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How to run 64-bit virtual machines on a ESXi server nested in VMware Workstation.

poniedziałek, Listopad 18th, 2013

When you install and run a virtualized ESXi 5.x server under VMware Worstation, you will get the following message

<HARDWARE_VIRTUALIZATION WARNING: Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU, or is not enabled in the BIOS>

and when you try to turn on a 64-bit VM on that ESXi, it will fail. However, if you have an i3 CPU or newer, 64-bit virtual machines can run in a virtualized ESxi environment by eneabling virtualized hardware virtualization (how cool it sounds?). Shut down you virtual ESXi server and find its .vmx file (this is a virtual machine configuration file). You can find it usually in VM’s working directory – open virtual machine’s settings and go to Options tab. Open the file with a text editor and add the following line at its end:

vhv.enable = "TRUE"

Save the file, start the virtual ESXi. Now you can run 64-bit virtual-virtual machines :-)


Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V under VMware Workstation 8

środa, Listopad 7th, 2012

If you run a virtual machine with Windows Server 2012 on VMware Workstation 8 you may want to try out some features such as Hyper-V. However, without a proper customization you will get the following error message when trying to install Hyper-V role:

Ops, error! error!

Ops, error! error!

This is a quick 4 step instruction on how to fix the problem and be able to install Hyper-V role.

1. Hardware virtualization

Make sure you have enabled hardware assisted virtualization i.e. VT-x / AMD-V in your computer BIOS. The option should be easy to find but consult your vendor documentation if necessary.

2.Virtual hardware version

Check your Windows Server 2012 VM’s virtual hardware version. If you are not sure which version you have used, you can easily check it at the bottom of the screen when you select a VM – note down also your VM’s configuration file location – you will need it later.

Basic VM information

Basic VM information

If you need to change it, right-click on the VM (it must be turned off) and select Manage > Check hardware compatibility.

The current hardware version is here:

You can change it if required:

VM hardware versions

VM hardware versions

3. Virtual Machine configuration file

Find your Windows Server 2012 configuration file (.vmx) end edit it with a notepad. Add at the end the following line:

hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = false

and save the file.

4. Virtualize VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI

When you now run the server and try to install Hyper-V role, you will get another error message:

Ops, another problem...

Ops, another problem...

While we enabled the hardware assisted virtualization for the physical CPU in point 1, now we need to make sure that the virtual CPU of Windows Server 2012 will present the same functionality. Otherwise Roles and Features installer will detect that the CPU is missing virtualization capabilities and will not proceed. Open your Windows Server 2012 VM settings and click on Processors. Make sure that the option seen in the screenshot is enabled:

Select Virtualize VT-x...

Select Virtualize VT-x...

You can go on with Hyper-V installation – it should allow you to install the role without any complaint.