Upgrade Hyper-V 2008 Datacenter to 2012 R2

Our primary hyper-v host is running 2008 and I plan to upgrade it to 2012 R2. My question is regarding the guests. I don't mind the downtime over a weekend, so I don't plan on setting up a temporary server. The guests are on a separate raid, can I re-install the os/host then point them to the guest vm's or do I have to do an export/import of each one? Pretty sure I know the answer is do an export/import, but that adds a lot of downtime, since I'm only rebuilding the host.
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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
If the vm's are in a shut down state they are the same as exported.
You do need to import them to the new hyper-visor.


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bhiebAuthor Commented:
Really? Interesting so you are saying if I shut one down. Copy it to a different machine and use the import option it will work? I thought there was some internal ID that that would cause it to fail.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
I believe so Yes.
Internal id errors occur when you create a new vm and attach a foreigh vhd(x) to it if i remember correctly.
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bhiebAuthor Commented:
I'll test it out and see what happens.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Thats always best practise!

BTW: You need not only the vhd right, snapshots and config files should also be copied.
(Sure you know but just for completeness)
bhiebAuthor Commented:
Yep, no snapshots so all good there, my VHD's are in a subfolder of the VM config so I'll take the whole thing.
bhiebAuthor Commented:
Worked fine Patrick except for one gotcha. FYI to others.

I could not import the VM since it was on 2008 NON-R2. The approved way is to rebuild the VM using the VHD's, but that can be a pain. Found a solution to modify the XML here.


Here are the steps.
Open the xml config file with a serious editor ( I use Notepad ++, but you could use XML notepad)

Locate the <properties> section

At the end of the section add this line: <version type="integer">512</version>

Be sure to add the line in the right position, before </properties>

Done, now your VM will be recognized as It was created on an Hyper-V 2008 R2!

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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
This is why i love EE so much, one helps from experience, blindly trust everything is R2 and at the end learn something to never forget again.
Thank you for this feedback.
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