How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (2023)

One of the many benefits of virtualization is the ability to easily move an entire operating environment from one location to another, such as during the Hyper-V virtual machine import process. Hyper-V includes several mechanisms for this portability. As mentioned, one of them is the export/import system, which creates an offline copy of a virtual machine. In 2008 R2 and earlier versions of Hyper-V, the import system was quite vulnerable. It has been drastically improved in Server 2012. Some functionality has been lost from 2012 R2, but the process is nearly foolproof. The same process can still be found today in the current version of Hyper-V, on Windows Server 2022.

Import a Hyper-V Virtual Machine

First, you need a Hyper-V source virtual machine. Windows Server 2012 lets you import a virtual machine that wasn't exported first. However, it's worth noting, per Microsoft's latest guidance,Exporting and Importing Virtual Machines | Microsoft documents, it is recommended to first export the Hyper-V virtual machine from the source Hyper-V environment using the export process before importing it. This guide has been updated for Windows Server 2022 and also covers previous versions. The Hyper-V VM export process creates all the necessary files, for example, B. Hyper-V VMCX import file, which contains the virtual machine configuration information. Microsoft's guide mentions that you don't need to export if you're importing to the same Hyper-V host. In most situations, you'll want to do the proper export first. For a basic Hyper-V virtual machine import, perform the following steps for Hyper-V Manager virtual machine import:

  1. In Hyper-V Manager, in the left pane, select (highlight) the host that will own the imported virtual machine.

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (1)

    select host

  2. Right click on the host and selectimport virtual machine🇧🇷 Alternatively, you can find the same entry onBehaviorRightmost area:

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (2)

    import menu option

  3. Whatimport virtual machineThe wizard will appear. The first screen is informational only. clicknext.
  4. You will be presented with thebrowse folderThe page where you enter or find the location of the virtual machine files. This screen can be very confusing. To keep it as simple as possible, note that the wizard looks for an .xml file that describes a virtual machine. The specified folder is searched. If the specified folder is avirtual machinesSubfolder, look there too. After selecting a font, clicknext.

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (3)

    import source folder

    (Video) How to import a virtual machine in Hyper V Manager

  5. What happens on the next screen depends on whether or not an importable virtual machine is detected in the target location.
    1. If a suitable virtual machine is found, its name will appear and can be selected. When you see the virtual machine you want to import, highlight it and click on itnext.
    2. If no suitable virtual machine is found, you will get a somewhat misleading error message statingCould not find folder <folder name> Virtual Machines. You may not have permission to access it.In this case, the named folder doesn't actually exist, but it isn't the folder I specified either. I just told him to look at C:\Exports. If you didn't find an XML file there, did you try to find onevirtual machinessubfolders. Not finding that either, generated the error. What makes it even more confusing is that even though the folder exists, you get the same message when the only problem is that no suitable XML was found.

      How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (5)

      No VM source folder found

  6. If you found a suitable virtual machine in step 5, it will now showChoose import typeScreen. The "Import Types" discussion section that follows these steps describes what the options mean. Make your selection and clicknext.

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (6)

    import type

  7. If you chose one of the twoTo restoreoCopyIn step 6, the next screen will ask where you want to place each virtual machine component. If you do nothing on this screen, the files will be saved to the host's default location. Make your selection and clicknext.

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (7)

    (Video) How to import a Hyper V virtual machine in Windows 10

    import destinations

  8. also for themTo restoreoCopyOptions In step 6, you will be asked where to place the virtual disks. They will all be placed in the folder you choose here, but you can use [Live] Storage Migration to make adjustments later.

    How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (8)

    Import destination virtual disk locations

  9. The final screen is a summary that allows you to review your options. Click Back to make adjustments or Finish to start the process. If you choose the Restore option, the import will be almost instantaneous. Otherwise, you will have to wait while the files are copied to the destination. Once this is complete, the virtual machine will appear in Hyper-V Manager on the host you originally selected. Note that the process of importing a virtual machine into Hyper-V Server is the same as importing it into Windows Server with the Hyper-V role installed.

Notes on Importing Hyper-V

The import process is fairly easy when everything is in order, but there are a few issues.

