Migrating Windows Server 2003 R2 Virtual Guest from Virtual Server 2005 R2 to Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 or Hyper-V Server Using System Center Virtual Machine Manager

There are several things you must consider before migrating a machine from Virtual Server 2005 to a Hyper-V Host.  I thought I would make a post giving the quick list of how to do this so you do not miss any steps. These steps will produce a very clean machine on your destination host and limit your pain of migration.  If you miss steps it can cause much heartache (I know I have done it).  You are hereby warned that skipping any steps can [and likely will] cause you pain!  I know you can skip steps, I have skipped many steps on many different conversions and had success.  However, this list of steps will give you the highest probability of success. If you want to know the steps for migrating without System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) send me an email or post a comment to this message.


  • Guest is running Windows Server 2003 R2
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager is running and agents are configured on both the Source and Destination Hosts as well as the guest to be migrated
  • Destination Host is compatible and has sufficient resources to accept the new guest

Pre-Migration Steps:

  • Install Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 and all available hotfixes on the guest to be migrated
  • Uninstall VM Additions
  • If using a Static IP address on the guest, change it to DHCP
  • Reboot – Make sure you boot it back up after removing the VM additions
  • Shutdown guest and make a backup of the VHD’s and VMC’s (I recommend you leave it off for the migration)


IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not Activate Windows after migrating until you get to that step in the instructions

Migration Steps: SCVMM Migration

Use Use Virtual Machine Manager to do the Migration…

  • Click “Virtual Machine” on the left Bottom NavBar
  • Click the Name of the “Host” that holds the machine you want to move
  • Recommend, “Shut down” the Guest Machine (if not, you will be prompted to Save State)
  • Right-Click the “Guest” you want to move and select Migrate (you can also get here from the Right hand task menu)
  • Select the Destination Host and other options as required
  • If you get error messages about incompatible processor you will not be able to use SCVMM to do the migration.  (you may still be able to have success with a manual migration) 

Post Migration Steps: (Do not Activate Windows Yet!!!!)

  • Add additional hardware as needed – Increase processors, add memory, add Hard Drives, CD’s etc as needed
  • Turn on guest and login (DO NOT ACTIVATE WINDOWS YET!!!!)
  • Install Hyper-V Components (this is already done during the migration but you will need to do it again and “overwrite” the existing components)  – This step gives you the new drivers for the synthetic NIC [Action Menu – Insert Integration Disk (Ctrl-I)]
  • Shutdown machine
  • Add Network Card – do not use Legacy Network card unless you must – synthetic card is MUCH faster and more secure – Remove the Legacy NIC if you like
  • Connect new network card to the proper network
  • Turn on machine and login – Do not Activate Windows Yet!
    • If prompted to reboot, go ahead and reboot. 
  • You should now see all of your new hardware
  • Run Windows Updates – May not be necessary but let’s be sure
  • Change your IP info back to static on the synthetic network connection (this should be the one that is showing connected if you followed above instructions)
  • Rename your connected network to “Main” or whatever if you like
  • Make sure you can get out to the network; to the web and if this machine allows inbound connections, you will want to make sure you can get into the system from some other location.
  • Now if all is well, you can Activate Windows

The time it takes to go through this process is highly dependent on many factors including the speed of each machine, size of machine, etc. Generally it is not much more time than it takes to copy the bits from one machine to another so it is pretty quick. Hope this helps. Happy to get your feedback on this post

If you are not yet using System Center Virtual Machine Manager but are considering it as an option for your organization, let me know and I will get you started in Microsoft’s Momentum program which will help you along the process of deploying our newest technologies.  You can send the request to me via a link to my email.  Please include your name, company name, email address, phone number, and address with “Add to Momentum – SCVMM” in the subject.  You can send the email from here (http://blogs.technet.com/danstolts/contact.aspx) I would also encourage you to subscribe to my blog for additional useful information as it becomes available.