You probably know that you can install Hyper-V only on a computer that supports Intel’s or AMD’s virtualization technologies (x86 virtualization), i.e. Intel VT and AMD-V. That is, the CPU and the BIOS have to support it. I have already encountered relatively new PCs which have processors with virtualization support, but the BIOS setup doesn’t have an option to enable it. Sometimes it helps to update the BIOS.
AMD and Intel both offer free tools that allow you to check whether a computer supports hardware virtualization. If you’re unsure, you should use these utilities before you install Hyper-V. They also show whether virtualization is enabled. On most systems it is disabled by default for security reasons. To enable it, you have to change the corresponding BIOS settings. That is, you have to enable hardware virtualization and the NX-bit (AMD) or the XD-bit (Intel) respectively. Hyper-V can be installed without CPU virtualization enabled, but then its hypervisor won’t start and you will find related error messages in the event log.
Unfortunately, the Intel tool is not 100% reliable. I tried it on a Fujitsu-Siemens server which definitely supported Intel VT, but Intel’s tool reported the opposite. We enabled Intel VT in the BIOS, and Hyper-V is running perfectly on this machine. I don’t know if the AMD tool is also that unreliable because we only have machines with AMD CPUs that don’t support AMD-V.
Please share your experiences with x86 virtualization. Did you have to update the BIOS? Did you also find that detection tools discusses here are a bit unreliable?