Hyper-V Server Core Mode: How to install free Hyper-V Server on a VMware Workstation


Microsoft Hyper-V Server is a free product that delivers enterprise-class virtualization for your data center and hybrid cloud. It provides new and enhanced features that can help you deliver the scale and performance needs of your mission-critical workloads. The Windows hypervisor technology in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 is the same as what’s in the Microsoft Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2019. It is a stand-alone product that contains only the Windows hypervisor, a Windows Server driver model, and virtualization components. It provides a simple and reliable virtualization solution to help you improve your server utilization and reduce costs.

Furthermore, Below are some related HyperV guides: HyperV – Unable to create a new VM, Unable to shutdown a HyperV Virtual Machine, Backup: How to create a HyperV checkpoint, Unable to PXE boot a HyperV VM: F12 key does not work anymore,  A boot image was not found for HyperV Virtual Machine, and Pass-Through Authentication Authentication and ADFS environment setup on Hyper-V for Hybrid Identity integration.

The Microsoft Hyper-V Server can be download from the following link. There are basically two generic modes for the server edition of HyperV and they are
- The free Hyper-V Server, and
- As a role in Windows Server. See this guide for how to do this "How to install and Configure Hyper-V on Windows Server on Windows Server 2019, and 2022 via the Server Manager, PowerShell or DISM".

The the major difference between the editions above is that Hyper-V Server does not include the standard Windows graphical user interface (GUI), whereas Windows Server gives you the option between the GUI or Core mode at install time. Also unlike Hyper-V Server, you can opt to enable or disable the GUI at a later time in Windows Server. Kindly refers to the following guides: Why does the legacy PXE not does work on Generation 2 VM, How to set up a VM via PXE boot on a Generation 1 VM, and Generation 2 VM: How to set up a Hyper-V Virtual Machine through PXE boot.

However, Some benefits of running Hyper-V in core mode. If you are installing Hyper-V on a dedicated server, kindly ignore part A and proceed from part B. Moreover, All you need do is to boot to the installation media and install the operating system.

  • In addition, Reduced attack surface: With fewers interfaces, the entry point is extremely low. Working without a Graphical User Interface (GUI) provide improved system security.
  • Eliminates unecessary patch: Nonetheless, The more components that are installed, the more patches are needed to protect the system.
    Also, this introduces the host downtime due to reboots needed to apply patches.
  • Consequently, Reduces the tendency to perform other tasks as the Hyper-V server will be remotely managed from a GUI on another server.

Part A: How to create a VM and Install an Operating System on VMware Workstation. You may also want to see how to install Windows Server 2022 on VMware Workstation, how to install Windows Server 2016 Operating System on VirtualBox, and how to install Windows Server 2019 on Virtualbox. There are various ways to create a New Virtual Machine on a VMware workstation.
– Similarly, Launch the VMware console and on the menu, click on File and
– Select New Virtual Machine.

Server Core Mode

Nevertheless, VMware Workstation installation of HyperV Server is pretty fast. Select Typical and follow the installation steps as described below.


Therefore, On the guest operating System window, please select the second option “Installer disk image file (iso) and browse to the location of your  HyperV ISO. Additionally, When selected, click on Next to continue.

Furthermore, You will be prompted to enter your full name and password. However, If you have a Windows Product Key, please enter it here. There are other settings that you can perform also on this window. Moreover, When you are done, click on Next.

Server Core Mode

In addition, On the Next window, click on Yes as I do not care about entering the Windows product key at the moment.


Enter your desired Virtual machine name. Nonetheless, Note: At this point, you can choose a different location to have your Virtual Machine files saved.
– Consequently, Enter your desired Maximum disk size and select how you would like your virtual disks to be saved. Similarly, I selected the first option “Store virtual disk as a single file”.

When you are done, click on Finish as shown in the figure below.


I WILL NOT HAVE TO DO THIS because I have checked to power on the Virtual Machine.
– Nevertheless, if the option to power on the VM is unchecked (not selected), please click on “Power on this Virtual Machine.”

Therefore, in the images below, the server will restart and you will be prompted in. These steps are similar to the following steps below: Post OS Installation and configuration of Windows Server 2019 Properties (Configure TCP/IP Parameters). T

The VMware Tools installation is complete. Additionally, I do not want to restart the server just yet. Therefore, I will be proceeding with the HyperV server configuration in the next steps.


Part B – Hyper-V Server Post Configuration (Access the Server Configuration Menu): Once the installation of Microsoft Hyper-V is completed. Furthermore, we will have to proceed with the configuration of the Hyper-V server. However, Microsoft Hyper-V server 2019 includes a utility to make the initial configuration. The SCONFIG utility, was made available in Windows Server 2008 R2. You must be a member of the Administrators group to use the tool. Moreover, SCONFIG utility allows you to configure various settings such as Domain/Workgroup settings, Computer name settings, Local administrator settings, Network settings, Windows Update settings, Remote Desktop settings, and Date& time settings. I will be working you through these settings very quickly.

