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Allow internet connection and access to USB drive from Hyper-V virtual machine

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

After Windows server 2008 R2 was installed on Hyper-V VM “VM-2008R2″, a few challenges were resolved with some efforts so they are worth noting down here:

  • Internet connection from VM:
    1. Created a Virtual Network Switch first; in order to allow VM to go to internet independently, must create an External Switch. Use “Virtual Switch Manager” of the Hyper-V Manager to accomplish
    2. There are three types of Virtual Switch, “External”, “Internal” and “Private”. Refer to this reference here at for more detail explanations about the differences.
    3. When I needed to RDP into the VM, I needed to create an “Internal Switch”
    4. Once the Virtual Switches are created, go to “Settings” under the “VM-2008R2″ and associate the Network Adapter with a Virtual Switch selected from the “Virtual Switch” drop-down list; In my case, I have created 3 switches so they are shown here: 1) ExternalWireless – this uses Intel Centrino wireless network card for wireless connection so the VM can access Internet without connecting a CAT-5 cable 2) ExternalSwitch – this uses Intel’s Gigabit network card on the laptop and requires a network cable to connect to a wireless or wired router 3) InternalSwitch – using this switch will render the VM no direct internet access but this is the only option if I want to remote desktop connect to my VM and share resources between physical and virtual machine such as Copy and Paste files, etc.
  • Access USB drive from VM Basic concept is that you need to un-mount USB drive from physical machine first and then it can be picked up and mounted onto VM. In my case, these steps were taken to get my WD Passport drive to become accessible from VM:
    1. On physical machine, plugged in WD Passport, then opened Disk Manager (Windows Control Panel/Administraive Tools/Computer Management/Disk Mnagement), clicked on the Drive letter (Drive 3) in this case for WD Passport and right click->Selected Offline
    2. Logged in to VM-2008R2 and clicked on “Settings”, then SCSI Controller under Hardware section; highlighted Hard Drive and clicked on “Add” button
    3. Selected “Physical hard disk:” and there it was, “Disk 3 232.89GB Bus 0 Lun 0 Target 0″ which was the WD Passport I just took offline from the local host machine. Clicked OK, and immediately I could hear a click sound from the WD Passport connected to USB port of the physical machine. and Back to the Disk Management console on the VM, I can now see the WD Passport listed.
    4. Credited most to this reference at to help me get here.

Enabled Hyper-V on my Windows 8 64 bit machine

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
  1. Turned on the Intel’s virtualization feature by going into BIOS setting at boot-up. Not all laptops support this so-called “Second Level Address Translation” technology (SLAT) but most of 64-bit machines do and min. requirement is to have 4GB memory. This link at provided a good reference.
  2. Had to upgrade the Windows 8 x64 to Windows 8 Pro x64 (by downloading from MSDN subscription); then checked the “Hyper-V’ feature on “Windows Feature Turn On/Off” under the Control Panel.
  3. Used command “msinfo32.exe” to check if all Hyper-V features are “Yes”. They are.
  4. Re-started the Windows and opened “Hyper-V Manager”; created first VM named “VM-2008R2″ and stored it in the default location C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\
  5. Startup Memory gave it a 4096MB which 8x the default of 512MB and also checked the “Use dynamic memory for this virtual machine” option.
  6. Connection: Not Connected for now. Need to add Network adapter later.
  7. Created a virtual hard disk, “VM-WinSvr2008.vhdx” and leave it default size of 127GB and location at C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\
  8. Will install OS later; Installed Windows Server 2008R2 next day.