Subscribe

Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hyper-V and VMWare 2.0 Incompatible on Windows 2008

Bummer. The title says it all.

With the new quad-core, 8GB ram with 1.5TB space Dell monster Inspiron 518 I put together -- I wanted to use it to test out both Microsoft's Hyper-V and VMWare's latest server version 2.0 -- at least their release candidate 2 (RC2). The main reason I picked up the machine (overkill, I know) was so I could test out a number softwares and technologies that I had not had the opportunity to.

I went ahead and setup my 60-day trial of the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system, created the server role for Hyper-V and then brought over a couple of Virtual Server / Virtual PC machines that I had setup. The transition went smooth, so I was feel pretty good about it.

At the same time, I have a number of VMWare images because of the hard drive capacity issues that previous versions of Virtual Server and Virtual PC (127GB) had. After having some problems getting VMWare 1.0.7 to install on Windows 2008 server, I focused my attention on VMWare Server 2.0 RC2.

After downloading the 571MB installation file, VMware-server-2.0.0-110949.exe -- I tried to install VMware server. Bad news immediately:

VMWare and Hyper-V incompatible. Setup cannot continue because Microsoft's Hyper-V is being used. Please disable it, reboot and start the VMWare Server installation again."Setup cannot continue because Microsoft's Hyper-V is being used. Please disable it, reboot and start the VMWare Server installation again."

Not really what I was expecting our hoping for. The best case in my opinion was that I could run both simultaneously on my machine, the worst case is that I could turn one off and run the other. All I needed to do was "disable" the Microsoft Hyper-V software.

If only it was that simple. I figured that to "disable" that meant I could just go into Server Manager, and stop the three main services that run the Microsoft Hyper-V software: Hyper-V Image Management Service, Hyper-V Networking Management Service, and Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management. I went in, stopped the Windows services and then set them to disabled, hoping that would unlock the installation process.

No luck however.

Now I was forced to remove the Hyper-V role from the Windows 2008 server altogether to install the VMWare Server 2.0 RC2 software. After rebooting and completion of the role removal from Windows 2000, the VMWare Server 2.0 RC2 installation went off without a hitch. The only issue I had was with the VMWare Remote Console plugging not working on Windows 2008. Other than that, I copied over my VMWare 1.0.7 images and VMWare Server 2.0 RC2 was off and running.

Then I got a "brilliant" idea. Maybe this was an installation order issue. Perhaps if I installed VMWare Server 2.0 first and then enabled the Hyper-V role on the Windows 2008 server -- everything would work fine. I went ahead and added the Hyper-V role and rebooted.

After the reboot completed, no services failed and both the VMWare and the Hyper-V services started up. I then went into the web consolue (MUI) for VMWare to see if I could access my Virtual Machines. I tried to start up my old "Windows XP" image and the dreaded error came back.

Power On Virtual Machine failed to complete. If these problems persist, please contact your system administrator. VMWare server and Hyper-V are not compatible. You must remove the Hyper-V role from your system before running VMWare Server."Power On Virtual Machine" failed to complete. If these problems persist, please contact your system administrator. VMWare server and Hyper-V are not compatible. You must remove the Hyper-V role from your system before running VMWare Server.

I did dink around with some settings once again to see if I could "trick" the VMWare software, but no luck. At this point, I have to conclude that even having both Hyper-V and VMWare installed at the same time on a Windows 2008 server is incompatible, very disappointing. Whether it is simply that VMWare has not addressed the Hyper-V incompatibility in the RC2 software or if there is specific tinkering by Microsoft, I have no idea. Unfortunately, it puts me in a position of having to choose one over the other.

I did do some quick Google search and could not find much on the topic. If you have any additional information or possible work arounds, please let me know. Otherwise it looks like Hyper-V will have to be disabled on this machine. Bummer.

11 comments:

Steve said...

Unfortunately, there is no known solution for the problem. I'v written about issues I had on my blog. The only thing you can do to keep both virtualization solutions around is to create an additional entry for the boot loader which instructs Windows to start up without enabling Hyper-V. That essentially means you have to reboot everytime you want to use one or the other but you don't have to remove the Hyper-V role from your server.

Anonymous said...

The problem, from what I've heard has to do with the way that Hyper-V embeds itself-- something about the way that it masks instructions from the processor makes it so that VMware Server cannot actually access the hardware in the ways that it needs to in order to properly run.

from what I remember from the presentation I saw on this, it has to do with the fact that when the Hyper-V role is installed, it's supposed to then load up Hyper-V first, and then run your windows2008 installation as if it were a VM on top of the Hyper-V setup.

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks for the insight there, it makes a lot of sense as to the reason "why". I wonder if this becomes a new "cat and mouse" game between Microsoft and VMWare in terms of access to the underlying system and architecture.

It would be *nice* to be able to do a side-by-side comparison without the pains of the boot loader or separate physical machines.

-Ken

Mark Wilson said...

Hi Ken - the problem is that you are trying to run a hosted virtualisation product on top of a hypervisor. Does this work with VMware Server on ESX or Xen? (I hear that you can run ESX in VMware Workstation but wouldn't expect VMware Server to run on any hypervisor as the various hacks that hosted virtualisation technologies employ to emulate the hardware will be incompatible).

It's not really a new "cat and mouse" game between Microsoft and VMWare - it's just the way that hypervisors and hardware assisted virtualisation work together!

Interesting that VMware expected this and specifically coded some checks for Hyper-V along with corresponding error messages!

dicky c said...

I was searching for some info on an Inspiron 518 and noticed you mentioned you have 8GB ram.

Dell's site as well as other sites with memory configurator's show that the motherboard only accepts 4GB or 1GB per slot.

Can you help clarify for me? I'm debating purchasing a 518, but am on the fence if the maximum amount of memory is only 4GB!

Thanks!

Ken Hanscom said...

I'm running 8GB (4 2GB) chips on my Dell Dimension 518 as well. I read about the "incompatibility" and said what the heck and ordered the 8GB. Dropped it in, did not need to update the BIOS and it worked fine.

I wonder how 16GB RAM would do. :-)

dicky c said...

I'm sold. Thanks for the quick response!

dcubed said...

Been looking around for more info on installing both Hyoer-V and VMWare (any version) side by side on my Server 2008R2 box. Found a solution for the problem that entails modifying the boot menu to be able to start without the Hypervisor Running:

bcdedit /copy {default} /d "No Hypervisor"

## after pressing enter a message stating the operation was succesful,
## you should also see a GUID.
## Copy that and use it in the command below

bcdedit /set {GUID_RETURNED_FROM_PREV_COMMAND} hypervisorlaunchtype off

Jimmy Pierre said...

You saved my life :-)
Jimmy
networkusersinstitute.eu

Anonymous said...

I think you don't need a GUID - try (run as Administrator):

C:\Windows\System32\bcdedit.exe /set {current} hypervisorlaunchtype off
shutdown /r /f /t 0

Reactivate Hyper-V with hypervisorlaunchtype auto

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I think you don't need a GUID - try (run as Administrator):

C:\Windows\System32\bcdedit.exe /set {current} hypervisorlaunchtype off
shutdown /r /f /t 0

Reactivate Hyper-V with hypervisorlaunchtype auto

Cheers