Server 2008 Hyper-V: Reading a VHD from Virtual Server 2005

Once I got the role installed (and fixed the multitude of disk problems), I thought I'd give Hyper-V a try with a Virtual Hard Drive built on the previous top-of-the-line platform, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. It turns out that was more than I had initially bargained for.

Tip #1: Moving big VHD's around is a chore because of their size. (One thing you learn very quickly doing this sort of thing is that all flash drives are not created equal! Some are WAY faster than others even if they all say "USB 2.0 compatible.") A great tool is WinRAR, which gives you a lot of choices between compression and speed.

Tip #2: Don't do like I did and try starting up your old virtual hard drive in Hyper-V right away. The old Virtual Machine Additions, which provide mouse mobility and performance enhancements in Virtual Server 2005, actually muck up the works in Hyper-V. Yes, you can remove the VM Additions on your Hyper-V machine using the control panel within the VM, but it's like wading through cold molasses getting there. Far better to rip out the VM Additions using Virtual Server 2005, before moving the VHD over to your Hyper-V system.

Tip #3: Once you're read (and followed) Tip #2, you need to install the Hyper-V version of the VM Additions, which Microsoft now calls "Integration Services." From the Action menu, choose Insert Integration Services Setup Disk. Then you just open up the virtual DVD and run the program. It won't show up as an installed program in your VM like the VM Additions used to, so I guess you are just supposed to take it on faith that it installed correctly if it says it did. What exactly the Integration Services disk does is a bit of a mystery to me, but Microsoft says you need it. It does seem to make things faster - *after* you reboot the VM (which Microsoft neglects to mention).

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