A preboot execution environment (commonly known as PXE) is used to boot a device or virtual machine over a network. You can use PXE to achieve the following scenarios and this is used to remotely install a guest operating system over a network without needing the operating system installation media. In this article, I will show you how to create a Generation 2 VM: Set up a HyperV VM through PXE boot. See the following guide on how to set up a VM via PXE boot on a Generation 1 VM and how to deploy images to computers or virtual machines using WDS.
Note: When configuring with UEFI, a machine will use the bootx64wdsmgfw.efi on the WDS server when starting the boot. A legacy boot will use bootx64wdsnbp.com. You may want to see Why does the legacy PXE not does work on Generation 2 VM, and How to run Windows 11 on HyperV.
Virtual Machines Generations on HyperV
Hyper-V currently has two generations of VM hardware which are as follows;
- Generation 1: These VMs have a legacy version of Hyper-V, and have a little bit of overhead when it comes to using PXE boot because it uses the legacy BIOS.
- Generation 2: Hyper-V machine is a UEFI-based VMs.
The generation of the Hyper-V virtual machine matters. This is because PXE uses different boot files depending on if the machine boots either using Legacy BIOS or UEFI.
It is recommended to use Generation 2 VMs, and if you do not feel the need to. This could be because you have not yet enabled UEFI in your environment. See the article on why you should create generation 1 or 2 VM.
Generation 2 VM Installation
Please follow the installation steps described below. In the Installation Option. Select Install an Operating System later and click on Next or Finish.
Note: When you click on next. It will show you the summary screen of the VM Installation, next click on finish Hardware configuration to support PXE. Please see “Enable HyperV on Windows: How to install Windows 11 on HyperV“.
Ensure you have your network at the top. Please see
Ensure under Network Adapter. Under Advanced features, the checkbox is selected for Protected Network (This absolutely depends on your environment need).
See how this is done on Generation 1 Hyper-V. Note: It depends on your environment. You have to set a Static MAC address to enable the VM search for the WDS server on the network. Please see Windows deployment cannot continue, the operating system is missing via MDT deployment.
Now connect to the VM on HyperV
Right-click on the selected VM, and click on connect.
When this process is completed, deployment success will be displayed as shown below.
FAQ on Generations of VM on HyperV
Unfortunately, you cannot directly convert a VM from one generation to another within Hyper-V. To switch VM generations, you would need to create a new VM of the desired generation and manually migrate the data and configurations from the old VM to the new one.
Yes, compatibility is a crucial factor when creating a VM on HyperV. Generation 1 VMs are best suited for older operating systems where backward compatibility is essential. On the other hand, Generation 2 VMs are ideal for modern operating systems and offer performance and security advantages. Be aware that some features or settings available in Generation 1 VMs may not be present in Generation 2 VMs and vice versa.
I hope you found this blog post helpful on how to create a Generation 2 VM: Set up a HyperV VM through PXE boot. Please let me know in the comment session if you have any questions.