Included in the update for Windows 8.1 are some interesting new features for Client Hyper-V. For those using Client Hyper-V for ConfigMgr Hydration, there are a couple important changes to note.
The first one you will likely encounter is the new “Generation 2 Virtual Machine” support.
Of particular relevance for Hydration Kit users is the support for PXE booting with the standard network adapter (previously you had to add a Legacy network adapter to be able to PXE boot). Note that the Gen2 VMs only support Windows 8 x64 for clients, so if you’re still working with Windows 7 client deployment in your lab you’ll need to use a Gen1 VM and add the legacy adapter as before.
Another new feature that you’ll likely encounter is the new Enhanced Session Mode. This allows resource sharing between the host and guest operating systems (yes, we can finally directly copy and paste text like we’ve been doing with VMWare Workstation + VMTools for almost a decade), but it can present some confusing behavior during your Hydration Kit server builds. With Enhanced Session Mode enabled, it can appear as though the admin autologon for the full Windows portion of the Task Sequence is not quite working correctly…
…but switching back to Basic mode reveals that it’s still doing its job:
If you just fire off the Task Sequence and walk away, you’ll likely never notice until you come back later and it’s still showing the logon panel when in fact the Task Sequence has already completed:
The updates to Client Hyper-V are an overall net positive, but you definitely want to take note of the changes next time you rebuild your lab!