What I want

I want to run Windows 8.1 in a VM (on Hyper-V) with rich, 3D graphics (Direct3D) - using the host's graphics card. I.e. I want to use RemoteFX with vGPU for this VM.

My problem

Currently, my VM is only Windows Professional (8.1), whereas vGPU is (apparently) only supported on the Enterprise edition.
Now I would consider re-installing Windows Enterprise in a new VM (if necessary), however I do not have access to the installation disk. (My TechNet subscription expired recently, though the windows license keys are still valid.)
I do have the ISO for Win8.1 Pro. I also have the installation ISO for Win8.1 Enterprise for 32 bit (x86).

What I have

  • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, with a strong graphics card
  • VM with Windows 8.1 Professional
  • Additional Windows license key for Enterprise edition
  • Windows installation ISO for Professional only.
  • Windows installation ISO for Enterprise on x86.

For the record, I did run an experiment using the Enterprise Eval ISO, and the vGPU works wonderfully on my system. Unfortunately, it is impossible to upgrade the eval install to use a full license key (after 90 days a full reinstall is necessary).

What I am looking for

Optimistically, a valid solution would be any of the following:

  • Instructions on how to force Win8 Pro to change to Win8 Enterprise (using the valid Enterprise license key).
  • How to install ("hack") vGPU to work on Win8 Pro
  • Link to Win8.1 Enterprise x64 installation ISO (NOT evaluation - this cannot be upgraded to a full license). (As I mentioned, I have a legitimate license, but since my TechNet subscription expired I can't download a fresh ISO, as far as I can find).
  • How to upgrade Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation edition to a full Enterprise install (using a valid key).
  • Any other creative solution that I have not thought of, that will allow me to have a 64-bit Windows VM with vGPU.

I assume you had a Volume License agreement, since that is the only way for receiving Windows Enterprise serials.

There is no way to "convert" Pro to Enterprise, except by re-installation. There might be some illegal hacks floating around, but I wouldn't recommend them.

If you have a legal serial number for Windows Enterprise and you wish to use it for x64, you really need an x64 installation ISO. You can find one by searching on the Internet, which I prefer not to detail here.

However, I must remark that the serial number you have will not stay valid forever. My personal experience with an elapsed MSDN subscription was that after some time, a Windows installation using a serial number from that subscription announced itself as non-genuine.

My best recommendation is to renew the subscription you had. Using an elapsed subscription will only work on the short-term. Otherwise, you will need to recreate an Enterprise Evaluation VM every few months.

  • Thanks. My license is valid till far enough in the future, and while I may renew subscription down the line, right now it's not the option. My problem is, as I mentioned, that the only Enterprise x64 ISO I can find is the Eval ISO, and this after quite a bit of searching. MSDN / TechNet don't seem to offer that as a download, either - but please correct me if I'm wrong? – AviD Mar 7 '14 at 10:42
  • Your problem is that you have a serial but cannot download. Does this announcement pertain? If the subscription expired very recently, you might still be in the grace period when downloads are allowed. If you have the serial, you should also have the download. If not, use google or thepiratebay.org to search for a torrent (read comments on torrent to be safe) - if you have the right to use it then I don't think it's illegal. – harrymc Mar 7 '14 at 11:15
  • Thanks harrymc - even though you didnt really add anything I didn't know, you did encourage me to keep looking for the ISO in the iniquitious den of Internet, which I did eventually find a trustworthy one (verified by SHA1). So - thanks, bounty is yours! – AviD Mar 11 '14 at 10:42

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