Windows 8 Client Hyper-V Limitations, Intro, and Pitfalls

Microsoft has integrated a limited version of Hyper-V, called Client Hyper-V, to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Similar to the Windows Server Hyper-V version, the Client Hyper-V edition targets power user who need to virtualize several operating systems and run them on a single workstation. Microsoft added Hyper-V Windows 8 to the Pro and Enterprise Editions of Windows 8 only, and the reason for that was most likely to compete with VMware Workstation.

What are the Limitations of Windows 8.1 Hyper-V compared to the Windows Server edition?

First, Remote FX, which virtualizes GPUs, is not supported. Cluster Shared Volumes aren’t accessible and, hence, live migrations won’t work either. Hyper-V replica is also restricted to the Windows Server version. Hyper-V Virtual Fibre Channel, SR-IOV (on 32 bit) networking, and ability to share VHDX files between virtual machines has also been removed.

Hyper-V VSS Writer Is Not Offered

Another crucial difference not mentioned in many Microsoft documents is the absence of the Hyper-V VSS Writer. This component is necessary to create application consistent live backups of Hyper-V virtual machines.
Without this particular writer, all backups taken from Hyper-V Client VMs are crash consistent instead of being application consistent. See this discussion:
However, crash consistent backups are fine in many if not most circumstances, as modern data services are transaction based (even NTFS is) and rollback when outages occur.

What’s needed to run Hyper-V on Windows 8?

You need:
Windows 8 / 8.1 Pro or Enterprise
A CPU capable of running Hyper-V.

What Guest Operating Systems are supported on Client Hyper-V?

Windows Home Server 2011
Windows Server 2008 with SP2
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Windows SBS 2011
Windows Server 2003 R2  SP2
Windows Server 2003 SP2
Windows 8.1, 8
Windows 7
Vista with SP2
XP x64 with SP2
XP with SP3
For Linux support info, visit

How Do I Back up Windows 8 Client Hyper-V VMs?

Try BackupChain to back up Hyper-V on Windows 8 / 8.1.  It offers deduplication, remote backup, and time-saving granular backup and restore features.
See this article with step-by-step backup instructions on how to use BackupChain Hyper-V Backup:

How to Back up Windows 8 Hyper-V VMs