Is Virtual Server using hardware virtualization on your computer?

Unfortunately under Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 it is not very easy to tell whether your physical computer really supports hardware virtualization, and whether Virtual Server is actually using it.  So – to help out – I am here to tell you the painful and annoying way to determine this information:

  1. Enable hardware virtualization on a virtual machine (under General properties).
  2. Start the virtual machine. 
  3. Open PerfMon
  4. Select to look at the ‘HVM-VP is in HVM mode’ counter under the ‘Virtual Processors’ object. 

If this is reporting 0 – then Virtual Server is not able to use hardware virtualization on your computer.  If this is reporting 1 – then Virtual Server is able to use hardware virtualization on your computer.  If you believe that your system should support hardware virtualization, but PerfMon is reporting otherwise some things to check are:

  1. Make sure that hardware virtualization support is enabled in your BIOS (you may even need a BIOS update for this).
  2. Make sure that your CPU really does support hardware virtualization – there are a number of CPUs out there where there are editions that do and do not support hardware virtualization.

Note – that on most computers the ‘Virtual Processors’ performance object will not appear the first time that you try to add a counter under Perfmon.  If you try to add a counter and do not see this option – just close the ‘Add counters’ dialog and try to add a counter again – it should appear the second time.