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Windows Sandbox on Hyper-V virtual machine

Windows Sandbox, first introduced just before Christmas in Insider build 18305 is off to a rough start. It works on some devices, but according to various tech sites and forums, the majority of users only get a splash screen (Sandbox doesn’t start). Using myself and my three Insider Fast Ring machines as a test case, Sandbox works on one of them, an older Asus laptop, but not on the two other devices, including a much newer HP laptop with better specifications.

Windows Sandbox requires a Type 1 hypervisor. Therefore, to run Sandbox on a virtual machine, nested virtualization must be enabled. Nested virtualization allows running Hyper-V on a virtual machine. In addition, it allows Windows Sandbox to run on a virtual machine.

In using Sandbox on a Hyper-V virtual machine instead of physical machine, there’s an added bonus: Sandbox discards each and every change made since its boot-up when it is shut down or closed, and does not allow the user to save its current state. Personally, I hope that future updates would bring a “Shut down saving changes” option. But in the meantime, running Sandbox on a virtual machine I can save snapshots of Sandbox using Hyper-V Standard Chekpoints. Simply set up Sandbox on a Hyper-V VM, and when you need to save the Sandbox current state, create a standard checkpoint for that VM. Note that production checkpoints do not save the current state of applications.

Here’s a video that shows how to enable nested virtualization on a Hyper-V virtual machine. This video originally posted on TenForums.com, where you’ll also find the small script it uses.

Unfortunately, Hyper-V nested virtualization works for Intel CPUs only. Sadly, AMD users cannot use this feature at the moment.


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

5 Responses “Windows Sandbox on Hyper-V virtual machine”

  1. Jim C
    March 3, 2019 at 14:14

    Not true. I run Sandbox now on Ryzen 1800!

    • March 3, 2019 at 18:29

      When Windows Sandbox was first introduced, it only worked on Intel processors. It now working also on AMD processors is a positive change.

  2. john patrick foley
    April 13, 2019 at 00:19

    So I have been trying to get sandbox to show up on my machine to no avail. First I installed the 18309 upgrade, and I already had hyper-v enabled (I7 quad core intel chips of a very recent generation) however the option does not show up on my windows features choices to enable (they way it does in all the instructional videos).

    The only thing out of the ordinary about this machine is that it was shipped with w10home and I did an anytime upgrade to pro.

    Any of you guru’s have any insight as to what it would take to get the choice enabled on the windows features panel, or do I need to find the command line powershell options to turn it on (I am assuming it downloaded with the upgrade to 18309…)

    Any guidance is appreciated

  3. x8009
    June 8, 2019 at 16:24


    Why when using Windows Sandbox with Threaripper 1950x I am getting error

    I have Nvidia 1080 GTX newest drivers , 1903 newest 145 build

    Creation of a virtual GPU on the adapter (0xffffd08254688000) failed with the status (3221225485), reason (DXGK_VGPU_FAILURE_IOMMU_ENABLE)

    I tried IOMMU Enabled in bios or Disabled, it is always the same, how can I give the windows sandbox access to the GPU drivers ?

  4. x8009
    June 29, 2019 at 19:30

    Creation of a virtual GPU on the adapter (0xffffac056bc4b000) failed with the status (3221226021), reason (DXGK_VGPU_FAILURE_IOMMU_ENABLE)

    Event Viewer in Custom Views Administrative Events

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