How to Create and Use Hyper-V Checkpoints in Windows 10
NoteCheckpoint is a powerful Hyper-V feature to easily undo all changes on a virtual machine. You can play with virtual machines testing apps, changing settings, editing registry and so on as if "sandboxing" and when needed, discard all changes and restore an earlier Checkpoint in a few clicks and seconds.
A standard checkpoint stores virtual machine state exactly as it is (see Part Three in this tutorial for difference between a production and a standard checkpoint). Whereas a Windows Restore Point only stores and restores the Windows system state but does not store the app state and restore or remove user files, a standard Hyper-V checkpoint stores and restores the complete system including app state and user files. A checkpoint can rather be compared with a system image than a restore point although even that comparison is not accurate.
You can create as many Checkpoints as you want to. Creating a checkpoint only takes a few seconds. Testing for instance sysprepping Windows 10 Technical Preview in Audit Mode you can create a checkpoint before entering the Audit Mode after installation has finished and Windows boots to OOBE / Welcome Mode, second checkpoint when signed in as built-in administrator in Audit Mode and third before sysprepping with your answer file. Now when something does not work as you'd expected, simply return to any of your earlier checkpoints instead of starting from scratch.
In this tutorial we will create checkpoints and apply (restore) them.
For this tutorial you will need Hyper-V enabled and setup as told in this tutorial, and at least one working virtual machine.
Part One: Create a Checkpoint
Part Two: Apply (restore) a checkpoint
Part Three: Checkpoint settings
Part OneCreate a Checkpoint
1.1) Checkpoints can be created in Hyper-V Manager from Action menu (#1) or from context (right click) menu (#2). Select a vm first, then create a checkpoint for that vm. The vm don't have to be running, you can create a checkpoint also when the vm is turned off:
A checkpoint can also be created from Action menu in Virtual Machine Connection > Action menu:
1.2) When you select Checkpoint in Action or Context menus as told in 1.1 Hyper-V asks if you want to rename the checkpoint (default name vm_name_date&time). Name the checkpoint as you wish, click Yes (No for default name):
1.3) The progress can be seen in status bar of Virtual Machine Connection:
1.4) When checkpoint is created click OK:
1.5) You can see all your checkpoints in Hyper-V Manager. Select a vm to see its checkpoints, Now is the current state:
Part 2Apply (restore) a checkpoint
2.1) To revert (restore) to last checkpoint created directly from Virtual Machine Connection, select Action > Revert:
2.2) Confirm the operation:
2.3) To apply any existing checkpoint, select your vm in Hyper-V Manager and double click a checkpoint, alternatively right click a checkpoint and select Apply:
2.4) The selected checkpoint will now be applied and vm turned off. Hyper-V notifies you of success (#1), start (boot) the vm to checkpoint you had selected by clicking the Start button (#2):
Part 3Checkpoint settings
3.1) In vm settings you can select what type of checkpoints you will use:
- Production checkpoints
- A Production Checkpoint stores the machine state but considers all apps being closed; if you have let's say an Excel workbook open but you have not saved your work, applying this checkpoint will restore the state of the vm as it was when you had saved your work last time. When a production checkpoint is applied Windows boots as in cold boot, to Welcome screen and empty desktop after sign in with no running apps.
- Standard checkpoints
- A Standard Checkpoint stores the machine state with app state; all open apps and unsaved work will be saved in checkpoint, if you have PowerPoint with an unsaved presentation open when checkpoint is created, it will be open and and your unsaved work there when the checkpoint is applied. This causes a minor security risk, though: as a standard checkpoint when applied bypasses Welcome / Sign In and enters directly to desktop as it was when checkpoint was saved, anyone having access to your vm can see your files and use your access rights.
3.2) The location of checkpoints (highlighted in above screenshot) can only be changed when the vm in question has no checkpoints. When the first checkpoint is created and saved, you can no longer change the location of checkpoints of that vm.
That's about it! Do not hesitate to post your questions and concerns in this thread.
- How to Setup and Use Hyper-V in Windows 10 for OS Virtualization
- How to Create VHD of Windows 10 Installation and Use in Hyper-V