How to Install Windows Vista using Hyper-V

Could you still use the old Windows Vista? Even though Microsoft doesn’t officially help with it anymore. However, you can still use Windows Vista on your computer with a unique tool called Hyper-V.

We’ll show you how to put it up in this article. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or need to use some old software that only runs on Vista, we’ve got you covered!

Installing Windows Vista using Hyper-V

Credit: Microsoft

The Rise and Fall of Windows Vista: A Look Back at Microsoft’s Revolutionary Operating System

On January 30, 2007, Microsoft showed off its new computer system named Windows Vista. It had some neat new features, like a stylish design called Aero, a different start button, and fast ways to find important things.

However, some folks found that Vista made their old computers work slower and needed help blocking lousy software. To solve these issues, Microsoft put out a significant update.

Even with the fixes, Microsoft stopped giving direct help to Vista on April 10, 2012. It destroyed even more help on April 11, 2017. If you’re still using Vista, you might run into some issues since it’s not getting any more support.

Installing Windows Vista in Hyper-V

If you’ve got an old computer with old parts and you want to use an old system on it, you can do that using something called a virtual machine. You can either watch this video that shows you how or follow the steps we’ve written here. Just do what the instructions say, and you’ll be able to get that old system running on your computer smoothly.

  1. To run Hyper-V software on your Windows 10, go to where you can turn things on or off in Windows, choose Hyper-V, click OK, and restart your computer once it’s done installing.
  2. Look for and open the Hyper-V Client software from the start menu. Once you’re in the Hyper-V Manager, make sure to create an External Switch that you’ll need for guest machines before you install Windows. The Default Switch links virtual computers to your home network using a NAT adapter, but sometimes it can mess with your network. So, click on the Virtual Switch Manager tool in the Actions part to make an External Switch instead.
  3. Select “External” in the Virtual Switch Manager, then press the “Create Virtual Switch” button. Once you’ve done that, pick “External Network” as one of its options. Choose your computer’s Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter, and then press OK to close the window.
  4. To make a virtual computer, do these steps. First, click on the “Actions” button. Then, pick “New” from the menu that shows up. Lastly, select “Virtual Machine” from the list. This lets you make a new virtual machine that you can set up however you want.
  5. When you see the “Before You Begin” window, click the “Next” button to start manually making your VM. This kicks off the process and lets you adjust your virtual machine settings to fit your needs.
  6. In the “Specify Name and Location” window, type the name of the operating system you want in the “Name” box. Then, if you’re going to save the virtual machine in an external place, click “Browse” and pick the folder on your external storage device where you want to put it.
  7. In the Specify Generation window, you’ll see two things: Generation 1 and Generation 2. Generation 1 is for older Windows, such as Vista, and it uses BIOS. Generation 2 is for newer software like Windows 10, and it uses UEFI. Since Vista doesn’t work with UEFI, pick Generation 1 for BIOS.
  8. In the “Assign Memory” window, you need to decide how much RAM to give to your virtual system. If you’re going to run lots of virtual machines at the same time in Hyper-V, you can turn on Dynamic Memory. This helps you use your computer’s resources better among all the virtual machines. But if you’re only running one virtual PC, don’t use Dynamic Memory. Instead, uncheck it and give the VM a fixed size of 4096 MB, which is 4 GB.
  9. If you don’t want to pick a network adapter in the “Configure Networking” window, you can just skip that part and go to the next step. But remember, this might mean you won’t be able to connect well or at all to the network.
  10. In the “Connect Virtual Hard Disk” window, you can change how big or small the virtual hard disk is, depending on what you need. By default, Hyper-V gives the Windows Vista virtual machine a disk space of 127GB. But you can change it to the recommended minimum of 50GB.
  11. In the “Installation Options” window, pick the option that says “Install an operating system from a bootable image file.” This lets you add a Windows Vista ISO file to the virtual machine. Just hit the “Browse” button and choose the image file you downloaded on your PC.
  12. In the “Summary” window, you’ll see all the settings for your virtual computer. If there’s something you want to change, you can go back to the previous screens. When you’re happy with everything, click “Finish” to close the wizard.
  13. After making the Windows Vista virtual PC, go into its settings. Then, change the number of virtual processors to 4 or more, depending on how strong your computer is.
  14. Since Vista is an old system, it doesn’t work with the new adapter card that Hyper-V sets up by default. This means you won’t be able to connect to the Internet or your local network. To fix this, go into the VM settings, delete the current network adapter, and add a Legacy Network Adapter using the “Add Hardware” option. Then, choose the External Switch you made earlier for this Legacy Network Adapter.
  15. To start installing Windows Vista, click on the Start button. This will connect your system to your guest OS and let you begin the installation.


To sum up, even though Microsoft doesn’t give direct help to Windows Vista anymore, you can still use it with Hyper-V. Just follow the steps we talked about in this article, and you can set up a virtual machine to run it on your PC, even if it’s old.

Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or need to use old software that only works on it, Microsoft’s VTx software can help you out. So, if you’re missing Microsoft Vista, why not give it a shot with Hyper-V?

If you want to test a newer Windows version on a VM, you can read our article about installing Windows 8 on Hyper-V. It was a big deal for Microsoft because it had a new interface made for touchscreens and other cool stuff. Our guide shows you how to make a virtual machine and put it on it using Hyper-V. That way, you can try out its features yourself, even if your computer setup is different.

Also, if you want to run an even older PC system than Vista on your device, have a look at our guide about installing Windows 2000 on Hyper-V.

Copyright © 2018 - 2024