This is the final part of a three part article on building a laptop with Windows Server and configuring Hyper-V to provision an SCCM lab. This section details how to setup the host machine and lab.

The Lab build

You’re now ready to build your lab. Your host laptop will need the following hardware:

CPU coresRAMDisk

Host laptop hardware specification for a Hyper-V SCCM lab

The Hyper-V lab will consist of three virtual machines as a minimum:

MachineCPU coresRAMDiskRole
A 2008 R2 domain controller1512MB30GBActive Directory, DHCP,DNS, Network Policy and Access Services (Routing), Web Server (IIS)
SCCM (2007 or 2012) with SQL 2008 R222GB-4GB150GBSoftware deployment, OS deployment, configuration baselines
A client machine12GB20GBWindows 7 or 8

Hyper-V guest hardware settings

Be sure to use Dynamic Memory to let Hyper-V scale RAM on demand.

The installation of Windows Server on laptop can be divided in three phases.

Phase 1 – Laptop Build Preparation

  1. Save license keys with “magic jelly bean”/Everest/Belarc advisor
  2. Decide what you need to reinstall (keep)
  3. Backup data and settings: Email and contacts, Web browser, My Documents etc.
  4. Backup your drivers (copy %windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository) or use Driver Doubler

Phase 2 – Build the new machine

  1. Install Windows Server 2008
  2. Install missing drivers using the backup
  3. Install “hardware apps” that will likely include any remaining missing drivers
  4. Run Windows Update or an offline patch tool
  5. Install the following 2008 features: Hyper-V, Desktop experience, Wireless LAN, Server backup

Phase 3 – Hyper-V

The final step is to prepare Hyper-V. The major catch is that Microsoft expects the host machine to have multiple network cards, where one is for the outside world and one is for the virtual network. Most laptops only have one network card and wireless, but Hyper-V does not support wireless. This means your virtual machines will have no internet access.

Wireless internet access for Hyper-V virtual machines

The trick to giving your virtual lab access to the internet is simple. You just bridge your wireless to an internal network as below:

To bridge the Wireless Network Connection with the Virtual External Wireless Network:

  1. Logon with an administrative account.
  2. Open Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center and click Manage network connections.
  3. Hold the Ctrl key and click on both your Wireless Network Connection and Virtual External Wireless Network
  4. On the Advanced menu, select Bridge Connections and accept UAC if necessary
  5. A new Network Bridge network connection will appear.

 Network bridge configuration to wireless internet access from any virtual machine

Network bridge configuration to wireless internet access from any virtual machine

You now have two options: Assign this bridge to every VM or just use Routing and Remote Access (RRAS). Installing RRAS is easy, but is hidden under Network Policy and Access Services. Then run the wizard to use NAT on the “Hyper-V Wi-Fi” connection. All new machines will then magically get internet access.

Microsoft Security Essentials and Hyper-V

If you have installed Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) configure it to ignore the following Hyper-V files:

Excluded file types:  VHD (default C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks)

Excluded processes: %windir%\system32\vmms.exe


Excluded paths:

  • Virtual machine configuration files directory.
  • Default: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V.
  • Snapshot files directory
  • Default %systemdrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots

>Performance Tweaking

There are a few Windows features you can disable to improve performance:

  • Disable SuperFetch and Windows Search
  • Disable Scheduled defrag
  • Disable AeroGlass (and other effects)
  • Use PerfMon to check the NUMA node settings for each VM by checking the “Hyper-V VM Vide Partition: NumaNodeIndex” counter.
  1. Avatar
    Ron 11 years ago

    Interesting article. I’ll have to plan my next machine specs to meet these requirements.

    Performance, the last point “check NUMA Node”, great, we check them, what are the desired settings for VM?

  2. Avatar
    sk 10 years ago

    Very good article

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