Entries in Microsoft (4)


How to setup RAM sensitive software on a Hyper-V VM with Dynamic Memory

When you create a new Hyper-V virtual machine, configured with Dynamic Memory, the advantage is to boot a virtual server with minimal RAM allocated (e.g. 512 MB), but the catch is some setups check that the computer it's being installed on has enough memory.  I recently was disappointed to see that this same issue / inconvenience exists as I was running through the VMM setup for 2012 SP1 (CTP2). I tried Aidan's tip of using Paint, but I could not get paint to use enough memory, so that the setup prerequisites would let me get by.

Fortunately, I found a post from 2008 on the Windows SDK blog that mentioned tcpanalyzer.exe and consume.exe as "hidden gems" in the SDK. Consume.exe sounded promising, so I went to fetch the latest Windows SDK. Fortunately, consume.exe is still there.

Consume.exe is all of 21KB, so I copied into my newly minted Hyper-V VM (for more on my favorite way to load up a new Windows Server 2012 VM, see … ) and ran consume.exe -physical-memory -time 60.

The 'Assigned Memory' value in my Hyper-V Manager window climbed up above the 2GB (2242 MB) I needed to proceed, and I was able to finish my setup.


Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -ShowUI

I have used WIM2VHD.wsf in the past, and now that I'm spending more time in Hyper-V (both in Windows 8 Release Preview, and in Server 2012 Release Candidate), this Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 PowerShell script provides a nicely improved workflow for quickly creating new VHD (or VHDX) files.

Here's an example of how you can use it in a GUI mode. In this example, I pointed the source to the Windows Server 2012 RC ISO that I downloaded, and created a new dynamic 40GB VHDX from the Standard edition within that ISO.

PS E:\scripts> .\Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -ShowUI

Note: the current directory where the script is launched from will be the path where the new VHD or VHDX will be created.

Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk Converter for Windows(R) 8
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
Version 6.2.8424.0.amd64fre.fbl_core1_hyp_dev(mikekol).120517-1616 Release Preview
INFO   : Launching UI...


INFO   : Opening ISO 8400.0.WINMAIN_WIN8RC.120518-1423_X64FRE_SERVER_EN-US-HRC_SSS_X64FRE_EN-US_DV5.ISO...
INFO   : Looking for H:\sources\install.wim...
INFO   : Scanning WIM metadata...
INFO   : Selected Working Directory is E:\Virtual Machines\Hyper-V Disks...
INFO   : Image 2 selected (ServerStandard)...
INFO   : Creating sparse disk...
INFO   : Attaching VHDX...
INFO   : Disk initialized...
INFO   : Disk partitioned...
INFO   : Volume formatted...
INFO   : Access path (I:\) has been assigned...
INFO   : Applying image to VHDX.  This could take a while...
INFO   : Signing disk...
INFO   : Image applied.  Making image bootable...
INFO   : Opening I:\boot\bcd for configuration...
INFO   : BCD configuration complete. Moving on...
INFO   : Drive is bootable.  Cleaning up...
INFO   : Closing VHDX...
INFO   : Closing Windows image...
INFO   : Done.


And now I have a new "Server2012RCstd.vhdx" that I can attach to a new virtual machine and boot!



On my way to the new MCSE!

I checked prometric over the weekend and was thrilled to find I passed both of the free Microsoft exams I took at MMS 2012.

071-247 : Configuring & Deploying a Private Cloud w/ System Center 2012

071-246 : Monitoring & Operating a Private Cloud w/ System Center 2012

Now I have only  a few steps reimaining to complete my new and improved MCSE.

If you're interested in more information on the new, revived MCSE certification programs, check out: 


Serverquarium at MMS 2012

The Hand-On Labs at MMS 2012 are one of the most impressive real-world demonstrations of Private Cloud possibilities.

Built on HP Virtual System and Microsoft System Center, the MMS 2012 Hands On Labs (HOL) provides:

  • 650 Total Lab Stations
  • Every 90 Minutes, 1,200 VMs will be created in less than 10 Minutes for the 400 Classroom Stations
  • Virtual Machine Sets Range from 1 – 6 VMs Per Lab Topic
  • Expected Average Concurrent VMs: 1,950
  • Expected Total VMs Created and Used During this week: 19,000+ 

These “Serverquarium” systems are running HP VirtualSystem VS3 with ProLiant BL460 blades and 3PAR storage.

Each tiny blinking light in the 3PAR storage cabinet represents a 146GB SAS spindle.

Feel free to contact me directly for any more information about the HP VirtualSystem series, FlexFabric, Hyper-V, System Center, etc.

Serverquarium "compute" rack of blades

Serverquarium storage rack

HP VirtualSystem website:

See also: