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John Paul Cook

Moving Virtual Machines to Hyper-V

The best tool for converting virtual machines to Hyper-V is System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which is available in October 2008. It has a physical to virtual (P2V) tool that works quite well. Unfortunately, it has to be installed on a domain joined machine, so it's not suitable for ad hoc, spur of the moment P2V conversions done by anyone, any time, anywhere. Sometimes you have just one virtual machine on Virtual PC or Virtual Server you need to migrate to Hyper-V. If you don't have a P2V tool, you have to recreate all of the settings because Hyper-V doesn't use vmc files.

Matthijs ten Seldam wrote a vmc converter utility to simplify the creation of settings for a Hyper-V virtual machine. Read about it here: You still have to deal with HAL issues, for which a complete article would be required to discuss in depth. If your virtual machine's operating system is Vista or 2008 Server, the HAL problem is easy to deal with because those operating systems have a new option in msconfig to force HAL detection. It's accessed by clicking the Advanced Options button on the Boot tab. You use this after booting your virtual machine in Hyper-V for the first time.

When you manually migrate a VPC or Virtual Server vm to Hyper-V, the basic approach is to do this:

  1. Copy the vhd and work with the copy.
  2. Uninstall the Virtual Machine Additions.
  3. Copy the modified vhd to the Hyper-V machine.
  4. Use the wizard to create a new virtual machine from the vhd or use the vmc converter.
  5. Resolve any HAL problems.
  6. Install Integration Services.

If you have access to SCVMM 2008 RTM, you can install it into a Hyper-V virtual machine if that is more convenient for you. You can even have it in its own virtual domain on your laptop or desktop. I find this approach more convenient and agile for ad hoc work than having it part of a production domain.

Published Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:26 AM by John Paul Cook

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a Data Platform Solution Architect working out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at a clinic that treats low income and uninsured patients. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.

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