I'm creating a dev environment, Server 2012 R2 + SP 2013, as a separate virtual machine. My main OS is Win 8.1 Pro. Now, I would like to dual boot to this dev environment. I already know how to achieve that, but the problem lies with AD controller, which needs to be a separate machine. How can I run system from vhd, and simultanously have AD VM running? Can I run another virtual machine inside this SP DEV machine?

  • If you don't plan to use Workflow Manager and Office Web Apps, you can install SharePoint on AD controller. Would save you all the fuss. Mar 9 '15 at 15:31
  • actually I am planning this stuff, especially Workflow Manager
    – n0e
    Mar 9 '15 at 22:14

Short answer is that your scenario is not possible.

However, your need to dual boot probably arose from a need to maximize the use of your hardware.

I have found that is it possible to create a full SharePoint farm on Hyper-V, if you use "headless" (GUI-less) installs for the AD controller and database servers, as it consumes far less memory.

I have written an article for how I did it here: http://www.shailensukul.com/2013/09/installing-full-sharepoint-2013-load.html


  • Indeed, i want to maximize performance in guest OSes, and the easiest option would be to bypass booting Win8 and getting straight to Server2012. So you think the only option is to run guest VMs inside Win8?
    – n0e
    Mar 10 '15 at 12:11
  • How about having a second partition with Server2012, and running AD controller as VM inside of it?
    – n0e
    Mar 10 '15 at 12:50
  • @N0e Yes, I think that is the easiest option. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you have multiple partitions, you can still boot off one partition at a time, right? If you end up running a VM anyway, then my previous suggestion is both easier and less complicated. Btw. You do not need Win Server 2012, you can install Hyper-V on Windows 8.1... Mar 11 '15 at 7:03

As you have Win8.1 pro you can use Hyper-V.

By using this you can create your environment. You need licences for each VM though so depending on your circumstances this can be expensive. An MSDN subscription usually helps or you can use trial versions of Windows, SQL and SharePoint.

If you configure remote desktop you can easily logon to the machines from the host PC.

  • Agree.. I have covered creating an internal network among the machines in the link in my answer suggested above. Mar 11 '15 at 7:06

Try running your VM with Hyper-V or create it with VMWare.

UPDATE : You can create a virtual switch on Hyper-V to create a bridge between the two machines.

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