I was using Windows Server 2008 R2 as my developer machine, hosting my Hyper-V virtual machines. I am now switching over to Windows 8 to run Hyper-V in a client OS, which is my use case anyway.

Are there any gotchas I should be aware of before I attempt to port my existing VMs into Windows 8 Hyper-V? I have a few virtual machines on a virtual network, and I need them to continue working (DC, SQL, SharePoint, etc). Are there any special steps I should take (for instance, exporting my virtual network instead of recreating a new one) to minimize headaches?


Hyper-V for Windows 8 is a newer version of Hyper-V (V3) than Hyper-V for Server 2008. It is not recommended to import VM's created from Windows 8 to Server 2008. However going from Server 2008 to Windows 8 has no problems. If you MUST migrate from Windows 8 to Server 2008 Hyper-V make sure to NOT use the .vhdx files.

Converting .VHD & .VHDX:

  1. Open Hyper-V

  2. Right click on the VM that you wish to convert, and select Settings:


  3. Select the Hard Drive IDE (usually IDE 0) and then select "Edit":

    Settings: Edit

  4. Select Convert, and then Next

  5. Select the type of VHD you wish to convert to and then Next

  6. Select the type of disk: (Fixed Size, Dynamically Expanding) and then Next

  7. Select the location (NOTE: This does NOT default to last saved location) and then Next

  8. Select Finish

The use of exporting and importing is the preferred way of migrating VM's between Machines (Server 2008 to Windows 8 in your case).

To do this follow these steps:


  1. Open Hyper-V Terminal

  2. Right click on the VM that you want to export and select "Export" (make sure the machine is turned off):


  3. Browse to the folder that you wish to save the VM:


  4. Then Select Export.

Hyper-V will then in the background export the VM. This may take a few minutes or even quite a bit of time, depending on the type and size of the VM.


  1. Open Hyper-V Terminal

  2. On the right side, under the "Action" panel select "Import Virtual Machine...":

    Actions Panel

  3. Select Next

  4. Browse to the folder where you saved the VM

  5. Select the Exported VM:


  6. Select whether you want to Register, Restore, or Copy the VM

    • Register: If you have a virtual machine were you have already put all of the virtual machine files exactly where you want them, and you just need Hyper-V to start using the virtual machine where it is – this is the option you want to choose.
    • Restore: If your virtual machine files are stored on a file share / removable drive / etc… and you want Hyper-V to move the files to the appropriate location for you, and then register the virtual machine – this is the option for you.
    • Copy: If you have a set of virtual machine files that you want to import multiple times (e.g. you are using them as a template for new virtual machines) this is what you want to choose. This will copy the files to an appropriate location, give the virtual machine a new unique ID, and then register the virtual machine.
  7. Select Finish

This will import the VM into Hyper-V. Again, this may take some time depending on the type/size of the VM and the options selected above.

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  • Great answer. Thank you. Is there anything I should do for the networks? – Nathan DeWitt Oct 23 '12 at 18:01
  • @NathanDeWitt what do you mean exactly? – James Mertz Oct 23 '12 at 18:02
  • I have a virtual network for the VMs to use between themselves. Do I just create a new one in Win8 or should I somehow export the one I use currently? – Nathan DeWitt Oct 23 '12 at 18:03
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    There's probably going to be some configuration that you'll have to do, but anything that is done withing the VM's themselves will stay the same. Virtual switches however, I don't believe are exported. – James Mertz Oct 23 '12 at 18:06

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