Running Hyper-V on My Laptop

I have been in pursuit of the ultimate demo/lab/dev configuration for my laptop for awhile now. I do a lot of work in SharePoint 2010, and I’m usually mobile. So I need a set up that lets me be totally mobile and doesn’t require network access.

After several design iterations, I’m pretty content with my latest setup:
Lenovo T400s, 8GB RAM
Two internal hard drives – 128 GB SSD drive and 500 GB Momentus XT

Windows 7 installed as my OS, but I can native boot into a Microsoft virtual hard drive (VHD) running Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. This set up runs Hyper-V on bare metal – as if I installed on my computer. It uses less than 500MB of RAM, which leaves ~7.5GB for virtual machines.

So I can run the Contoso VM image1 (SharePoint 2010) and image2 (Exchange server) and still have RAM for a third machine. Plus, I can take snapshots and quickly save and start lots of VMs, without rebooting.

I’m also going to test VMare Workstation running on Windows 7 to see which experience I like best. Even if I choose to go with VMWare, I’ll still use the native boot to Hyper-V periodically. It’s awesome having a full blown Hyper-V server any time I need one.

Special thanks to and for posting so many great articles about doing this kind of set up.