple operating systems as a virtual machine on your system. Every VM you create using Hyper-V are isolated from each other. Hyper-V enables you to create virtual hard drives, virtual switches, and several other virtual devices, all of which can be added to virtual machines.
Reasons to use Virtualization
IT professionals and tech enthusiast uses virtualization for various technical purposes. Hyper-V lets you create virtual machines. Here are the top uses of them.
- It allows you to run the applications that require the older version of Windows or other non-Windows operating systems, such as Android or macOS.
- Many developers and techies like to experiment with different OS. Using Hyper-V, they can easily add or remove any operating easily on Windows 10.
- Software testers require to test the applications made for multiple Operating Systems. For that, instead of getting separate devices with different OSs, they can use virtualization and create the VMs as per their requirements. In fact, using Hyper-V, they can make a virtual machine with a perfect environment required for software testing.
System Requirements for Installing Hyper-V
The following are the system requirements for installing the Hyper-V.
|Operating System||Windows 10 Enterprise/Pro/Education|
|Processor||64-bit Processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)|
|RAM||minimum of 4GB|
|CPU||CPU support for VM Monitor Mode Extension (VT-c on Intel CPUs)|
How to Install Hyper-V?
Hyper-V is already available on Windows 10; however, it is kept hidden since its an optional feature. Here are the steps to enable and install it.
Open Run Command Box by pressing the Windows + R keys
Type optionalfeatures.exe and hit the enter key
Now expand all the boxes under Hyper-V and check each of them and click OK.
Now Windows would start searching for the required files to install the Hyper-V.
Click on Restart Now to finish the installation.
How to set up a Virtual Machine using Hyper-V?
After installation and reboot, now you are ready to create a virtual machine using Hyper-V. Proceed with these steps.
- On the Windows search box, search for Hyper-V Manager and click its icon.
- On the manager window, right-click on your computer’s name and select New -> Virtual Machine.
- You will get the option to either finish creating a virtual machine with default settings or click Next for making it with custom settings. For this guide, we would create a VM with custom settings.
- In the next step, you have to decide the name of the virtual machine. You will also get to decide on the location where you want your virtual machine to be. Make sure that the location you choose has a vast amount of free space.
- Now you have to decide the generation of the VM you are creating. This is a crucial step. Choosing a generation totally depends on the reason why you are making the VM. If you are making the VM for running the old programs that are not compatible with the current OS, you should go for Generation 1 because it supports both the 32-bit and 64-bit guest OS. On the other hand, if you aim to create a VM to test the latest programs and perform high-end tasks, you should go for Generation 2 because it supports the newest virtualization features. Remember, you can’t change the generation of the VM once it is created.
- Next, you have to assign the amount of RAM that you want on your virtual machine. Again this depends on what your purpose is for creating it. The more, the better. You will also have to keep in mind the minimum RAM requirement of the OS you will install on your VM.
- The next step is about providing your virtual machine access to the network. You can give the network access on this step; if not, you can configure it later.
- In this step, you need to provide virtual hard disk space to your VM. Ensure that you provide a sufficient amount of space as you need to install the OS and then other apps on it. You also have the option to use an existing virtual hard disk or attach a virtual hard disk later.
- Next, you have the opportunity to install the OS. You can either skip it for later, choose an ISO file of the OS you want to install or if you have assigned the network, you can install OS from the network-based installation server.
- In the next window, you would see the summary of all the options you have chosen. Thoroughly verify each step again and finish the virtual machine creation. Be patient; it would take some time to complete.
How to launch Virtual Machine in Hyper-V Manager?
After creating the virtual machine, you can now launch it for doing your tasks.
- Right-click on the VM name and choose Connect.
- Next, click on Start to launch the virtual machine.
- Since no OS is installed, it would ask you to do that.
How to install an Operating System on Hyper-V Virtual Machine?
You have now learned how to create a virtual machine and launch it using the Hyper-V manager. Now to utilize the VM you have made, you require an OS. Installing an OS on a virtual machine is not a complicated task.
In the case of Windows 10, you can install it with a key or a free version without a key. Let us explore both methods.
Install Windows 10 on Hyper-V Virtual Machine with a Key
This method requires you to create a bootable ISO for Windows 10. Here is how you can do that.
- Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from here.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to create a Windows 10 installation ISO file.
- Choose the correct Language, Edition, and Architecture.
- Next, select the ISO and click next to start the download. Depending on the internet speed, the download can take some time.
Now you are ready to install the ISO on the Virtual Machine. Follow these steps.
- Open the Hyper-V Manager
- Select the virtual machine and click on Settings.
- Under settings, on the left pane, click on the SCSI controller.
- Now we would add a DVD drive that would have the ISO and works like we are installing from a DVD. So from the right pane, select DVD Drive and click on Add.
- Now select the Image file and browse for the downloaded Windows 10 ISO.
- Next, launch the machine. You would see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.” Press any key to continue.
- Click on Install to begin the installation process.
- Provide the valid product key when asked for.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the installation.
Install Free Windows 10 on Virtual Machine Without a Key
Many people are not aware that Microsoft provides a free Windows 10 OS for installing on the virtual machine. However, this version of Windows 10 is valid only for 90 days. For testing purposes, 90 days of free Windows 10 is a good option. Another thing is, you would have access to this version of Windows 10 only if you have a licensed Windows 10 on your physical machine.
Follow these steps to install free Windows 10 on your Hyper-V virtual machine.
- Visit this link for downloading the OS.
- From the drop-down menu under ‘Virtual Machines,’ select MSEdge on Win10. Under ‘Choose the VM platform,’ select Hyper-V(Windows).
- Click on Download .zip to download the zip file of the OS. The download would take some time, as it is a big file.
- After the download is completed, extract the files.
- Next, open the Hyper-V Manager, click on the Action menu and choose Import Virtual Machine.
- Click Next
- Now provide the location where you have extracted the downloaded files and click Next.
- You will get the option to choose the import type. You can select the first option and register VM with the existing unique ID.
- Click on Finish. Your VM with Windows 10 should have been installed successfully.
- On the Hyper-V Manager, right-click on the virtual machine and select Connect.
- In a few moments, you would see a Windows 10 login screen.
- You can find the password on the same page from where the OS was downloaded. The password is “Passw0rd!”.
- Enter the password, and that’s it. Your 90 days Windows 10 VM is ready.
This was all about Windows 10 Hyper-V and how to set up a free virtual machine on Windows 10. If you are stuck anywhere, you can watch the attached video for reference or comment down the problems you face.
YES. Hyper-V is free with Windows 10. However, it is only supported on Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, and Education versions. Home users can’t use it.
Windows 10 Hyper-V allows you to create any number of virtual machines that your system hardware and software configuration can handle.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.