One of the cool features of Windows 8 is the ability to run Hyper-V client side. No more needing Windows Server to host the VMs, you can now create and manage your VMs right inside Windows 8 using the client version of Hyper-V. However, if you’re still a die-hard fan of VMware Workstation fan (like me), or want the networking features/functionality of VMware Workstation alongside Hyper-V, you may need to work around a common error that appears if you’ve already enabled Hyper-V before installing Workstation.

If you’ve tried installing VMware Workstation after you enable Hyper-V on Windows 8, you probably encountered this error:

vmware

Fear not, however, because that error is needlessly there. You can still install VMware Workstation, you just need to first disable Hyper-V, then reenable Hyper-V. Enabling/Disabling Hyper-V will leave your existing VMs untouched, albeit, you may need to tell Hyper-V where they are after enabling it again. Simply follow the following steps if you encounter this error (meaning, you’ve already enabled Hyper-V support):

  1. Hit the Windows Key and type “windows features”
  2. Hit the Windows Key + W combo to bring up the Windows Settings panel of the Start Screen.
  3. Click on Turn Windows features on or off
  4. When the Turn Windows features on or off dialog appears, look for Hyper-V and deselect it
  5. Click OK
  6. Restart your computer when prompted
  7. Install VMware Workstation
  8. Enable Hyper-V again through the Turn Windows features on or off dialog
  9. Restart your computer

Voila! You can now run Hyper-V and VMware Workstation seamlessly side by side. Not only does this offer you the ability to use both technologies for your virtualization needs, but it also allows you to use VMware’s networks inside Hyper-V. How cool is that? It’s a lot easier using standard VMware Workstation network configs than setting up a clean, usable network inside Hyper-V, from my experience. I’ll write more on this later, specifically a How-To/Why Bother type post.

I’m currently running both Workstation 8.0 and Hyper-V on all of my Windows 8 machines and they are working flawlessly. In some cases, you may even want to enable Hyper-V support in order to remedy the common freeze-ups Windows 8 has been having in the latest release preview even if you don’t intend on using Hyper-V for its intended purposes.

Although I have not run into any issues, this does not mean you will not, so as always, tread carefully. If you do experience issues running Hyper-V and VMware Workstation side by side, let me know about them in the comments. I’d be very interested in seeing if my experience is the same, or if it’s different from other people’s experience.

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