  • The native import process in 2012 R2 only works with virtual machines created or running in 2012 or 2012 R2. The 2012 import process is the most versatile, accepting virtual machines from 2008 through 2012 R2. It didn't explain why Microsoft disabled the import process in newer versions. If you want to import a pre-2012 virtual machine, you must use a 2012 host.
  • export and importthey canIt can be used as a backup, but it lacks functionality compared to real backup apps. When used for backup, it is best applied to virtual machines that only need a single backup instance. An example would be a software firewall implementation that is more or less stationary.
  • In 2008 R2 and earlier, the import process required an EXP file created by the export process only. The EXP file is no longer used and the "Export" operation is primarily a copy of the file.
  • Satisfiedvirtual machine filesthey are not changed except to reflect required localization or VMID changes. If this is not handled correctly, it can lead to the same problems faced by cloned operating systems.
  • As indicated in the steps, all virtual disks of the imported virtual machine are placed in the same location. If you have issues with your storage space that could cause problems, you have two options:
    • Place all virtual disks in the largest available space. When the import is complete, use [live] storage migration to move the files as needed.
    • If the export and import are on the same system, you can take one or more disks offline before exporting the original. The import process will not recognize them. After importing the virtual machine, reconnect the disks.
  • In 2012 R2 and earlier, your credentials only control whether or not you can start the import. It is the Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS.EXE) on the import host that performs the operation. noaccess deniededucateThe errors you get will be because of thisComputer scienceon the import host does not have the necessary permissions.

import types

In step 6 of the steps, you will be asked what type of import to perform. How you respond depends on the state of your source files and your goals.

Register the virtual machine locally (use existing unique ID)

With this option none of the source files are moved or modified in any way. A symbolic link is created in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines pointing to the real virtual machine XML file (this behavior changes in the Windows 10/2016 codebase - I don't know, how are your virtual machines are registered).

Direct registration is the preferred option when a virtual machine has been unregistered from the Hyper-V host in some way, for example B. if the symbolic link has been corrupted or destroyed by an antivirus application or a live migration procedure with failure. This is also the preferred option when manually copying files from a backup to the final destination. If you don't want to run the new virtual machine where the source files are located, choose another option. Choose local restore if:

  • Source files need not remain unchanged.
  • The imported virtual machine is the only active copy of that particular virtual machine.
  • The source location is suitable for running a virtual machine on the specified host.

Hyper-V and many applications that are aware of Hyper-V virtual machines (such as the Altaro Backup for Hyper-V product) track virtual machines by their ID. As specified in the option text, in-place registration does not change this ID.

Recover virtual machine (use existing unique ID)

The main difference between this option and the Register Virtual Machine Locally option is that all files are copied from the specified source location to the specified destination location. Hyper-V runs the imported virtual machine from this destination folder. In an abstract sense, the VMMS needs permissions to copyonethat location for the import to work, so this feature is a positive sign that you will likely be able to load a virtual machine from that location as well. Specifically, this is not a guarantee. Be sure to check permissions.

Restore is an ideal option when importing from a manual backup location that stores copies of virtual machines in their working format (most backup software does not store backup copies of virtual machines this way). Choose recovery if:

(Video) How To Export and Import Virtual Machines Using Hyper V

  • You want to keep the source files unchanged.
  • The imported virtual machine is the only active copy of that particular virtual machine.
  • The source location is not suitable for running a virtual machine (for example, a NAS that only supports SMB 2 protocol).

The note at the end of the Direct Registration section about the VM ID applies to recovery.

Copy the virtual machine (create a new unique ID)

The third option makes the most changes. Copies the files from the source to the specified destination, but also modifies the XML file and virtual machine files and folders to use a new VMID. Much of what was said in the Restore section applies to the new target.

Copying the virtual machine is a good decision if you really need to duplicate the virtual machine. The ID changes, so ID-aware applications like Altaro Backup for Hyper-V see it as a completely new virtual machine. Use the Copy option when any of the following conditions are true:

  • You want to keep the source files unchanged.
  • You want the virtual machine to co-exist with the virtual machine it was copied from.
  • You want any software outside or inside the virtual machine to treat the copy as a new instance of the operating system.

Applications within the copy, including Windows Server, can detect that a change has occurred. It is treated as a hardware change, similar to restoring to a new computer. What doesn't happen is a change in guest operating system identifiers. Windows SID is not changed and computer names are not changed. IP addresses are preserved. SSL certificates are not modified. While copying a virtual machine is certainly a powerful tool, consider using generalization tools likesystem preparationbefore export.

To involve

make oneThe Hyper-V virtual machine import process has many options and several considerations to make. In the process of importing Hyper-V virtual machines, it is good practice to correctly export the virtual machine from the source Hyper-V environment before importing the VM to the target Hyper-V environment.

