Upgrading Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V machines to Windows 2012 R2

I have a Windows 2008 R2 server that is running several Hyper-V virtual machine ranging from 2003 to 2008 R2. We'd like to upgrade this server to 2012 R2. Is this just a matter of putting the upgrade CD in and running an in place upgrade? Are we going to encounter any problems with the guest virtual machines if we do this?
OAC TechnologyProfessional NerdsAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
The host needs to reboot as part of the upgrade, and this will obviously cause the VMs to stop.
You'd be better off migrating the VMs onto another host, upgrading the original host and the moving the VMs back again.

If you only have the one host, you need to shut all the VMs down first. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/16289.single-hyper-v-server-running-windows-server-2008-r2-with-gui-in-place-upgrade-to-windows-server-2012-with-gui.aspx

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
If the host has two partitions, one for the OS and one for the guests and their configuration files, then you can either load from DVD or a bootable flash drive with the installer files/folders copied onto it.

NOTE: If the hardware is older than three to four years then weigh this decision carefully.
OAC TechnologyProfessional NerdsAuthor Commented:
Yes, the virtual machine files are on a separate partition from the OS. The hardware is about 1.5 years old, so we're good there.

So once I upgrade I should be able to import the existing Hyper-V machines without any problems, correct?
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure EngineerCommented:
Ha, good thing I checked, was ages since I ran 2008 R2! Coming from 2008 R2 you have to convert the VMs into 2012 format first, and then import those into 2012 R2. You need a 2012 Hyper-V server, and just import the 2008 R2 VMs then export again.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Run the import wizard in the newly configured Hyper-V and you should be good to go. No conversion or changes required.

You may need to reseat NIC settings but we've not needed to do so unless importing just the VHD/VHDX files to a new VM.
OAC TechnologyProfessional NerdsAuthor Commented:
Perfect. I'll be doing this conversion on Friday so I'll let you know how it goes. The plan is to shut down the VM's on the 2008 R2 server, put the 2012 R2 standard CD in and perform the OS upgrade, and then if the virtual machines don't show up in the new Hyper-V, use the import function to import them into Hyper-V after the upgrade. Does that sound like everything should go well?

Thank you
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
It should.

As always, make sure you have a known good backup of everything before proceeding!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2012

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.