Import Exported VMs from 2008 to 2012 R2

Import Exported VMs from 2008 to 2012 R2

Understand import options from a 2008 VM export.

Q. Can I import Hyper-V VMs exported from 2008 to Hyper-V running on 2012 R2?

A. The Windows Server 2012 R2 version of Hyper-V cannot import an export from a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V server. Windows Server 2012 can import an export from 2008, so one option would be:

  • Export the VMs from 2008.
  • Import to 2012 Hyper-V.
  • Export from 2012 Hyper-V.
  • Import to 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

This is obviously not ideal. Another option is use the fact that 2012 R2 Hyper-V can read the configuration format from 2008 Hyper-V. This means another approach not using export would be:

  • Shut down the VMs on the 2008 server.
  • Stop the VMMS.exe process.
  • Copy all the VM files including the XML, VHD and any AVHD files to the 2012 R2 Hyper-V server.
  • Import the VMs into the 2012 R2 Hyper-V server. This is possible as, from 2012 and above, Hyper-V can import VMs using the base files without first being exported.
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