Tech Guides: How to Set Up a Virtual Machine

virtual machine

When a company seems to be running out of resources or space to meet physical technological demands, virtual machines provide a viable solution. Knowing how to set up a virtual machine is vital for saving time and resources. 

You set up your virtual machine based on the virtualization program that you use, the OS you need to install, and the reason for creating a virtual machine. To get it all set and running using Hyper-V Manager, here are some steps you should follow:

  1. Click on the Hyper-V host that will host a new virtual machine. 
  2. In the right-hand Actions pane, click New, and then Virtual machine to start the New Virtual Machine wizard. After the wizard opens, click Next. 
  3. Type in the preferred name for this virtual machine and choose its location. Make sure to select the option to store the virtual machine in a different location. Doing this ensures that the metadata of the virtual machine which includes XML, BIN, VSV, and second-level paging files will not be stored in the host’s default location. If this location has not stored a virtual machine before, a subfolder named Virtual machines will be created in the location you specify.
  4. On the next page you can choose the generation of the virtual machine. 
    • Generation 1 VMs usually work in the traditional BIOS mode and are compatible with any guest OS. It gives room for legacy hardware like the emulated network adapter and IDE hard disks.
    • Generation 2 VMs use the newer UEFI standard and are only compatible with more recent operating systems.
  5. After choosing the generation, you can set the preliminary memory settings for the virtual machine. There are two options:
    • Startup memory: You can set the amount of memory you want to use at the start.
    • Dynamic Memory: It is automatically set to 512 GB and 1TB. You can configure the minimums and maximums later. 
  6. When you have configured the VM memory settings, you will need to determine how to connect the virtual network adapter. In this case, you also have two options. 
    • Not Connected: this means that the virtual machine will work without a network connection.
    • Connect to a virtual switch (You can not set any of the advanced options like VLAN here).
  7. You then need to set up your virtual hard disk. In this case, you can do one of the following:
    • Build a new virtual hard disk.
    • Connect an existing virtual hard disk.
    • Connect no virtual hard disk at all. 
  8. You will see the Installation Options tab if you decide to create a new virtual hard disk. Under this tab, the following options are available:
    • Install an operating system later.
    • Install an operating system from a bootable CD/DVD-ROM.
    • Boot from a virtual network adapter (PXE boot). If you are creating a generation 1 VM, a legacy virtual NIC will be created.
  9. After doing this, a confirmation screen is displayed with an option to go back and carry out the necessary changes. 

After clicking Finish, your virtual machine is successfully created. The virtual machine can be turned on manually. To understand why you need to keep your Hyper-V VMs safe and recoverable, read more about Hyper-V backup solutions.

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