Virtual Server

Migrate Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 VM to Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

Windows Server 2008 Icon :: groovyPost.comRecently I converted / imported a Windows Vista Enterprise SP1 Virtual Machine from my Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 environment to my new Microsoft Windows Server 2008 box running the new Hyper-V Virtual Server technology.  The upgrade was a bit easier than I expected BUT, I did run into a few surprises along the way.  If you stick closely to the below How-To, the information should enable you to easily convert any previous Windows Server or Virtual PC VM which uses the .VHD hard drive format.

For example, below I’ll be converting a Windows Vista Enterprise SP1 VM from my Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 box to my new Server 2008 Hyper-V box.

Although the screen shots are all taken from a Vista Migration, if you pay close attention I will also be documenting what you can expect from a Windows Server 2003 Migration.  Read carefully; it’s a bit messy….  sorry about that….


Steps to take BEFORE you begin the import/migration process:

    • Upgrade Virtual Guest Systems to latest Service Pack (Vista – SP1, XP – SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, etc.)
    • Uninstall Virtual Machine Additions (not required but it saves time later)
    • Copy the .VHD file(s) to your new Windows 2008 Virtual Server / Hyper-V (In the example below, I created a folder under d:\vm\servername on my Hyper-V box)
    • Install Windows Server 2008 Update –  This MUST should be done before you begin building new VM’s on Hyper-V or convert/migrate/import existing VM’s to Hyper-V.


With that said, let’s jump right into it: Migrate Vista Enterprise SP1 VM to Hyper-V / Server 2008

1:   Open Hyper-V Manager and Create a new Virtual Machine by Clicking Action, New, Virtual Machine:

Note: Don’t get confused by the Import Virtual Machine… as this can only be used to import an existing Hyper-V Virtual Machine.

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V Server


2:   Click Next:

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


3:   Type in the new Name of the VM then Click Next:

If desired, Check the box “Store the virtual machine in a different location” and then Browse to that location or Type it into the Location Box as shown below.  Typically this will be the location you stored the .VHD file you are migrating.

Note: By following the below example, the Hyper-V Wizard will create a sub-folder automatically using the VM Name entered – In other words, a folder will now be created called: “f:\vm\gpVistaEnt-01”

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


4:   Specify Amount of Memory to assign VM and Click Next

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


5:   (Optional) Assign a Network Adapter to the VM and Click Next

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


6:   Select Use an existing virtual hard disk bullet and Type or Browse to your legacy .vhd file then Click Next

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


7:   Click Finish on the next screen after you verify everything looks good.

Note: All steps below should be completed while logged into the local Windows Server so you can fully control the new Guest VM’s.  If you’re connected to the console via Remote Desktop (RDP 3389) on the host, you will get the following error message when trying to connect to the mouse:

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V

This error will go away once you complete this How-To and the new VM has the latest VM Additions installed.

8:   Start the new Guest VM from the Hyper-V Virtual Manager and log in to the Virtual Manager Console.

After login, your new VM is going to begin installing new hardware.  You can watch the progress by double clicking on the Software Install Icon on the toolbar.

9:  When/if prompted to install an Unknown Device, Click Ask me again later

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


10:  When Prompted to Reboot, Click Restart Later as shown below

Note – In the below screen shot I first double clicked on the Software Install Icon on the toolbar to review all the software which was installed.

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V

Before we restart the computer, we need to take care of some legacy housekeeping from the legacy Virtual Server 2005 environment.



  • Windows Vista Migration: Skip Step 11 if you have already uninstalled the VM Additions and go directly to Step 12.
  • Windows Server 2003 Migration: Skip Step 11 if you have already uninstalled the VM additions and go directly to Step 15.

11:   The first task is to Uninstall the Legacy Virtual Machine Additions:

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V

Once those are uninstalled (Don’t reboot the box), we MUST UPDATE THE HAL on the box.  Fortunately, this is easy on Vista (and automatic for Windows Server 2003).  Just follow the steps below for Vista OR Windows Server 2003.


  • Windows Server 2003 Migration: Skip Steps 12-14 and go directly to Step 15
  • Vista Migration: If you don’t update the HAL, your network card will be dead.  Most of the hardware drivers in Hyper-V will not work until the HAL is updated!

12:   Click the Start Button and Type msconfig, Click msconfig.exe under Programs

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


13:  Click Boot Tab, Advanced options

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V


14:  Check box Detect Hal, Click OK a few times to save

Migrate from Virtual Server to Hyper-V

NOW, go ahead and restart the Guest VM when prompted.  Wow… this is a long article BUT, were almost done.

It’s now time to install the new Hyper-V Virtual Machine Additions (however Microsoft changed the name again on us) called: Integration Services.

15:   Console into the Guest System and Click Action, Insert Integration Services Setup Disk

Install Hyper-V Integration Services

16:   Run Install Microsoft Hyper-V Integration Components

Install Hyper-V Integration Services


  • Vista Migration: Complete Step 17 and move on to Step 18.
  • Windows Server 2003 Migration: Skip Step 17 and move to Step 17a

17:   The Install should run for several minutes.  When finished, Click Yes to reboot the VM.  Now go directly to Step 18.

Install Hyper-V Integration Services

Windows Server 2003 Migration:

17a:   When you launch the Microsoft Hyper-V Integration Components on a Windows Server 2003 SP2 guest VM, you will get a warning that you need to upgrade the HAL first.  Click OK



17b:   Once the HAL is upgraded you will be prompted to reboot.  Click Yes to reboot



17c:   After the reboot, Windows Server 2003 will continue to the Hyper-V Integration Components install and then prompt you to reboot again:



18:   On my box, the reboot took a few minutes and once it came back up it took another 3-5 minute to fully boot and install more software (Vista only.  Windows Server 2003 came up golden after 17c)

Install Hyper-V Integration Services


Once I logged in, I saw a few install balloons pop (Hyper-V Heartbeat Enabled/Detected) and then it asked me to reboot.  Once you come back up, however, you should be good to go!  The network should now be working and Mouse as well (even if you RDP into the VM Host and opening a Console connection to the VM).

So….. if you make it this far, congrats!!!  You should have a brand new bouncing BABY VISTA or WINDOWS SERVER HYPER-V VM on Server 2008!

We covered a lot of ground here <phew>.  Let me know if something didn’t work or if you’re still having problems with the migration.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the .  I just created a new area for Hyper-V.

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