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Manually copy Hyper-V VM's from broken raid


Power issues caused two drives in a raid 5 setup to not respond. I can access the volume when booting from Server 2012 disk. For now I just want to copy the two VM's from the volumes to a external hard drive.

I can boot to X:\sources and access the C:Hyper-V folder, what is the best way to copy the VM's?
Hyper-VWindows Server 2012

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Philip Elder

8/22/2022 - Mon
Cliff Galiher

First, let's set expectations. RAID 5 can tolerate one drive failure. Not two. The fact that you can't boot normally would indicate that you have missing data, and this will *likely* cause attempts to copy the hyper-v files to fail as well. You may be able get a directory listing but that is only because NTFS's directory tree is relatively small *and* journalled. The actual data is stored elsewhere.

But it can't hurt to try.

With 2012, things are quite easy. Each VM has a directory with a long GUID name and in that directory is a VSV file. This holds all the settings for the VM such as the virtual NIC, what hard drives were mounted, amount of RAM, and processor.

Then there are VHD (or VHDX) files which are the virtual hard drives. Like a physical hard drive, a machine (in this case a VM) can have one or more, and they are separate entities in that they can be removed from one machine and added to another.

So for your VMs, copy the virtual machine directories that contain the VSVs and copy the VHDs/VHDXs.

Then on a new 2012 machine, you can choose to import a new VM and point it to the VSV directory. That will preserve all of your settings (particularly important if you don't want a long boot time as windows redetects all the "hardware" including the NIC) and will already know which VHD(X) goes to which VM (as long as you keep the paths the same on the new machine.)

Relatively painless...if the files are not corrupt.


Hi Cliff

There are 4 disks, disk 2 failed and disk 4 was a hot spare. Pretty weird that they both failed at the same time...

When I boot up with the Server 2012 disk, and go to command prompt it goes to X:\Sources.

Which command should I use to copy this data, xcopy, copy or anything else?

Will wbadmin work?
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
Cliff Galiher

Xcopy or robocopy should be fine. wbadmin isn't for copying files. There you are getting into more significant disaster recovery scenarios and would nerd access to backups. It doesn't copy files.
Philip Elder

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The Hyper-V folder is empty, tried running dir /ah but still cant see any files in that folder. I am missing something?
Cliff Galiher

It is possible that an admin changed the default location. Or it is possible that you are seeing the result of a failed RAID array. There is no good way to tell if there is no network/system documentation.
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Philip Elder

If Hyper-V Management is still accessible then look in there for the settings. You will find the files where they "should" be unless someone set the location manually. Check the settings on a VM for the path if that is the case.