Windows 10: Backing up Hyper-V Virtual Machines

  1.    06 Mar 2018 #1

    Backing up Hyper-V Virtual Machines


    Hi, I was wondering if all I really need to do to backup activated virtual machines but not associated virtual hard drives is just to copy the virtual hard drive folder to another drive (or even one drive) .

    All I am really interested is in saving the machines which have the hardware ids stored on the MS activation servers, not the actual vhds. I can clean install Windows on a new virtual hard disks any time, as I do not usually install much on them anyway.

    I cannot see any reason why not - I would just need to reimport the virtual machines retaining the GUID as far as I can tell. Is there anything else I need to backup - not interested in checkpoints etc.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,559
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.104 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       06 Mar 2018 #2

    Only thing you need to do is disconnect the vhds from your VMs, then go to the folder where the actual virtual machines are stored. Then just copy the machine to your backup media.

    Finally you can reconnect the VHDs to your working VMs. And all done.

    The reason why you want to disconnect the VHDs first is because it is much easier to import the backup. The VM import function won't be looking for any VHDs.

    I use this method for the same reasons you are. :)

    Hope this helps.

    One final note: make sure that you have removed all checkpoints and that the merging has completed before removing the VHDs.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    06 Mar 2018 #3

    slicendice said: View Post
    Only thing you need to do is disconnect the vhds from your VMs, then go to the folder where the actual virtual machines are stored. Then just copy the machine to your backup media.

    Finally you can reconnect the VHDs to your working VMs. And all done.

    The reason why you want to disconnect the VHDs first is because it is much easier to import the backup. The VM import function won't be looking for any VHDs.

    I use this method for the same reasons you are. :)

    Hope this helps.

    One final note: make sure that you have removed all checkpoints and that the merging has completed before removing the VHDs.
    Thanks - good tip about disconnecting vhds.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Mar 2018 #4

    slicendice said: View Post
    Only thing you need to do is disconnect the vhds from your VMs, then go to the folder where the actual virtual machines are stored. Then just copy the machine to your backup media.

    Finally you can reconnect the VHDs to your working VMs. And all done.

    The reason why you want to disconnect the VHDs first is because it is much easier to import the backup. The VM import function won't be looking for any VHDs.

    I use this method for the same reasons you are. :)

    Hope this helps.

    One final note: make sure that you have removed all checkpoints and that the merging has completed before removing the VHDs.
    Maybe some has changed (for the better) but I experimented recovering a vm I had backed up, but I temporarily renamed the vhd as an experiment. It came up with a popup asking me to locate vhd, or just disconnect link which I did andvm imported fine in seconds.

    So I do not have to disconnect vhd up front, as I can do it at vm restore time.

    Now all my vms sans vhds are backed up to onedrive (in seconds). Losing the vms would be the virtual equivalent of a mob failure. Losing the vhds (in my case) is only a minor irritation. I only backup rhe vhd that is essentially a clone of my normal desktop version.

    As an aside, sysprepping Windows 10 is a PITA as it does not llike some 3rd party uwp apps, and you have to uninstall them first. Of course, you always forget. I had an annoying one with adblock plus (for Edge) as I could not find anyway of directly uninstalling it and had to use powershell. The annoying thing with sysprep is it stops when it finds a uwp app that needs to be uninstalled rather than checking the others (it would be neat to ask you if you want to delete them as well), so you sometimes take 2 or more sysprep attempts until all are deleted.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,559
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.104 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       07 Mar 2018 #5

    Oh, that's great news. Earlier I could not skip the vhd part.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    07 Mar 2018 #6

    slicendice said: View Post
    Oh, that's great news. Earlier I could not skip the vhd part.
    Yeah basically, you can backup vms as is now - no need to detach vhds.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,559
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.104 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       07 Mar 2018 #7

    cereberus said: View Post
    Yeah basically, you can backup vms as is now - no need to detach vhds.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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