How-To

Can My Windows 10 or 8.1 Computer Run Hyper-V?

Hyper-V technology in Windows 8 Pro lets you create and manage virtual machines. To use it, your system’s CPU needs SLAT virtualization technology.

One of the new features in Windows 8 is Hyper-V. This technology was originally included in Server 2008 and now included in the desktop OS. It let’s you setup, manage and run virtual machines on your Windows 8 box. Hyper-V virtualization technology has certain hardware requirements though and only works on newer computer processors. Here’s how you can test your CPU to see if it will support Windows 8 Hyper-V.

Windows 8 Hyper-V

First, you need an AMD or Intel 64-bit processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). SLAT virtualization hardware is included in most modern Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs. It’s also included in AMD’s Barcelona processor line. Even if your CPU supports virtualization (XP Mode in Windows 7 for example), it might not have SLAT hardware virtualization technology. If you have an Intel Core 2 CPU in your system for example, it doesn’t support the SLAT feature so you won’t be able to add the Hyper-V feature.

In addition to the CPU requirements, your system will also need a minimum of 4GB of RAM and the 64-bit version of Windows 8.

It’s a bit confusing I know. And how do you know if your CPU supports SLAT anyway? Here’s a couple of utilities that will help you determine in your system supports SLAT technology so you can utilize the Hyper-V technology in Windows 8.

Test System CPU for SLAT Using CoreInfo

There are a couple of free utilities that will test your CPU for SLAT capability. Created by Microsoft wiz Mark Russinovich, CoreInfo is a command line utility that will work on both AMD and Intel systems.

Download the zip package and extract coreinfo.exe to your C:\ drive.
Extract Coreinfo to C drive

Next go to Start >> All programs >> Accessories and right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

Command as Admin

Now, in the command line type: cd c:\ when the C: prompt comes up type: coreinfo.exe –v

If you see an asterisk next to EPT (Extended Page Tables), your CPU is groovy and you’re good to go.Your system supports Widows 8 Hyper-V.

Command Line

If you run CoreInfo on an AMD system – using the same commands as above, look for an asterisk on the NP (Nested Page Tables) line. On my AMD system, I have an AMD Athlon Dual Core CPU and it doesn’t support SLAT.

AMD CoreInfo

So again, your looking for an *, not a -. Here’s another Intel Processor which shows it doesn’t support SLAT technology. No Hyper-V for you!

SLAT Not Supported for Hyper-V

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Awesome read Brian and a MUST read for anyone playing with Windows 8 and looking to run a few virtual machines.

  2. Brian  

    Agreed. IT will need to do a heck of an upgrade on systems if they want to use it on a lot of machines.

    • How many systems in your home lab support SLAT @disqus_8H4zdmnIVx:disqus ? 🙂

  3. Very nice article. Encouraging to try both Windows 8 and Hyper-v.

  4. Rich  

    Why does the Intel PIU tell me the CPU will handle Virtualization and Coreinfo tell me NO?

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