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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.

2 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.

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