Objective: Import Hyper V Virtual Machine from windows 2008R2 to Windows 2012R2.

We were trying to Export the VM’s from windows 2008R2 hyper server by following the standard procedure.

Export Procedure

  1. Open Hyper V manager

  2. Shutdown the VM to be exported (Saving or Pausing the Virtual Machine will not work)

  3. Select the VM and do export and it created the exported folder for us

  4. Copy the Exported folder to the destination server


Import Procedure 

Now we went to our new, shiny Windows 2012 R2 server, already configured with Hyper V Role, in-fact I have a couple of VM’s running on it.

Went ahead and selected to import the Virtual Machine on Server 2012R2, browsed to the folder which I copied from Source Windows 2008R2 server

Import Hyper V Virtual Machine from 2008R2 to 2012R2

Error while importing VM on destination windows 2012 server


Tried a few thing, but no success, it is not willing to see my VM.

Finally found out that  Windows Server 2012 R2 can only import from Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. To import those VMs exported using Windows Server 2008 R2, you first need to import to a Windows Server 2012 machine, then import those files into Windows Server 2012R2 (either by exporting from Server 2012 or just directly importing the files from Server 2012). Export isn’t actually required to import with Server 2012 and later.

Hope this one saves some time 🙂


Since, it was for only about 20 Virtual Machines, we decided to first configure the VM in the HyperV Manager without the VHD attached to it. Once the VM config is ready, we simply shutdown the server. Than, transferred the VHD to the new Server. Added the Virtual machine to the VM Config, and started it. Another task you need to you complete is to reconfigure the network on the Virtual.

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An automobile enthusiast at heart and computer geek by profession, started my Career with MS in 2005.Left Jobs and started Pledge Technologies (the parent company to Grishbi) back in 2009.We have been providing IT consulting to various Small and Medium businesses across US and UK since then.Our company specialises in Microsoft Server technologies like AD, Exchange, the rest and with numerous Office 365 migrations under our belt, we quite an expert with that too. Whatever we learn in our day to day life, we share it back on Grishbi as a Thank for all the love and support our customers have given us.
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