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Making a Virtual Machine from a Windows 2008 Backup

    Question

  • I am attempting to create a Hyper-V virtual machine from a complete windows 2008 backup. The backup directory contains a series of xml and 2 VHD files.

    The host is 2008 Server R2 Enterprise, and the guest(2008 R2 Standard) that I am trying to restore was backed up to an external USB drive. I have tried:

    1. creating a new virtual machine and using the larger backed up existing VHD file. Fails when Virtual Machine tries to boot. (thought this was too easy to work) Missing it's boot partition I assume, the smaller drive.

    2. creating a new virtual machine and booting with an R2 installation computer, repair, and then restore from a previous image. Since Hyper-V will not recognised attached USB drives I have put the backup files in a network location. I then select advanced, put the correct path in. I know the network path is accessible because I can map a drive to it, from the command prompt of the Windows restore. Enter the full username\password for the network location.  All that happens is the screen blinks and does not list the previous restore files.

    I am tempted to try and restore to VMware, which can read an external USB drive, and then convert the VMware machine to a Hyper V virtual machine. Long way around?

    Sureley it can't be this hard! I have searched externsively for a post that is trying to do the same. Is there something blindingly obvious I am missing?

     

     


    X
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 8:06 PM

Answers

  • If you are using the "backup to VHD" functionality then..

    These VHDs are not bootable by design.  MSFT prevents them from being bootable.  You can mount the VHD and recover files, but not simply create a VM from the VHD and boot it.

    Many have tried..


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

     

    I agree with BrianEh, what you want to do is impossible and not supported.

     

    The following posts discussed the similar issue, you can refer to:

     

    Is it possible the following scenario - Physical server 2008 VHD backup file, created by wbadmin.exe to run in Hyper-V server?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverhyperv/thread/1db17819-1593-4c3e-8e7a-c032e774e7f5

     

    create Hyper-V VM from .vhd file created by wbadmin.exe (Windows Backup) - Boot Failure

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2virtualization/thread/29d9d5d2-a265-4615-87ee-53d0a7466482

     

    By the way, I am sorry that I can’t get your question “However I don't understand why you can't do a bare metal restore to a virtual machine” clearly. In your first post, you mentioned that you performed a backup for the VMs to an external USB drive, but did not mention the backup tools you used.

     

    If you want to restore the Hyper-V operating system in the backup file to a VM, it will not be supported. If you want to restore the VMs in the backup file to a VM, it doesn’t make sense to do so.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:19 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If you are using the "backup to VHD" functionality then..

    These VHDs are not bootable by design.  MSFT prevents them from being bootable.  You can mount the VHD and recover files, but not simply create a VM from the VHD and boot it.

    Many have tried..


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:04 PM
    Moderator
  • I understand the VHD is not bootable.

    However I don't understand why you can't do a bare metal restore to a virtual machine. (boot a previously created virtual machine into 2008 install DVD and do a restore)

    I have successfully done a bare metal restore to the same firmware type. Tried this and it worked like a charm. However this only works to the same firmware type. That is you can't restore a UEFI based backup to a Bios based machine. So can I guess that effectively the firmware type for a virtual machine is different again?

    I don't have access to the physical machines anymore, only the backup files. Is my best option to restore the backups to a physical machine and then to run Microsoft P2V?

     


    X
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 9:38 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I agree with BrianEh, what you want to do is impossible and not supported.

     

    The following posts discussed the similar issue, you can refer to:

     

    Is it possible the following scenario - Physical server 2008 VHD backup file, created by wbadmin.exe to run in Hyper-V server?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverhyperv/thread/1db17819-1593-4c3e-8e7a-c032e774e7f5

     

    create Hyper-V VM from .vhd file created by wbadmin.exe (Windows Backup) - Boot Failure

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2virtualization/thread/29d9d5d2-a265-4615-87ee-53d0a7466482

     

    By the way, I am sorry that I can’t get your question “However I don't understand why you can't do a bare metal restore to a virtual machine” clearly. In your first post, you mentioned that you performed a backup for the VMs to an external USB drive, but did not mention the backup tools you used.

     

    If you want to restore the Hyper-V operating system in the backup file to a VM, it will not be supported. If you want to restore the VMs in the backup file to a VM, it doesn’t make sense to do so.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:19 AM
    Moderator
  • It can be done...

    I just had to do a DR restore of a Dell R420 UEFI Running 2008R2 Standard as a DC.

    I created a new VM.

    Added my VHD files of the OS partition from the 2008r2 backup along with any other required partitions/vhds.

    Edit the OS VHD and expand the size by 1GB.

    Attach the 2008r2 install media to the dvd.

    Boot the Vm to the DVD.

    Get to the command prompt and do the following:

    Run diskpart

    Select disk 0

    create part pri 

    select the new partition

    format fs=ntfs

    active

    assign letter to the new partition

    exit diskpart

    mkdir XX:\BOOT

    bcdedit /createstore XX:\BOOT\BCD 
    bootrec /fixmbr
    bootrec /fixboot
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
    bcdboot c:\windows /s XX:

    regedit and load the system hive from the OS partition.

    under HKLM\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services make the startup entries for the the following items

    ALIIDE 3
    amdide 3
    atapi 0
    cmdide 3
    iastorv 3
    intelide 0
    msahci 3
    pciide 3
    viaide 3

    Also under mountmgr set noautomount to 0

    unload the hive.

    restart the VM and Voila .... it is now bootable as an MBR partition

    make sure to change your drive letters back to what the were originally in the OS as well as removing the drive letter from the boot partition.

    Hope this helps someone...took me a while to get a workaround.  Our physical box was water damaged and we needed to have this OS up as a VM.  I know there are tools to capture an image to vhd which will convert the EFI to MBR , but if the physical machine is down and all you have is the image from WinBackup.....we must make do with what we have....

    Doug Cohen

    • Proposed as answer by shamspon Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:29 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by shamspon Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:30 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Allen-CCWTech Wednesday, May 17, 2017 12:41 PM
    Saturday, January 11, 2014 4:12 AM
  • The solution from DougCohen works perfectly, Thanks!

    Monday, December 7, 2015 10:16 PM
  • Wow this worked like a charm and saved me a ton of time. The server as a VM is running better than ever. Can't believe this is such buried knowledge. 

    Thanks a million. 

    Thursday, May 23, 2019 11:11 PM