What do I need to backup to recreate a Hyper-V virtual Machine



  • I use Crashplans' client to backup all of the files on my server and I like it, it's cheap, fast and is easy to restore from. I don't however understand the process of backing up a Virtual Machine. Let's say I have a physical installation using Windows Server 2012 R2 and it is acting as a Type 1 hypervisor.

    This hypervisor is running two virtual machines, Active directory and a file server.

    If the box dies or is stolen (whatever) I run out to the nearest computer store, buy a server and get it setup as a Hyper-V box.

    What do I need to backup in order to restore my DC and file servers themselves? I have the raw file shares themselves, but not the virtual machines or C : Drives (if you will).

    I see some vendors offer services to backup virtual machines, is this specifically and only for the VM it's self or does it include the files as well?

    Thanks for the education



  • @DustinB3403 This sounds like you are asking this on someone's behalf?



  • If you have the C drive as vhd/vhdx, you should be able to easily import the VM as long as you have the config files (they would be in the default folder unless you moved them).



  • @FATeknollogee said in What do I need to backup to recreate a Hyper-V virtual Machine:

    @DustinB3403 This sounds like you are asking this on someone's behalf?

    Sure 🙂



  • If they're trying to do this on a shoestring budget, then use the Windows Server Backup to make backups of the individual VMs, and store them some place other than the physical server on which they reside.



  • If you have a backup of the entire C drive, you can choose to create a new vhd containing the contents of that folder. I've never tried this method, not sure if it will boot up easily.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What do I need to backup to recreate a Hyper-V virtual Machine:

    I use Crashplans' client to backup all of the files on my server and I like it, it's cheap, fast and is easy to restore from. I don't however understand the process of backing up a Virtual Machine. Let's say I have a physical installation using Windows Server 2012 R2 and it is acting as a Type 1 hypervisor.

    This hypervisor is running two virtual machines, Active directory and a file server.

    If the box dies or is stolen (whatever) I run out to the nearest computer store, buy a server and get it setup as a Hyper-V box.

    What do I need to backup in order to restore my DC and file servers themselves? I have the raw file shares themselves, but not the virtual machines or C : Drives (if you will).

    I see some vendors offer services to backup virtual machines, is this specifically and only for the VM it's self or does it include the files as well?

    Thanks for the education

    I wouldn't use CrashPlan for that, https://support.code42.com/CrashPlan/4/Backup/Back_up_virtual_machines_and_separate_boot_partitions



  • I just took over a job where the previous IT guy installed CrashPlan on the Hyper-V host to backup 8x vm's....😡 😰

    Today, I had to deliver the bad news to the client...you have NO backups!!



  • @CCWTech probably has some CrashPlan input to provide.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What do I need to backup to recreate a Hyper-V virtual Machine:

    I use Crashplans' client to backup all of the files on my server and I like it, it's cheap, fast and is easy to restore from. I don't however understand the process of backing up a Virtual Machine. Let's say I have a physical installation using Windows Server 2012 R2 and it is acting as a Type 1 hypervisor.

    This hypervisor is running two virtual machines, Active directory and a file server.

    If the box dies or is stolen (whatever) I run out to the nearest computer store, buy a server and get it setup as a Hyper-V box.

    What do I need to backup in order to restore my DC and file servers themselves? I have the raw file shares themselves, but not the virtual machines or C : Drives (if you will).

    I see some vendors offer services to backup virtual machines, is this specifically and only for the VM it's self or does it include the files as well?

    Thanks for the education

    It depends on the version of Hyper-V for exact file extensions below, but on all recent versions of Hyper-V, there are several parts:

    1. VM Config Files
      a. <ID>.vmcx
      b. <ID>.vmgs
      c. <ID>.VMRS
      d. <ID> Folder

    2. VM Virtual Disks
      a. <VM Name>.vhdx
      b. Possibly others if you configured your VMs that way.

    3. VM Checkpoint Files
      a. <VM Name_ID>.avhdx
      b. <Snapshots> Folder

    To successfully back up and restore a VM as a whole (import), you need to make sure all of those are backed up. Most backup software does this when you select the HOST or the VM itself to back up.

    If you only back up the VM's (C:) drive, you will need to re-create and also re-configure the VM itself, using the existing (C:) drive of the VM (which would be the <VM Name>.vhdx file you backed up.

    Also, if you choose to only back up the VM's (C:) drive or primary .vhdx file and you have Checkpoints, you will not have a backup of the most recent content of your VM.

    The built-in Windows Server Backup does all of this naively. If you just have a few VMs on a Hyper-V Host, it will work fine. I know this because I used it to it's limits before buying Veeam. And even that isn't much better. Though, I do love the tape backup handling. That part rocks.



  • It's been a while, so I missed some. Here's a much better break-down:
    https://www.petri.com/new-file-types-windows-server-2016-hyper-v-vms