Hyper-V Server R2 RC in-place upgrade from previous beta builds (whilst running your production workloads… ;-)

As part of my work with Microsoft Gold Partner ‘The Full Circle’ (http://www.thefullcircle.com) we are constantly running pre-release software and systems, but in a production enviornment (often scary, sometimes unstable, but always a learning process! – in a good way! ;-).  Our virtualised Small Business Server 2008 server is no exception and since the beginning of 2009 has been running under Microsoft’s Hyper-V – first under Windows Server 2008 Server Core, and this last few months under Hyper-V Server and recently Hyper-V Server R2 RC.

Our first Hyper-V R2 (aka yper-V V2) beta build was 7000 – the same as the public beta of Windows 7 (Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 share the same code-base).  However, earlier this week I was at our colo facility adding a new Hyper-V Server to our Hyper-V cluster and had forgotten the DVD media (doh!), anyway the benefits of a 100Mbps Internet handoff meant this issue was quickly rectified with a swift 1.23GB download (took almost as long to burn the ISO to DVD ;-).

When building the box I quickly noticed a couple of differences, namely..
A 100Mb system reserved partition (back down from 200Mb previously)
A few subtle UI tweaks (grey background, Windows logo animation, R2 prominense, etc.)

..closer inspection once built revealed some different menu options in the sconfig (formerly HVconfig – dos style configuration menu) around remote management such as PowerShell (R2 of Hyper-V Server, like server core supports .Net Framework and therefore another level of management and application support).  The biggest tell of course, is in the bottom right hand side of the screen – it no longer says ‘Windows 7 Standard.  For testing purposes only. Build 7000′ but Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.  Evaluation copy. Build 7100’

Having these new capabilities was great, however it also gave me another job to do – upgrade the existing primary server from build 7000 to 7100.  Yep the one that is running our production SBS 2008 server, as in all of our Email, SharePoint, work, personal, you name it, its on this VM.

1st challenge – you can’t mount an ISO (unless you have an ILO or DRAC/BMC card) so you need to put the disk in the server

2nd challenge – don’t restart and boot from the DVD to perform the upgrade, remember its an in-place upgrade


I still rely on JHoward’s great bit of code – HVRemote (run cscript //h:script 1st), although note if you are managing your enviornment with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) then you’ll get a message advising the tool is Quitting

saved states are not compatible (just like the early Hyper-V beta back in March-April 2008


license agreement

compatibility report

copying files



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