Hyper V from 2008R2 to 2012R2 and vice-versa

Hi, I just want to confirm my theory. I have multiple W2008R2 host servers each with multiple virtual machines. As a recovery plan I have copies of all the VMs located on at least one other host in the event of a catastrophe. Now I'm bringing 2012R2 host servers into the mix and have been playing with moving VMs back and forth. I know that you can't move a VM from a 2008R2 host to a 2012R2 host without first importing it into a 2012(non-R2) host and then exporting it again. That works fine even though it is a crazy thing to do. I have been playing with moving a VM from the 2012R2 to a 2008R2 server with no luck. I have tried it with both a 2008 and 2012 VM and I have even re-exported the VM from the 2012 (non-R2) server and all fail. I get the error that it can't find the virtual machine " A server error occurred while attempting to import the virtual machine. Import failed. Import failed. Unable to find virtual machine import files under location
'path' You can import a virtual machine only if you used Hyper-V to create and export it." Since 2012R2 doesn't create a config.xml file when the export is run. I copied a config.xml file from another server image, placed it in the proper location for the new import, tweaked the path within the file and it still did not import. I'm assuming that a VM on a 2012 host cannot move to a 2008 host ... am I correct?  My concern here is that I only have one new host server with 2012R2 so I would not be able to export the production VMs to another host in the event of a catastrophe. Your ideas are appreciated.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Simply can't be done. 2012 R2 has VM features that 2008 R2 does not, so the configuration files are not backwards compatible. Moving to 2012 R2 is a one-way trip. Full stop.

Now, just for the record, some people will point out that you can create a new VM and attach the VHD (but not VHDX) and this will *usually* work. But if you've upgraded the integration services (and, of course, you should) then even that isn't safe and comes at no small risk to your data.

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OGDITAdminAuthor Commented:
Cliff, thanks for the reply. I figured it was a one way street. On a little side note, in 2008R2 I would make a "template" for all of the OS systems I use as VMs (2008, W7 (64/32)) so when I have to make a new machine I just rename the .vhd files, tweak the .xml files to the "new" computers name and then import it. I then sysprep it and join it to the domain and it is back in business. I'm not having the same success with the 2012R2 host. Any ideas how I can export a basic server (still in the workgroup environment, but up-to-date with MS updates) and export it in a manner that will allow me to import it as a new machine.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Your process should still work. Although if this is going to be a regular event, I'd probably use something like MDT or SCVMM to standardize the process and make it more repeatable.
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