I am going to assume the person reading this is technically inclined and doesn’t need a whole mess of pictures detailing every step of the process. This is a quick guide intended to get you up and running as quickly as possible on a machine with little to no Server 2008 driver support. I will show you how to install drivers in Hyper-v Server on any machine as long as it will get through the initial install.
Note: Hyper-v Server is the standalone version of Server 2008 w/ Hyper-v. To learn more check out this video.
First things first, you have to realize that just because Server 2008 will install on your Whitebox or OEM pc that doesn’t mean it’s running correctly on it.
For this article I will be basing my experience off of an AMD setup composed of the following.
AMD Athlon 64X2 4600+
Biostar TF8200 A2+
Socket AM2+ w/ Hyper Transport 3.0
Geforce 8200 Chipset
4GB DDR2 800
Realtek RTL 8111C Onboard GigaNIC
Now I’m going to jump right into the thick of it. Enable any type of VT or V technology in your BIOS. You will also want to enable the NX, XD or NO Execute technology before proceeding.
Download the latest Hyper-v standalone from this page.
This will need to go on a DVD because it is just over the size of a CD.
I also recommend checking out the main website if you haven’t done so already.
There are plenty of tutorials and videos showcasing the install of Hyper-v server 2008 so I’m not going to walk through all the steps one by one. What you’re here for is how to get your drivers installed to recognize and make full use of your non-supported hardware.
After your install if you’re unlucky like me you will be greeted with the fact that Hyper-v doesn’t think you have a NIC, or at least don’t have one installed.
At this point what we need to do is enter the command prompt either by selecting it from the Hyper-v menu or by using ctrl-alt-del, start task manager then select new task and enter cmd.
While your Hyper-v box is sitting idle go ahead and grab all your drivers, either from the manufacturer website or off the driver install disc for your system.
We need to create folder for all of your drivers, this keeps them separated and it’s easier to see if you miss any. Your folder should read something like Chipset, NIC, VGA, etc. Start by unzipping your drivers into their proper folders making sure in each folder you have an .inf file. If you run across a driver install package that is .zip and when you click it the only option seems to be install don’t lose hope there is a way around this. Download and install Winrar, once installed right click on the .zip file and select extract and extract the files to the proper folder.
We now want to take all these folders and copy them to a USB key or CD. Thankfully Microsoft left the plug and play USB features in Hyper-v Server along with a mess of other useful features.
Plug the USB stick or insert the CD into your Hyper-v server and from your command prompt key into the directory of the first set of drivers you want to install like shown below.
This will bring us into a folder called VGA which is inside another folder called drivers which resides on our E drive which is my USB flash drive.
If you don’t know what drive is your flash drive, you can go through each directory like shown below until you find the folders you created. Run this set of commands on each drive until you find the one your looking for.
Now locate the driver .inf file by using a dir command on the directory. For example I am in my NIC folder and want to install my NIC, my .inf file is rtl8111c.inf (It’s not really but this is just an example).
Now we want to use the al mighty PNPUTIL commands to install the drivers, more can be found about PNPUTIL here
Here is an example command for installing our example driver above.
pnputil -i -a rtl8111c.inf
You should get a success after each command.
After installing all drivers, perform a system reboot and you should see your NIC is detected and your screen is resized.
This is also a great guide for updating your drivers on a Hyper-v server. Just because it works doesn’t mean it works well and unfortunately this is a huge misconception in the industry. The best example I can give is this, would you install Windows XP and run it without any drivers? Although it will work and will boot into windows and you can use it, but would you want to?