Note: Hyper-V Server is all managed on the device in a terminal user interface (TUI).
- By default, running virtual machines are automatically saved prior to restarting the Hyper-V Server.

Change Host Name: In addition, Login to the Hyper-V node using administrator credentials, Sconfig.cmd will be automatically opened after the login. Nonetheless, You can simply enter the numbers as specified to configure the respective configuration.
– Select the value “2” and you will be prompted to enter your Computer name. As you can see below, I entered “TechDAHyperV”. Consequently, This is just a lab demonstration, therefore do not pay attention to the naming convention 🙂
– Similarly, After changing you will be required to restart the server to apply any changes to domain or workgroup membership.  

Nevertheless, Click on Yes if you wish to restart the Hyper-v host to apply the changes made to the server. Therefore, At the moment I do not want to restart the server as I can see perform other configurations before restarting.

Confirm Data and Time: T do this, select the value 9 as shown below. This will open the date and time settings. Additionally, If you have anything to fix, please proceed and when you are done, click on OK.
– You can also configure the date, time, and time zone using the following command: control timedate.cpl, and for Regional parameterscontrol intl.cpl. Both options will open a standard console.


Enable Remote Desktop: Hyper-V Server and Windows Server in Core mode are intended to run inheadless mode, which means that it’s expected that you’ll only use their consoles for a minimum amount of work. Furthermore, To achieve this, the remote desktop option needs to be enabled.
– Type in option 7 and select “e” to enable and then select the 2nd option to allow clients to run any version of RDP.

VMware Workstation

After enabling, you can try Remote Desktop by getting the Hyper-V Server’s IP address or servername. You will be prompted to enter your password. Please proceed as shown below.

However, you have been able to remotely connected to your Hyper-V server. Henceforth, you can manage and configure the server as if you were physically connected to it.

Configure Windows Updates: As you can see by default, updates are currently set to download only and this does not make sense to me as it regards my lab environment. Moreover, I will be setting this to automatic. To do this, select 5 and select option A to enable automatic Windows update.


Now, I would like to restart the server. To do this, enter option 12 to restart the Hyper-V server.

Just to demonstrate how to create a Local Administrator’s account, please enter the option 3.
– If you are creating a domain user account, you will be required to specify the domain\username in the following SAM account format.
– Kindly follow the prompts as shown below

VMware Workstation

Enter the password for the associated domain user account you have just created.


As you can see below, the command has been completed successfully. Click on Ok to close the output dialog box.

Server Core Mode

Configure Networking: You have to do this correctly, else you will never be able to join the HyperV server to the domain. This task can be cumbersome as the server might have multiple physical network cards.  The easiest thing to do at this time is to connect only the primary adapter to the physical switch. This will cause the others to be invisible inside Server Configurator, which will make the initial configuration much easier. At this time, your primary goal is to get the management operating system onto the network, not necessarily to fully configure it
– Select option 8 as shown below. Next, you will be presented with a list of all adapters. But in my case, I have just one and it makes life easier for me.
– Select the option (index) 1 and hit enter on your keyboard.
– Since I am interested in assigning a static IP address, I will be selecting the index S.
– Next, I will be asked to enter the static IP address as shown below.

Also, you will be required to enter the subnet mask. Since the class C subnet mask does not change, I will leave it blank and hit enter on my keyboard.
– As you can see in the figure below, DHCP is no longer enabled.
– Select option 2 to set the DNS server.

Enter the IP address of your DNS server. You’ll be prompted for primary and secondary DNS servers with a confirmation dialog after each. In my case, it is my Domain Controller (DC). You can also set your alternate DNS address from here.

Domain Join: I am currently not pre-staging by creating an account in Active Directory. I am doing this on the fly. In the Server configurator (Terminal User Interface), type 1 as shown below.
– You will be prompted to choose between workgroup or domain mode. As you can see, the server already belongs to a workgroup, I will be selecting D to have it joined to a domain. When you are done, press enter.
– Next, enter the domain to join as shown below.


You will be required to enter the authorized in the DOMAIN\User format. Next, a new pop-up window will appear where you can enter your password without the characters being echoed to the screen.
– After providing the credential, another pop-up window will be displayed asking you to rename your computer. I have already done, this. Therefore I will be clicking on No.
– Next, you will be required to start your device in order for the changes to take effect. Click on Yes to restart.

if you have correctly configured your Hyper-V server, it will look this way. As you can see, I have all the needed settings configured.


