By | October 8, 2017

Compare between Hyper-V Generation 1 and 2 Virtual Machines –

  • Windows 2012 R2  Hyper-V introduced a new virtual machine type: Generation 2. So we will discuss- What are the generations?
  • What can the new generation do for you? 
  • Are there any reasons not to use it?

We are going to start with an overview of two virtual machine types separately:-

When you Create a new VM in Windows 2012R2 or later you will see to specify generations.

See differences in G1 and G2 what added and what removed-

Removed: BIOS firmware, network adapter (based on Intel/Tulip 21140), IDE, floppy, DMA, i8042 keyboard, PS/2 mouse controllers, S3 video, PIT, PIC, Super I/O, PCI bus, speaker and more

Added: UEFI firmware, SCSI controller, new software-based DVD device and new network controller
        Difference between Generation1 and Generation 2 properties in the above snapshot.

Benefits of generation 2 VM:

  • Less attack surface and better security
  • Less resources consumption in the parent partition of the hypervisor
  • Faster guest OS boot and guest OS installation because no emulation needs to be done (UEFI firmware initializes faster than BIOS and generation 2 VM always use VM bus for I/O)
  • New functionality for VMs: Secure boot (enabled by default), boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk, boot from a SCSI virtual DVD, PXE boot by using a standard network adapter, and UEFI firmware support

Disadvantages:

  • Generation 2 VMs can’t be used as virtual desktop templates

  • No support of RemoteFX

  • Limited support for guest OS: Only 64-bit versions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and higher (Linux family was not supported at the very beginning, but the situation has changed since then. Read more relevant information on Microsoft  here.)

I don’t expect that many people will deploy the G2 VM on WS2012 R2 as the norm, but I could be wrong.  Why?
  • You cannot convert a VM between G1 and G2.  That is a UEFI and MBT/GPT thing.

  • You must use 64-bit editions of Windows 8/Windows Server 2012 or later.

Windows guest operating system support:

The following table shows which 64-bit versions of Windows you can use as a guest operating system for generation 1 and generation 2 virtual machines. 

64-bit versions of Windows Generation 1 Generation 2
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008
Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7

The following table shows which 32-bit versions of Windows you can use as a guest operating system for generation 1 and generation 2 virtual machines.

32-bit versions of Windows Generation 1 Generation 2
Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7
Thanks,
TechieFocus Team,

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