Installing Windows 10 Server Technical Preview on Hyper-V

I’ve just downloaded the VHD version of the Windows 10 Server Technical Preview. All I have to do is create a VM using the Hyper-V Manager and attach the VHD and away I go, right?

No so fast. If you do that, you only have one copy of the server, which doesn’t get you anywhere. You probably want three or four VMs. Do you really want to copy a multi-GB file each time? Also, Hyper-V Manager is for the junior admins who haven’t figured out automation and PowerShell is where the action is. You want to do this properly, right?

Firstly, you will need to download the VHD version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview from Microsoft. Make sure you get the Windows 10 Server Technical Preview and select VHD during the registration. You will need a Microsoft account and registration is required. Also, the file is 7.5Gb, so I would set this off before you go to bed and wake up to it in the morning unless you have a blazing fast connection. Even then, it’s going to take some time.

Warning: There are a couple of sites on the first page of the Google results that purport to give you information on the Windows 10 Server but they lead to ransom-ware and viruses. You do have up to date virus protection, right? Just make sure your link is going to Microsoft and not somewhere else.

Once you have downloaded the VHD, put it in a place where you will find it again. I routinely clean out my Downloads folder so it’s not safe there. Then, make a directory to hold your virtual machine. I use my second drive – D:\Hyper-V\Windows10-TP.

First off, let’s create a differencing VHD based on the VHD that we downloaded:


Next we need to create the VM. I’m going to connect it automatically to the external network switch:


Let’s take a look at what has been created:


The memory is automatically defined as static with 512Mb and there is only one processor. I like dynamic memory on my lab machines – somewhere between 384Mb and 64Gb (the capacity of my machine). I also like to use 4 virtual cores.


Now you can use the following to start your new VM:

Start-VM win10-test

It will take a couple of minutes to start up the first time. When it gets to the product key, just click on Skip. A few minutes later you will be up and running, ready to explore the new features of Windows 10 Server.