Setting up Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 in a workgroup

Setting up Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 in a workgroup

All of Microsoft’s server stuff is designed to work within an already existing Active Directory environment. Most home users don’t have an Active Directory server, unless you are running SAMBA 4 or higher (Linux product, advanced users only). So additional configuration is needed to get server products running and talking to eachother in a Workgroup environment.

Three main steps here

A) Setup Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 to accept connections
B) Setup Remote Server Management on desktop machine
C) Setup Hyper-V Management on desktop machine

  1. Add Local Administrator whose name and password match your user account on your desktop
  2. Configure Domain/Workgroup to match that of your home Workgroup (default is probably fine)
  3. Change computer name to something recognizable (like “hypervserv”)
  4. Configure/enable remote management
  5. Enable all clients Remote Desktop
  6. Disable firewall* using this command line (works in cmd.exe or powershell) netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off
  7. Download and install Windows 8 Remote Server Management (not yet avalible for Windows 8.1 but it should be by October 18th)
  8. Edit your desktop hosts file AS ADMINISTRATOR in notepad. Add your hyperv server to %windir%\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file via notepad. It should look something like hypervserv

For whatever reason microsoft server products will NOT connect via IP, you MUST use server names. Make sure you save it as “all files” “hosts” file and not as a “hosts.txt” file.

9. Open powershell AS ADMINISTRATOR and enter this command. If you don’t you will get an error like “WinRM Negotiate authentication error”

Set-Item wsman:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts hypervserv -Concatenate -Force

10. To setup Hyper-V manager with workgroups, Run


as administrator
-Right click My computer under Component Services\Computers
-Select COM Security, Edit Limits under Access Permissions
-Check “allow” for “Remote Access” on both ANONYMOUS LOGON and ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES
11. Restart Hyper-V manager

And you should be good now. If anything doesn’t work, make sure you are running powershell/notepad/etc as administrator and not as local user.

*Yes, really! If this is a production environment, don’t do this, but this is for a home user on a workgroup who doesn’t have Active Directory setup. Once everything is working you can turn it back on

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21 Responses to Setting up Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 in a workgroup

  1. admin says:

    Was unable to login to my Hyper-V server the other day. I was able to login using my administrator account, but my local user logon (which was mirrored on Hyper-V) could not get in, I was locked out of Hyper-V Manager and was getting RPC errors. Turns out my local user password had expired(!). A quick command line fixed the issue:

    “Cannot connect to the RPC service on computer…” because my credentials on the server had expired. Change the account security policy on the server to prevent password from expiring. The command is:


  2. Kev says:

    Hi, thanks for the great info, howeverm i have a few questions.
    I log into my win8.1 laptop with my MS account which is basically my email address. How can you mirror THAT account on the hyper-v server? It won’t allow the @ symbol and suchlike.

    Also, as this is the only account on my laptop how can i amend my hosts file as admin? Or do i specifically have to enable the built-in admin account purely for this purpose?


  3. Benny Badyrer says:

    Goto “ComputerManager/Local Users and Groups” here you can see the “real” name of the MS Online User. It is usally NAME_000.
    Works with Win 8.1 Pro.

  4. admin says:

    ..Can you be more specific? what error message? Did you follow all of the steps exactly? I just setup a new Hyper-V server this way today and re-used my instructions no problem.

  5. uwka77 says:


    (Set-Item wsman:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts hypervserv -Concatenate -Force)

  6. Craig says:

    Thanks for these instructions. After following all your directions, I kept getting Access Denied in Server Manager, Hyper-V Manager, etc. I found out if your user account on your Windows 8.1 desktop is a Microsoft account it won’t match up with the local account created on the server with the same name. So on the Windows 8.1 machine, I enabled the Administrator account and set it to the same password as the Administrator account on the Hyper-V server. Then, right click on Server Manager (or any of the Administrator Tools) while holding down the shift key and select run as a different user. Then enter Administrator and the username and your password. Everything now works as expected.

  7. Doug says:

    A year and a half after publication, this is still one of the most useful articles around regarding basic Hyper-V setup; I probably turn to it once a month. Thanks for publishing it.

  8. William Thompson says:

    I have installed hyper-v Windows Server 2012 R2 onto a Windows 8.1 Pro machine. When I start Windows 2012, it boots to both C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe screen and a C:\Windows\system32\sconfig.cmd screen.
    I have set the sever configuration as described above: same workgroup as 8.1 pro, renamed the computer, enabled remote management, setup auto update enabled remote desktop, and chose the index number for the network that gave me network access.
    However, there is no GUI interface, and I assume that requires a server role? I am doing this for the first time, and from what I have read, this requires me to select in server manager, “Remote Administration Tools”, “Hyper-V Management Tools”, which includes the hyper-v GUI management tools and hyper-v module for windows power shell. I also read, do not select “Hyper-v Role”. Is this what I have to do to get the 2012 R2 server up and running in a GUI interface?

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  10. Ronald says:

    OMG thank you!
    fantastic write up.

  11. Pingback: Hyper V 2012 R2 initial setup in workgroup env | Sathishkumar M

  12. Sathish says:

    Thanks buddy, its worked for me.
    But i have a doubt…
    Running Hyper V manager with Run as different user should work, and i used to work like that.(Both server and client should match the credential used to connect)
    But in this case it failed and your trick is works. May i know the real fact??

  13. Sebastian says:

    Hi it helps me a lot. I can connect throught remote desktop but have error when i am trying to connect by hyperv manager. It’s authorization error and message box send me to gpedit? Can You help in this cause? Thank You

  14. Tom says:

    Thanks for this article, there’s no way I’d have puzzled that out on my own.
    I assume that it’s a lot easier to set up in a domain environment?

  15. Andrew says:

    Thanks, this is great if you do not have a domain.
    just an FYI, using the Windows 10 Hyper-V management tools to connect to a Hyper-V 2012 server, I needed one final additional step:
    winrm s winrm/config/client ‘@{TrustedHosts=”RemoteComputer”}’
    Thanks again

  16. Jerimiah Ham says:

    Hey, thanks for this. It took me a few tries to figure out when the steps switched from things you do on HVS2012 to what you do on the 8.1Pro machine. Maybe you could break that down more clearly in the post for other folks? Thanks. :-)

  17. Pingback: Setting Up Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 in a Workgroup | What have I done today?

  18. pj says:

    On a 2012r2 hyper-v core setup, I kept getting “you do not have access rights to logical disk manager” error and errors connecting with hyper-v manager from a Windows 8.1 client.

    This from your instructions solved for me:
    goto start/run type dcomcnfg, right click it and run as administrator.
    Component Services\Computers right click “my computer” click properties
    -Select COM Security tab, then “Edit Limits” button under “Access Permissions”
    -Check “allow” for “Remote Access” on both ANONYMOUS LOGON and ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES
    Restart “Hyper-V Manager” and or “Computer Management”

    I can now connect from “Hyper-V Manager” and “Computer Management”. Thank you so much, hours and hours spent on this.

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  20. Cocksy says:

    Thanks for the guide – I’m starting out with Hyper-V server for the first time and struggling here a little!

    I’m trying to find my username in Windows 10 (I use my email & MS account to log on) to use as the admin details for the server. In ComputerManager/Local Users and Groups I can see my MS account, but nothing that looks like “NAME_000″. Any ideas?

    Also, if you could make it slightly easier to differentiate between actions on the server and on the client PC that would be awesome too!!

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