Using PowerShell to Set Up Hyper-V

Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, explains how to use Windows PowerShell to simplify the Hyper-V set-up process.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I am sitting here sipping a fairly nice cup of green tea. I wimped out this afternoon. I have a team meeting in a few minutes, so I did not take the time to make a proper pot of tea. Instead, I grabbed a tea bag and shoved it into a cup of hot water. No cinnamon, no herbs, no nothing—only hot water and a tea bag. I almost feel like I am being punished.

I paved over my laptop the other day, and I am in the process of setting it up again. I can tell you that it runs WAY faster right now. It boots quickly, shuts down quickly, and everything seems fresh and new. I miss lots of apps, but I am in the process of relocating them in the store, and getting stuff installed.

One project I have been dreading is setting up Hyper-V. I will tell you that having real, live Hyper-V on my desktop operating system is a huge win for me. I used it nearly every day to test some type of script or configuration. I also use it when I am making presentations at conferences such as PowerShell Saturday in Atlanta—or via Lync, such as PowerShell Saturday in Singapore.

The thought of all that mousing makes my hand hurt

Having Hyper-V on my laptop and having a cool client operating system absolutely rocks! But the thought of setting it up and all the associated mousing around makes my hand ache. I mean, dude. There is the setting up of the virtual machine locations, the setting up of the machine configuration storage locations, creating virtual switches…and that is before I even begin to import any virtual machines. So, naturally, I have been putting it off. I mean, why do today, what I can put off until tomorrow? The Hyper-V user interface is shown here.

Image of menu

But, then it hit me. I do not need to put this off (in fact, I cannot put it off too much longer because of Windows PowerShell Saturday in Atlanta) because in addition to having the real-deal Hyper-V, I also have the real-deal Hyper-V Windows PowerShell module. Yes! Windows PowerShell for the win!

 Check to see what I already have

The first thing one might need to do is to see if Hyper-V is even installed on one’s laptop. To check this, use the Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet. If you need to enable Hyper-V, you can do so by piping the results to the Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet. This technique is shown here:

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName *hyper-v*all  |

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –Online

Following the installation of Hyper-V (in addition to the Windows PowerShell management module for Hyper-V), I can use the Get-VMHost cmdlet to examine my current configuration. I pipe the results to the Format-List cmdlet so I can see all of the property values. The command and its output are shown here.

Get-VMHost | Format-List *

Image of command output

Creating the virtual machine folders

One of the cool things about the MD function in Windows PowerShell is that it can create multiple folders at the same time. Normally, I use the old process as follows:

  1. Test to see if a folder exists.
  2. If the folder exists, exit gracefully.
  3. If the folder does not exist, create it.

I use the Test-Path cmdlet to check for the existence of the folders. But you know what? If I want to create a folder if it does not exist, all I need to do is to call the command to create the folder. If the folder exists, an error occurs. I know this. I really do not need to see a message stating that the folder exists. I really do not care if it does. So I decided to suppress the error message, and pass an array of folder paths to the MD function.

Creating the folder paths

So, I know where I want to create the folders. I decided to break the paths up into a couple of variables, and use the Join-Path cmdlet to create the folders. This gives me an advantage: I might want to use the script on a different computer at some time, but I still like my folder structure. The only thing I might need to change is the actual drive letter. So in my script, I create a couple of variables as shown here:

$VMDrive = “E:”

$VMPath = Join-Path -path $VMDrive -ChildPath “vms\vm”

$VHDPath = Join-Path -Path $VMDrive -ChildPath “vms\vhd”

MD -Path $vmpath,$VHDPath -ErrorAction 0

Creating the time span for resource metering

I wrote a very detailed blog post about creating the time span for resource metering for Hyper-V. You may want to check it out: Use PowerShell to Configure Hyper-V Resource Metering. What I do here, is use the New-TimeSpan cmdlet to create a new time span of an hour and a half:

$RMSave = New-TimeSpan -hours 1 -Minutes 30

Setting the virtual machine host

To configure my virtual machine host (that is, my laptop), I use the Set-VMHost cmdlet. I specify the paths and the resource metering timespan. The command shown here is a single line command:
Set-VMHost -VirtualHardDiskPath $VHDPath -VirtualMachinePath $VMPath -ResourceMeteringSaveInterval $RMSave

When I run the command, no output appears in the output pane of my Windows PowerShell ISE, as shown in the following image:

Image of command output

Here is my complete script:



 Ed Wilson, msft




# The following will install Hyper-V on my Win8 laptop


Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName *hyper-v*all |

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –Online



Import-Module -Name Hyper-V

$RMSave = New-TimeSpan -hours 1 -Minutes 30

$VMDrive = “E:”

$VMPath = Join-Path -path $VMDrive -ChildPath “vms\vm”

$VHDPath = Join-Path -Path $VMDrive -ChildPath “vms\vhd”

MD -Path $vmpath,$VHDPath -ErrorAction 0


Set-VMHost -VirtualHardDiskPath $VHDPath -VirtualMachinePath $VMPath -ResourceMeteringSaveInterval $RMSave

Join me tomorrow when I will talk about using Windows PowerShell to work with Hyper-V networking on my laptop.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy 

Comments (9)

  1. Nice post. This helps! Thanks.

  2. happysysadm says:

    Interesting post, Ed! I am doing more or less the same activity of setting up an hyper-v lab.

    Wonder if your E: drive is a SSD disk and how far you think you can go in terms of number of VMs.

    Also, which OS are you depending on: 2K8 or 2012?



  3. mredwilson says:

    @PowerShellGirl That is a great suggestion, and is something I have thought about doing. The problem is that it is a manual process to go back in and add it afterwards. In the end, I rarely have time to do this (it is much harder than you might think). Instead, I prefer to present great content on a daily basis (twice a day), and speak to user groups and conferences, rather than spend my time going back to old posts and adding links. The thing is, I cannot link to a post in the future because the link is not live at that point (and sometimes the post is not even written yet). The best advice I can give you is to go to the archive links (on the right) and pick the month and year from there. This will allow you to see all the articles. The other thing you can use is the tags that I add to the bottom of articles. This brings up related posts.

  4. Ed Wilson says:

    @Happysysadm my E: drive is a hybrid drive (1TB in size). I am now running Windows 8.1 PRO edition with 16 GB of RAM. I have had five VM's running with no problems at all. Having my core OS on one drive, and the VM's on a different drive gives me good performance. My C: drive is in fact a SSD. I feel like I could probably get maybe 12 VM's running if I had to, and still be able to function — but I have not done that — yet.

  5. Ed Wilson says:

    @Clint Huffman you are welcome. I am glad you like the posting and find it helpful.

  6. ML49448 says:

    Really nice post. Exactly what I was looking for.

  7. PowerShellGirl says:

    Hey! When you write “join me tomorrow”, could you add a link to tomorrows posts or something; making it easier to find it when reading old posts?

  8. garegin says:

    compare this with the steps to set up KVM.

  9. kshanmugavelu says:

    i want virtual machi ne software