There are three types of Hyper-V import to import virtual machines, including: register in place, restore virtual machine and copy virtual machine. The three types of Hyper-V import virtual machines have different characteristics as mentioned above that IT administrators should be aware of during the process of importing Hyper-V virtual machines.

Importing other types of media, such as B. VMware VMDK files, requires using a third-party tool or something like System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to perform the disk conversion process. However, IT administrators have several options for the Hyper-V virtual machine import process that allow them to migrate virtual machines from one Hyper-V environment to another.

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(Video) Hyper V Tutorials - 4 - How to Import Virtual Machine to Hyper V

How to import a Hyper-V virtual machine (9)

(Video) Import .vhdx into Hyper-V as Virtual Machine


Can you import a Hyper-V VM into VMware? ›

Step 1: Hyper-V source VM options

Open VMware convertor and click on the Convert Machine box as shown to the left. This will open the VMware convertor wizard. Set source type to "Remote Windows machine". Continue and fill in the access details for the source Hyper-V machine to be converted, as shown below.

How do I transfer a virtual machine to another computer? ›

Just make sure the VM is shut down cleanly (not suspended) and then copy the complete folder with all files to the other system. There you can open the VM (the vmx file) and run it again. VMware may ask you whether the VM was moved or copied. If you don't want to bother with networking (in the VM) select "I moved it".

How do I access a Hyper-V virtual machine from another computer? ›

Manage Hyper-V hosts remotely. To manage remote Hyper-V hosts, enable remote management on both the local computer and remote host. On Windows Server, open Server Manager >Local Server >Remote management and then click Allow remote connections to this computer.

How do I move a Hyper-V virtual machine without exporting it first? ›

Solved: How to move a Hyper-V virtual machine without Exporting...
  1. Stop or shut down your VM (you cannot save its state!)
  2. Once it is stopped browse to the folder “C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsHyper-VVirtual Machines”
  3. Then move the VM to the new folder or rename the folder (do your thing).
14 Mar 2012

How do I export a Hyper-V virtual machine to another server? ›

Export a Virtual Machine
  1. In Hyper-V Manager, right-click the virtual machine and select Export.
  2. Choose where to store the exported files, and click Export.
7 Jan 2022

Is Hyper-V the same as virtual machine? ›

Hyper-V is Microsoft's hardware virtualization product. It lets you create and run a software version of a computer, called a virtual machine. Each virtual machine acts like a complete computer, running an operating system and programs.

Can virtual machines be copied? ›

VMware allows users to create either a clone or a snapshot of a virtual machine. A snapshot preserves the current state of a virtual machine, copying the VM's disk file. It is used for backup purposes.

How do I move a virtual machine to a physical machine? ›

How V2P works
  1. Identify the target physical machine to which the VM will be migrated.
  2. Verify the compatibility of hardware and software on the VM and target physical machine.
  3. List the hardware components of the target machine.
  4. Identify which drivers would be required by viewing devices in the registry.

How do I make a copy of a virtual machine? ›

To clone a VM with the Workstation clone VM wizard, select the VM from Workstation's inventory and click the Manage option from the drop-down menu. Then, select the Clone option. Select the desired VM in Workstation, click 'Manage' and then 'Clone. '

Is Hyper-V Server still free? ›

While Microsoft has discontinued the Hyper-V Free SKU, they are still allowing you to purchase Windows Server 2022 and install the Hyper-V role to get the features you're used to.

How do I connect to a virtual machine using an IP address? ›

Connect to VM

On the Bastion Connect page, for IP address, enter the private IP address of the target VM. Adjust your connection settings to the desired Protocol and Port. Enter your credentials in Username and Password. Select Connect to connect to your virtual machine.

How do I export and import a virtual machine from Hyper-V? ›

Using Hyper-V Manager
  1. Open Hyper-V Manager.
  2. Right-click the VM from the list. ...
  3. Select Export to open the Export Virtual Machine wizard.
  4. Click Browse to specify the location to which the VM should be exported.
  5. Monitor the progress of the Hyper-V Export operation in the Status column.
23 May 2022

Can I copy a Hyper-V virtual machine? ›

You can directly clone a Hyper-V VM with Windows Admin Center, but it is still recommended to get to know the way to make a Hyper-V template with Hyper-V Manager.

