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Hyper-V Export and Import Not Easy

NOTE: Read all the import instructions before restoring/importing a machine. If you mess this up you can be in big trouble (as it will only let you import once by default.)

I use Hyper-V to host my TFS environment. As someone with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscription, I have access to the technologies such as TFS (Team Foundation Server).

So that I can stay in practice, I use TFS for my personal source control. If all you want is personal source control, that might be overkill, but my motivation is to understand the environment. To keep hardware costs down I use a host server running Windows Server 2008 R2 and host three Hyper-V machines – a TFS server, a Build machine, and a Test machine.

I don’t want to lose that valuable data, so what can I do as a low cost backup? At this point I’m using the Export feature for the virtual machines. Wow, that’s not as intuitive as I would like. I think this is the most important post for anyone in the same boat:

Hyper-V Import / Export in Windows Server 2008 R2

along with:

Hyper-V – Export & Import (Part 1)
Hyper-V – Export & Import (Part 2)

I’ve used lots of Ben Armstrong’s (Virtual PC Guy’s) posts and this one seems to point to some really good examples. I’m mainly doing this post so that as I do my backup work I can remember what I did…

I basically turn off all my machines, then export them to an external USB drive. If I need to restore them, then I will set them up in the right directory location (Ben’s Export & Import (Part 1)), then Import again and “Reuse old virtual machine IDs”.

I have quite a few snapshots of TFS, so there were the sizes of my three backups (exports):

  • TFS:    73 GB
  • Build: 19 GB
  • Test:   20 GB

I need to now find a way to remove some of the snapshots…

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