Friday, September 24, 2010

BIOS settings for Virtualization

This is not directly related to SQL Server, but this configuration would be needed for SQL Server Virtualization as well. Windows Server 2008 R2 comes with the built-in feature called Hyper-V to support for virtualization, meaning to manage virtual machines.

There are couple of configuration settings you need to enable in order to use Virtualization.

First step would be installing Hyper-V role in the computer. You can do this in Server Manager Console.

Remember you need hardware support as well for virtualization. Interestingly, when installing Hyper-V role, you will not get notified whether your h/w supports or not. Regardless of that Windows Server 2008 R2 will install Hyper-V successfully. After that when you try to create a Virtual Machine, and then it raises an error saying;

The virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running


This means, your hardware is not supporting or related BIOS settings are not enabled.
There are two BIOS settings you need to enable to get rid of the above error. Only in specific processors you have these two settings. In my case, the processor type is AMD Opteron which supports this particular feature.
See below for the BIOS settings;

1.       Under advanced settings, Processor configuration, Virtualization option should be enabled
2.       Under advanced settings, Processor configuration, No Execute memory protection should be enabled

You can check the second setting is enabled or not. Try the below steps;

1.       Right click on Computer
2.       In the System window, click Advanced system settings
3.       In the System Properties window, under Performance area, click Settings
4.       In the Performance Options window, select Data Execute Prevention tab

Look at the description below;

It says, “Your computer’s processor supports hardware-based DEP


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