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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15002 gave a facelift to Hyper-V as told earlier on Ten Forums. One of the new cool things is a new feature in Hyper-V Manager called Quick Create. With it you can create a new virtual machine (VM) literally (yes, literally!) in seconds. Run Quick Create, name the VM, select installation source and virtual switch, go!

(OK, I admit: creating a new VM will really take just a few seconds but as Quick Create is still a preview like the build it was introduced in, the VM created is usable only after "pimping" it a bit, changing default specifications.)

Quick Create also allows user to create a new virtual machine using an existing virtual hard disk file (VHDX or VHD). Of course it has always been possible to create a new VM using an existing VHD, but in case user selects a VHD belonging to another existing VM, both virtual machines will be using the same VHD which can be quite confusing.

Quick Create using existing VHD makes a copy of the VHD; the VM it originally belongs continues to be the sole owner and user of the original VHD, new VM uses a copy of it created by Quick Create. The new VM is identical compared to the old one.

Notice that if Windows on original VM for which the VHD used by Quick Create to create a new virtual machine is activated, it remains to be activated after being copied. However the new virtual machine created by Quick Create is seen as being on new hardware therefore being not activated. To activate it you need an additional Windows license.

This tutorial will show how to use Hyper-V Quick Create.

If you are creating your first Hyper-V virtual machine, you might want to take a look at our general Hyper-V tutorial first. It tells you how to set up Hyper-V and virtual switches to allow virtual machines to communicate with network, how to create virtual machines with different guest operating systems (modern Windows versions, legacy Windows, Linux), and gives some general tips.

Hyper-V tutorial: Hyper-V virtualization - Setup and Use in Windows 10

Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine Contents Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine
 Click links to jump to any part

Part One: Create a new VM with a blank VHD
Part Two: Create a new VM using existing VHD
Part Three: Edit VM settings
Part Four: Optional: Move VHD

Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine Part One Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine
 Create a new VM with a blank VHD

1.1) Set up Hyper-V (tutorial)

1.2) Run Hyper-V Manager (Start > W > Windows Administrative Tools > Hyper-V Manager)

1.3) On top right pane, click / tap Quick Create:
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1.4) Name your new VM as you wish:
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1.5) Click Change installation source:
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1.6) Browse to folder where your install media ISO image is stored, select ISO Files bottom right (default is VHDX / VHD), select an ISO image file, click Open:
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1.7) By default Secure Boot is selected. Uncheck it (important!):
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1.8) Select a network switch to allow VM to have network and Internet connection, click Create Virtual Machine:
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1.9) VM will now be created, it will take a few moments:
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1.10) VM is ready:
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Note   Note
Do not in any case click Connect now!

VM was created using default minimum specifications with 1 GB of RAM and 1 GB VHD (Microsoft Hyper-V team, if you are reading this: Really? One GB VHD! No Windows released in this millennium can be installed and run on a 1 GB hard disk.)

We need to change some settings before you can use this VM. Continue from Part Three below.

Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine Part Two Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine
 Create a new VM using existing VHD

Do steps 1.1 to 1.5 above in Part One

2.2) Browse to and open an existing VHD:
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Please notice that depending on the size of VHD you are using, creating the VM can take some time as the VHD will be copied.

2.3) Do steps 1.7 to 1.10

Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine Part Three Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine
 Edit VM settings

Open VM settings:
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3.2) We need to change highlighted three things: Boot order, add RAM and virtual processors, and expand the VHD:
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3.3) Select Firmware on left pane. Using Move Up and Move Down buttons move DVD Drive to top, followed by Hard Drive, Network Adapter coming last:
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3.4) Select Memory on left pane, assign VM the amount of RAM you can afford. As VM RAM is away from your host RAM (virtualisation host = computer you are using to run virtual machines), be sure not to assign too much:
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information   Information
Some guidelines: A Windows 10 host needs at least 2 GB for itself to be able to function normally. Let's say you have 4 GB RAM on host, that would mean that you should not assign more than 2 GB for a VM. On the other hand, a 64 bit Windows 10 VM for instance runs pretty well with 3 or 4 GB RAM; even if you have 32 RAM on host I wouldn't give more than 4 GB to VM (exception: heavy duty virtual machines used for instance video encoding or gaming).

RAM used by virtual machines is away from host RAM only when VM is running; when you shut down a VM or turn it off, it no longer needs RAM assigned to it and returns it to host until the VM is started next time.

I decided to use dynamic memory, setting the startup (4 GB), minimum (512 MB) and maximum RAM (4 GB). This mean that VM is started, it uses 4 GB RAM but then when it's idle or otherwise not needing much it can return some of that to host, taking care that it always has at least 512 MB. When it then needs more RAM it takes it from HOST, up to 4 GB total which is the set maximum, VM will never use more than that.

3.5) Assign a few virtual processors to VM. Four is quite an OK amount:
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Steps 3.6 to 3.9 below not needed if you created a new VM using an existing VHD!

Select virtual hard disk on left pane, click Edit on right pane:
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3.7) On left pane select Choose Action, select Expand on right pane, click Next:
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3.8) A Windows 10 VM I created needs about 25 GB VHD to function properly, another 10 GB if you are a Windows Insider and use VM to get build upgrades. As I intend to install some software taking huge amount of storage space (Visual Studio 2015 is close to 30 GB when installed completely, I decided to expand the VHD to 100 GB:
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3.9) Notice that Quick Create creates so called dynamically expanding virtual hard disks. This means that although the VM sees the VHD as 100 GB hard disk, on my host HDD where the VHD is stored it only occupies what it needs; the file size is dynamic. For instance after a clean install of Windows 10 PRO with no additional software installed, VM would see it having a 100 GB hard disk with about 15 GB of it used, whereas my host would see it as a 15 GB VHD file.

3.10) All done, you can now start the VM

Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine Part Four Hyper-V Quick Create - Create or Copy a Virtual Machine
 Optional: Move VHD

If OneDrive is set up, Quick Create saves virtual hard disks in OneDrive. Those users with only the free 5 GB OneDrive storage will get issues if a tens or even hundreds of gigabytes VHD will be stored in OneDrive and Windows starts syncing it to cloud.

If you want to you can move the VHD to another folder or drive

4.2) Shut down the VM. Open VM settings, select Hard Drive from left pane, click Browse on right pane:
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4.3) The Open file dialog is shown, currently in folder where the VHD is located. Within Open file dialog, right click the virtual hard disk file, select Cut:
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4.4) Still in Open file dialog, browse to a folder where you want to move the VHD, right click empty white space within the folder, select Paste:
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4.5) Select the VHD, click Open:
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4.6) VHD is now moved to more suitable location, you can close Settings:
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That's it folks! I am sure this tutorial will be edited much shorter as time goes by and we get new builds with improved Hyper-V Quick Create. At the moment the defaults are such that they need to be changed, therefore a bit longer tutorial.

Happy virtualising


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