Virtual Lab – Setting up a new VM

This is part of a series where I set up a virtual lab for testing and misc. work. The other parts in the series are here: Building a Virtual Lab with Hyper-V.

I have my disks set up, now it’s time to create my virtual machines. I’m going to show you how to create one, but all really are done the same way. The names change, but no matter what my purpose is, this is how I set up the VMs. Once this is done, I’ll use other posts to go into the customizations for each machine.

We’ll start in Hyper-V manager, selecting a new VM.


After the welcome screen, you need to name your VM and choose a location. I’ve got a folder set up for this lab on my machine, so I choose that, and set the name (for this machine) as DenverDC. This will be my domain controller and the first machine I set up.


Next we assign memory. I’ll want more for the SQL Servers, but this is easily changed at a later date, so I’ll leave this alone. One of the advantages of Core is less memory needed, and I could probably get by with less, but since I have 24GB on the host, I can spare half a gig.


After memory comes the networking. As you can see, I have a number of choices. The "WholeWideWorld" is the connection some of my VMs use to access the internet. In this case, I’m choosing the Internal network, which is the Internal switch I have set up. This is limited to connections between the VMs and since I want this to be an isolated network, this works fine.


My internal switch is actually configured as follows:


Now we need to set storage. Since I set up my disks before this and named them in a way that I can understand, I choose the one I need. The default here is a new hard disk, but I’m saving space with differencing disks.


I get a summary. Please check this as you set things up. Note that my differencing disk is set.


I click finish, and I have a VM. I start it up from Hyper-V Manager and connect.


Inside of Windows, I get the familiar Windows start screen (for Win8/WS2012). I click CTRL+ALT+DEL (leftmost icon on the toolbar) and then get prompted to change my password


I change it,and I’ll use the same admin password on this machine that I use on a number of VMs.

NOTE: This is NOT the password I use for any other services, including my VMWware VMs. At all. It’s only for Hyper-V VMs, but since I may have a few generations of VMs, I don’t want to forget this password. I also may end up starting up a few random VMs for talks, so I need to be able to get in.

Once I log in, I get a basic session. Not much in Core.


The only thing I really want to do here is rename the computer. I need to do more, but those will be in other posts. Let’s get the hostname.

I could start server config (sconfig.exe) and get a basic setup, but I wanted to play with my PowerShell knowledge. So I started PoSh, and Google helped me find the computer name. I also used Google to find out the rename.


The computer name (hostname) comes from


It doesn’t make sense, so I rename it with

Rename-Computer -Newname "DenverDC"

Once this machine restarts (Restart-Computer), it will have a new name.

I know that I could use sconfig and it’s fast, or click around on my Standard servers and rename the machine, but once I get used to typing these commands in Powershell, it’s very, very quick.

Note that my disks have been updated with changes. Their sizes have grown from the original 4MB.


I repeat this process for all the other machines, just to get them set with a password and name. Once they’ve rebooted, they’re ready for the next step.

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  1. Pingback: Building a Virtual Lab with Hyper-V | Voice of the DBA

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