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My Hyper-V server runs on Windows 8.1 Pro. There is a virtual machine I'm running, that's so important to me that I've taken about 8 snapshots. It is about to exceed the disk space on a 240 GB SSD which I stored its virtual hard disks on. In its Virtual Hard Disks folder, there is 1 .vhdx file and about 8 .AVHDX files which use more disk space than the .vhdx file. Is there any way to reduce the disk space it's using, maybe by somehow "simplifying" the virtual machine to use a single disk, and eliminate these many large .AVHDX files?

I noticed an export command, which I figured might export the entire state of the virtual machine as a single disk, however, this article I read says that the export operation isn't necessarily trivial, and since this virtual machine has Windows 8 as its OS, I'm concerned that importing an exported virtual machine might lose its activation.

I considered moving the virtual machine's disks to my 2 TB HDD, but performance would probably suffer.

Can anyone please suggest how to manage the space of my virtual machine so that it doesn't expand in size past what my SSD drive can handle?

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I had a similar issue and ended up doing this:

  1. Backup the whole VM on the external Hard Drive. That is by simply copying the folder that has all the VHD files to a backup folder along with the VM settings.
  2. Delete all the snapshots I didn't want using the Hyper-V Manager. That removed all those snapshot files.

Even if you think you may not need the backup, I suggest making the backup as sometimes removing snapshots can fail. My plan is to restore those files if I need to restore to a snapshot.

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    Coincidentally, the Hyper-V server has just crapped out on me. It was also keeping my ethernet connection on my host OS disconnected. So for now I'm using VMWare workstation 10. But thanks. Maybe the Windows 10 upgrade will allow me to get Hyper-V back online again. – codeReview Jul 24 '15 at 4:12
  • We have had similar catastrophic fails too. Having snapshots seems to increase the chance – Braim Jul 24 '15 at 6:16

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