How do I transfer Hyper-V files? ›

  1. Quick Navigation:
  2. Right-click the folder, then select Properties >> Sharing >> Share. ...
  3. Click Share. ...
  4. Open a Hyper-V virtual machine, open This PC, select Add a network location to this VM, and paste the path of the shared folder into the box, and click Finish.
21 Jun 2022

What is Hyper-V migration? ›

Live migration is a Hyper-V feature in Windows Server. It allows you to transparently move running Virtual Machines from one Hyper-V host to another without perceived downtime. The primary benefit of live migration is flexibility; running Virtual Machines are not tied to a single host machine.

How do I copy a VM to another region? ›

Clone Azure VM with applications (in another region)
  1. I've shutdown the VM1.
  2. create a snapshot of the Disk1 related to the VM1.
  3. create a new disk2 from the snapshot.
  4. create new VM2 with the new Disk2 in new region and new network.
  5. I can access the VM but no applications installed.
5 Jul 2022

How do I install Microsoft Hyper-V? ›

Right click on the Windows button and select 'Apps and Features'. Select Programs and Features on the right under related settings. Select Turn Windows Features on or off. Select Hyper-V and click OK.

Is IT better to use Hyper-V or VirtualBox? ›

If you are in a Windows-only environment, Hyper-V is the only option. But if you are in a multiplatform environment, then you can take advantage of VirtualBox and run it on any operating systems of your choice.

Can I install Hyper-V in VirtualBox? ›

Oracle VM VirtualBox can be used on a Windows host where Hyper-V is running. This is an experimental feature. No configuration is required. Oracle VM VirtualBox detects Hyper-V automatically and uses Hyper-V as the virtualization engine for the host system.

How do I clone a virtual machine to a physical real computer? ›

Convert VM to physical with AOMEI Backupper
  1. Connect a USB drive to your computer. Then, set in the VM console to make the USB flash drive detected by the VM.
  2. Install and run AOMEI Backupper on your virtual machine. ...
  3. Click Backup > System Backup to create a system backup image of your virtual machine.
18 Oct 2022

What happens when you clone a VM? ›

Cloning a virtual machine creates a virtual machine that is a copy of the original. The new virtual machine is configured with the same virtual hardware, installed software, and other properties that were configured for the original virtual machine.

Does virtual machine have its own physical hardware? ›

Overview. A virtual machine (VM) is a virtual environment that functions as a virtual computer system with its own CPU, memory, network interface, and storage, created on a physical hardware system (located off- or on-premises).

Can you transfer files from VM to local machine? ›

You can also copy files and directories from a VM to your local workstation. The following example recursively copies a directory from your VM (the source) to your local workstation (the destination).

What is the difference between VM and physical machine? ›

Virtual machines can seamlessly be moved between different hosts while the virtual machine is running. Since virtual machines are simply a set of files on shared storage rather than a set of physical hardware, this allows easy mobility and changing of their compute/memory ownership.

How do I create a virtual machine from an existing installation? ›

How to convert physical machines to virtual – Disk2VHD
  1. Download Disk2vhd utility.
  2. Run Disk2vhd on the physical server you are converting.
  3. Convert disk(s) to VHDX format and copy it to Hyper-V host.
  4. Create a new VM on a Hyper-V host.
  5. Insert the created disk.
  6. Run a VM and enjoy it.
  7. See also.

Is Microsoft killing Hyper-V? ›

The good news is that Hyper-V Server 2019 is going to continue to be supported until its extended support lifecycle runs out in 2029.

Can I install Hyper-V without Windows? ›

No, that's not possible. Hyper-V alone is not functional – it is just a hypervisor and has no way to boot your VMs on its own. Even though the "host" Windows 10 system runs inside the hypervisor, it's the one which provides all VM configuration, storage, networking, and emulated hardware.

Is Hyper-V as good as VMware? ›

Both the products offer different features and benefits based on your requirements. If you have handled a large organization and want to manage a wider virtual ecosystem, you can use VMware Workstation, but if you are a small or medium scale business, then selecting Hyper-V can be effective.

How do I connect my virtual machine to the base? ›

  1. Configure a static IP address.
  2. Modify the default login password for the virtual machine.
  3. Modify the keyboard layout.
  4. Learn about the Bitnami Configuration Tool.
  5. Enable desktop access.
  6. Install VirtualBox Guest Additions.
  7. Configure the application's IP address or hostname.
  8. Install Webmin.
10 Oct 2022

Is virtual address same as IP address? ›

What are virtual IP addresses? Virtual IP addresses are IP addresses that are not tethered to particular machines. Thus, they can rotate among nodes in a Content Gateway cluster. It is common for a single machine to represent multiple IP addresses on the same subnet.

