Microsoft has released Windows 11 Insider Preview – a public test version of its new operating system, which has already collected many different reviews. If you want to try the biggest update in years on your own, the best way to do it is to use Hyper-V. We are talking about a special additional function of Windows, which makes it possible to try a build of Windows for developers, various Linux distributions, and so on. Windows 11 Insider Preview can also be freely installed through Windows 10 using Hyper-V.
What is Hyper-V for and is the technology safe?
Hyper-V is a virtualized environment for installing an additional operating system. When using this feature, all the physical resources of the computer can be fully utilized. Hyper-V is characterized by maximum security for the main system, so it makes sense to use the function to test unknown software and not only. Hyper-V runs from Windows, so installing Windows 11 Insider Preview using this feature eliminates the need for dual boot and other not-so-convenient things. Comparing the features of Windows 10 and Windows 11 along with Hyper-V will also work out literally in parallel.
How to check for Hyper-V or install a component
Checking for Hyper-V
First, you need to make sure that the Hyper-V components are installed on your current computer. To do this, write “Hyper-V” in the search bar. If no result is relevant to this query, you first must add the function to the operating system. If there is, this paragraph of the article can be skipped.
Step 1. Open the start menu.
Step 2. Launch Control Panel.
Step 3. Go to the “Programs” section.
Step 4. Expand the Turn Windows features on or off-menu.
Step 5. Find the Hyper-V directory and turn the switches opposite the two subdirectories to the active position:
- Hyper-V Platform (this includes Hyper-V Low-Level Shell and Hyper-V Services);
- Hyper-V Management Tools (this includes Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell and Hyper-V GUI Management Tools).
Step 6. Confirm the installation with the “OK” button.
During installation, the Windows operating system will restart once. Make sure this happened. If not, proceed with the operation manually.
How to install Windows 11 via Hyper-V on Windows 10
Step 1. Download the Window 10 ISO file (or the Window 11 ISO file if you are reading this when it is already available) at the link.
Step 2. Launch the Hyper-V Manager application from the Start menu (enter the query “Hyper-V” in the search bar).
Step 3. Click on the “Create” button and select the “Virtual Machine” option.
Step 4. Click on the “Next” button and set a name for the virtual machine – for example, “Test Window 11”.
Step 5. If there is not enough space on the main disk, select another one of your choices.
Step 6. If you are using a UEFI-based computer, select the second generation. If you are not sure about this, stop at the first one.
Step 7. Determine the amount of RAM that will be used for the virtual machine. Please note that it must be greater than 4 GB.
Step 8. Use the default settings in the network settings section.
Step 9. Please select a name for it and its location and size in the section for connecting the virtual hard disk.
Step 10. In the installation parameters of the operating system, please select the option to install it from the boot disk and select the ISO file that was loaded in the first step of this section of the instructions.
Step 11. Click on the “Next” button to start installing the system, and then wait until the end of this operation.
If you used a pre-built ISO image for Windows 11, you could skip to the next section of this material. If you installed the system from a Windows 10 ISO file, you would need to register for the testing program and upgrade to Windows 11.
Step 12. Open Options.
Step 13. Go to the Update & Security section.
Step 14. Expand the Windows Insider Program menu.
Step 15. Register in the test program by clicking on the “Start” button if you have not already done so, and then authenticate with your account and select one of the channels to receive test builds of Windows 11 Insider Preview:
- “Channel Dev” – for professional technicians;
- Beta channel – for most ordinary users;
- Pre-Release Channel – for the most stable system updates.
Step 16. Check the update, wait until the required files are downloaded and rebooted. If the update to Windows 11 does not appear, follow these instructions.
Step 17. When you see a black screen, click on it to install the ISO file system.
Step 18. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing Windows 11 Insider Preview.
Also, keep in mind that using Windows 11 other than Home is impossible without a valid Microsoft account. You will have to use the existing one or create a new one.
Nuances of using test Windows 11 through Hyper-V
Using Hyper-V does not require any specific knowledge, so even a user who is quite far from modern technologies can handle it. Looking ahead, the main question that is associated with this system concerns the Windows Hello technology. The rest is simple. To start a virtual machine with a test Windows 11 onboard, you need to double-click on it in the application and then set the resolution for the screen used.
Hyper-V offers two types of session modes:
The second makes it possible to additionally use the computer’s local resources, including printers, disk drivers, additional screen resolutions, copy and paste between the base operating system, the system in the virtual machine, and so on.
If PIN authentication was selected during the initial setup of Windows 11, Advanced mode might not work. In this case, switch to “Basic” and disable the PIN-code entry. After that, “Advanced” should start.
Managing Hyper-V Virtual Machine Settings
To go to the settings of a Hyper-V virtual machine, select it, and then click on the “Hyper-V Settings” button in the menu on the right. The following options are available here:
- “Virtual hard disks” – setting the location of the hard disk;
- “Virtual machines” – configuring the location of the virtual machine;
- “NUMA Coverage” – the expansion of the used memory and other resources;
- Storage Migration – Storage Expansion;
- Accessibility Mode Policy – switching between basic and extended sessions;
- “Keyboard” – parameters for using the keyboard;
- Shortcut to Toggle – Select a modifier key for using traditional keyboard shortcuts;
- Uncheck boxes – resets the selection of the initial parameters of the virtual machine.