Hyper-V v2, Personal, Server 2008 R2, Virtualization, Windows, Windows 7
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Refreshed home PC setup

With the recent release of Windows 7 & Windows server 2008 R2, I wanted to refresh how / what I need to install on my home PC. I received this PC with Windows Vista pre-installed and I was never a big fan of that OS. I have always been using Windows Hyper-V server 2008 and running various other operating systems as virtual machines on top of it. With the native VHD boot support on R2, I got a new usage model. Here is how it looks now

My home setup

My home setup

 So, as it is shown in the diagram above, I am using Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as the base OS. On top of it, I have Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 configured to boot using native VHD support. Note that they are not virtual machines. So, I will be able to see these two OS entries in the boot manager menu when I boot up the system. I will be able to use the complete physical machine capability when I boot these OS VHDs.

I also have Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 configured as virtual machines on top of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. I use these virtual machines for any R&D I need to do. I use HVS2008 UI (of course..!) to create/manage virtual machine on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. I use a Windows 7 laptop — with Hyper-V remote management tools — to access the virtual machine console and do any configuration changes to the guest OS.

Benifits of this usage model
As I use this PC for all experiments I need to do, I keep changing OS/software quite often. By having Windows 7 as a VHD boot option, I don’t need to go through the pain of re-installing whole OS/applications. I just need to backup the VHD to a safe location, re-install the base OS and then re-connect the VHD back as another OS option. All my applications and app configuration will always be there and of course, the data inside VHD.
I am not using the Vista license I have anymore. Mainly because I stopped liking it after I got used to Windows 7 :). I wish there is a way to convert this license to a Windows 7 license. 🙂
Filed under: Hyper-V v2, Personal, Server 2008 R2, Virtualization, Windows, Windows 7

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Ravikanth is a principal engineer and the lead architect for Microsoft and VMware virtualized and hybrid cloud solutions within the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell EMC. He is a multi-year recipient of Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in Windows PowerShell (CDM) and Microsoft Azure. Ravikanth is the author of Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Revealed (Apress) and leads Bangalore PowerShell and Bangalore IT Pro user groups. He can be seen speaking regularly at local user group events and conferences in India and abroad.