To exit from the sconfig.cmd (User Terminal interface or Server configurator) window, enter option 14 as shown below.


Remote management with Admin Center and Server Manager: To manage the Free Hyper-V Server 2019 from the graphic interface, you can use either Windows Admin Center or the Hyper-V Manager. With the Core App Compatibility, the management options for Hyper-V 2019 are greatly expanded by adding local tools to the console. included tools are remote management via RSAT and PowerShell. Additionally, the Windows Admin Center (WAC) is now also available for the management of Hyper-V and this never existed in the previous versions of Hyper-V Manager 2016, etc. The browser-based tools offer all the essential functions for configuring the host, virtual switches, and VMs.
– To enable remote management, select option 4 and when prompted with new values, select option 1 as shown below. as you can see, remote management has been enabled.


Part C – Review the installed HyperV role: At the command prompt, type “PowerShell” and enter the command below or with the pipe “more” option. Get-WindowsFeature | more. You really get the most from your headless Hyper-V Server by connecting it to Hyper-V Manager from another Windows 10 client or using PowerShell.


Part D – Working with Hyper-V Manager: Hyper-V Manager requires Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education. If you can’t find Hyper-V Manager by searching the Start Menu, you may need to enable it in Windows Features as shown below.

Add-WindowsFeature –Name Hyper-V -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools

You could also use the command prompt Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All.

If you are more comfortable working with the GUI, please follow the steps below to install Hyper-V Manager to your Windows 10 device.
– You can launch Control Panel and navigate to the program and click on the Turn Windows feature On or off. You will still arrive at the image below. As you can see below, Hyper V features are currently not installed on this device. We will have to install it. To enable this, click on the checkbox as shown below.
– Now you have selected the Management Tools, click on Ok to complete to apply the changes. Below are some similar guides: How to install RSAT tools: DNS manager console missing from RSAT tools on Windows 10, and how to install RSAT on Windows 10 via Windows features

This will search for files and apply the changes. As you can see below, the Hyper-V features have been installed.

Note: You must run Hyper-V Manager using an account that is in the Administrators group or Hyper-V Administrators group on the target system. Otherwise, you will NEVER be able to connect to the Hyper-V host. If your management workstation’s administrator account does not have those capabilities, hold down [Shift] while right-clicking the Hyper-V Manager shortcut, and then choose Run as different user:

Once installed, we can use Hyper-V Manager on our client locally or to connect to Hyper-V Server and create and manage VMs there.


You will be prompted to enter your username and password as shown below.


Click on Connect to Server, enter the server name when prompted and click on Ok. If you do not connect to the server this way, the following error will be prompted “An error occurred while attempting to connect to the server. Check if the Virtual Machine Management service is running or you are not authorized to connect to this server.


As you can see below, you should be able to connect to the server.


In this guide, I will not be discussing WAC. You may want to see the following guides: Unable to access Windows Admin Center (WAC) from the Web, Windows Admin Center: How to setup WAC, Setup System Insights on Windows Admin Center (WAC), and how to Test Network Connection to the Windows Admin Center (WAC) Gateway.

Part E -Create Virtual Switches: Virtual Switches make it possible for Virtual Machines to communicate with to each other. I will quickly walk you through the creation of the three virtual switches discussed below.

Modes for the Hyper-V Virtual Switch: The Hyper-V virtual switch presents three different operational modes.
- Private Virtual Switch: A Hyper-V virtual switch in private mode allows communications only between virtual adapters connected to virtual machines.
- Internal Virtual Switch: A Hyper-V virtual switch in internal mode allows communications only between virtual adapters connected to virtual machines and the management operating system.
- External Virtual Switch: A Hyper-V virtual switch in external mode allows communications between virtual adapters connected to virtual machines and the management operating system. It uses single or teamed physical adapters to connect to a physical switch, thereby allowing communications with other systems.

To create an External Switch, kindly click on Virtual Switch Manager as shown below


This will open up the virtual Switch Manager for the HyperV server. Select External under create virtual switches and click on create Virtual Switch as shown below.


In the Virtual Switch Properties window, click on External and click on Ok as shown below.


In the Apply Networking change window, click on YES as shown below. Afterward, a new dialog window will appear showing the settings are being applied.


To create an Internal switch, follow the same steps as discussed above. Click on Virtual Switch Manager. This will open the Virtual Switch Manager for the HyperV server.


Enter the Virtual Switch Name and click on Ok.

Follow the same steps above to create a Private vSwitch. To do this, launch the virtual Switch manager and select the private vSwitch, and then click on Create Virtual Switch


Enter the Private Virtual Switch Name as shown below and click on Ok.


I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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