How do I connect a virtual machine to a local machine? ›

Connect virtual machines to the internet
  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. ...
  2. Select the server in the left pane, or click "Connect to Server..." in the right pane.
  3. In Hyper-V Manager, select Virtual Switch Manager... from the 'Actions' menu on the right.
  4. Under the 'Virtual Switches' section, select New virtual network switch.
25 Apr 2022

Can you import VHDX into VMware? ›

If you want to create a virtual machine using a virtual disk converted from the VHD (VHDX) format to the VMDK format in VMware Workstation, just create a new VM (or open an existing VM if you want to add a converted virtual disk as an additional virtual disk) and select that you wish to use an existing virtual disk.

Can VMware coexist Hyper-V? ›

VMware Workstation version 15.5. 5 and anything above should be compatible to run together with Hyper-V as long as the 'Windows Hypervisor Platform' is also enabled, as VMware Workstation is then able to use these API's to work alongside Hyper-V.

Does VMware Workstation work with Hyper-V? ›

VMware Workstation and Hyper-V are not compatible. Remove the Hyper-V role from the system before running VMware Workstation. VMware Workstation and Device/Credential Guard are not compatible.

How do I mount a VHDX file in VMWare? ›

You can use VMWare Converter with a workaround.
  1. Mount the VHD in Windows.
  2. Start VMWare Converter.
  3. Select Convert Machine and choose Powered On.
  4. Select This local machine.
  5. On the next page you can select the parameters you want to convert. ...
  6. Copy the vdmk from the new folder to new destination of the future VM.
12 Jun 2013

Does Hyper-V use VHD or VHDX? ›

Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 introduces a new version of the VHD format called VHDX, which is designed to handle current and future workloads. VHDX has a much larger storage capacity than the older VHD format.

Is VHD and VHDX the same? ›

VHDX (Virtual Hard Disk v2) images are functionally equivalent to VHD images, but they include more modern features, such as support for larger sizes and disk resizing.

Is Hyper-V discontinued? ›

While Microsoft has discontinued the Hyper-V Free SKU, they are still allowing you to purchase Windows Server 2022 and install the Hyper-V role to get the features you're used to.

Can Hyper-V run without OS? ›

Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor which cannot run without OS. So it requires you to install an operating system on Hyper-V virtual machine.

Can you run Hyper-V on ESXi? ›

Although this process is not officially supported by VMware or Microsoft, it is possible to get an ESXi environment stood up using Hyper-V. There are a number of prerequisites to adhere to as well as an understanding that following this process may not give a smooth end-to-end user experience.

What are the disadvantages of Hyper-V? ›

Hyper-V Disadvantages:
  • A crash of the primary OS will crash all VMs.
  • OS must be installed in order for the Hypervisor Layer to operate.
  • Frequent OS and security updates translate into more overhead.
  • Lack of support for service templates.
31 Mar 2020

Is Hyper-V cheaper than VMware? ›

Pricing: Hyper-V users agree that it is a low-cost solution, whereas most VMware VSphere users feel it is an expensive product. Service and Support: Most users of both solutions report being satisfied with the level of the support they receive. ROI: Both Hyper-V and VMware VSphere users are satisfied with the ROI.

Does Hyper-V conflict with VMware? ›

Many third-party virtualization applications don't work together with Hyper-V. Affected applications include VMware Workstation and VirtualBox. These applications might not start virtual machines, or they may fall back to a slower, emulated mode. These symptoms are introduced when the Hyper-V Hypervisor is running.

What platforms does Hyper-V allow to be installed? ›

Operating systemWindows Server Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11 (x64; Pro, Enterprise and Education)
PredecessorWindows Virtual PC
TypeNative hypervisor
2 more rows


1. Exporting and Importing Hyper V Virtual Machines (Windows Server 2012 R2)
2. How to Import a VirtualBox Virtual Machine into Microsoft Hyper-V
3. Import existing Virtual Machines | Hyper-V Guide
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4. Export and Import a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V 2016
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5. Exporting and Importing Hyper V Virtual Machines | Windows Server 2019 [HYPER V TUTORIAL 06]
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6. Import VHD file on Hyper-V - Windows 2019 Server OS
(Milind Dave)
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