Managing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 from Windows 7

I'm testing Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as a virtualization platform. This is the free version that only includes the Hyper-V role and a command-line interface.

Here are a few notes I made on setting things up so I can manage the server from Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise only):

  1. On the Windows 7 machine, download and install the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. Under Remote Server Administration Tools, check (at least) Server Manager and Role Administration Tools > Hyper-V Tools.
  2. (Optional) On the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 machine, use the sconfig menu system to enable Remote Desktop so you can log on to the server without being in front of the console. Connect to the machine using its IP address.
  3. On the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 machine, use the sconfig menu system to enable all remote management options. A reboot is required in there somewhere.
  4. On the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 machine, use the sconfig menu system to join the machine to the same domain as the Windows 7 machine. According to this thread, it is apparently possible to leave the machine in a workgroup; using the Hyper-V Remote Management Configuration Utility is recommended in that case. I chose the simpler route of just joining the machine to the domain.
  5. On the Window 7 machine, log on as a domain administrator. Go to Administrative Tools > Server Manager. When prompted for the Remote computer, type the name or IP address of the Hyper-V 2008 R2 server.

At this point you should be able to browse the roles, features, diagnostics (including event logs), configuration (including firewall and services) of the Hyper-V 2008 Server. However, Device Manager and Disk Management require some additional configuration before they will work.

Note You cannot add or remove features (like Windows Server Backup) remotely. See this TechNet article for what you can and cannot do remotely. I've also blogged about Setting Up Windows Server Backup on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

Enabling Remote Access to Device Manager

As explained in this TechNet article, to enable remote device management, you have to make a change to group policy on the Hyper-V 2008 R2 machine. (The TechNet article refers to Windows 2008 Server Core, but as I discovered, most articles on Server Core also apply to Hyper-V Server.) That article describes the process as follows:

To do this, on a computer running Windows Vista or a full installation of Windows Server 2008, open the Local Group Policy Editor MMC snap-in, connect to the computer running a Server Core installation, navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Device Installation, and then enable Allow remote access to the PnP interface. Restart the computer running a Server Core installation.

For some reason, when I ran gpedit.msc from Windows 7, I was not able to connect to another computer. I had to first run MMC, then select File > Add or Remove Snap-in > Group Policy Object Editor, then select the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 computer.

Once in the Group Policy Editor, it took me a while to find the PnP setting. The correct location is:  Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Allow remote access to the PnP interface.

Although the TechNet article says to restart the server, I just typed “gpupdate” at the server's command prompt and I was able to connect to Device Manager remotely using Server Manager. Note that when run remotely, Device Manager is read-only–but at least you can see what devices are installed and whether any are missing drivers.

Enabling Remote Disk Management

To allow remote disk management, you need to change the firewall rules on both the Hyper-V Server and the Windows 7 machine. Run this command on both machines:

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Volume Management" new enable=yes

Many thanks to macnamee on this thread for that answer. The same TechNet article referenced above has some additional details, though it doesn't make clear the need to open the firewall on the Windows 7 machine as well.

Unlike remote Device Manager, Disk Management actually lets you add and remove volumes etc. from the remote computer. Very handy.

2 thoughts on “Managing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 from Windows 7

  1. John Wilson

    I still have a 2008 R2 Hyper-V machine and my Win7 machine is kaput. Desperately need to get to one of the VMs. Any idea where I can get RSAT for Win7? Microsoft doesn’t have it any more.

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