Enabling wireless on Windows Server 2008 – and eventually allowing Hyper-V guests to use it

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A lot of you may probably ask why the need to enable wireless on a server operating system. Well, if you’re like me who runs a server operating system on a laptop for testing purposes, there’s a thousand and one reason why you would like to have it enabled. Now, since my Windows XP work-machine is now a virtual machine, I would need to have the wireless on my laptop enabled and working with Windows Server 2008. For this, you would need to install the Wireless LAN Service feature in Windows Server 2008. This article provides a detailed step-by-step procedure on enabling wireless on your Windows Server 2008. You just need to make sure that you have the appropriate Windows Server 2008 drivers for your wireless adapter or it won’t work.

But my dilemma didn’t stop there. I obviously don’t want to access the internet via the Windows Server 2008 platform. That’s what my Windows XP virtual machine is for. So what I did was to add an Internal virtual network using Hyper-V’s Virtual Network Manager. This will create another network adapter on the host operating system – in this case, Windows Server 2008. I’ve renamed this WiFi-Guest-Bridge. Next, I’ve added a network adapter on the Hyper-V guest and mapped it to this virtual network. Once, I’ve done both of these, I’ve bridged the wireless network adapter and the WiFi-Guest-Bridge network adapter, thereby, providing wireless connectivity to my Hyper-V guest.

Keith Combs provided a step-by-step procedure (with screenshots) on how to configure wireless networking with Hyper-V guests in his blog

It is very important to name your network adapters accordingly as Windows does a real good job of using a generic naming convention (i.e. Local Area Network x) which adds confusion especially if you are dealing with a ton of virtual networks from within a single Hyper-V (or other virtualization) platform