Posted by: Ed Tittel
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Generally speaking, if your PC (desktop, notebook, or tablet) runs an i3, i5, or i7 CPU you should be able to install and use Client Hyper-V on a Windows 8 installation on that machine. But the only way to be 100% sure is to check the CPU’s various hardware capabilities to see what you’ve got at your disposal (please note: with only a very few exceptions — such as running Windows XP Mode inside a 32-bit Windows 7 VM on Client Hyper-V in Windows 8 — you can’t run a VM within a VM using Client Hyper-V).
The easiest way to check your PC’s ability to run Client Hyper-V is to download the Windows Sysinternals utility known as coreinfo and run it at the command prompt on the target machine to see what kind of output you get from a command string that reads
coreinfo -v. The following screenshots are labeled to distinguish a system that can run Client Hyper-V from one that cannot.
Thus, the key differentiator is the asterisk (*) versus a dash (-), where the former means the feature is present, while the latter means it’s absent. For Client Hyper-V to work on a target system, both Intel hardware-assisted virtualization and Intel extended page tables (aka SLAT, or Second-Level Address Translation) must be present on Intel machines. On AMD processors this functionality is called Nested Page Tables (NPT or NP) in the context of AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) Technology. For the record, here’s a list of “AMD Processors with Rapid Virtualization Indexing Required to Run Hyper-V in Windows 8” from AMD itself.
This is what coreinfo output looks like from an AMD-based machine that (barely) meets the Hyper-V criteria:
For AMD-based systems that don’t meet Client Hyper-V requirements, either or both of the SVM or NP entries will have a minus sign (-) instead of an asterisk (*), to indicate that the feature is missing. Because SVM predates NP, it’s more likely that NP will be absent, though on the oldest AMD CPUs both NP and SVM will not be supported. If you get both asterisks, you can run Client Hyper-V on your target machine; if either or both hardware-assisted virtualization or SLAT support is absent, you can can’t run Hyper-V on your target machine. That’s it!