500 Hyper-V Technology Questions You Need to Know

Can 2 VMs share a virtual disk Hyper-V?

Yes, two Hyper-V virtual machines may share a virtual disk in Hyper-V, beginning with Windows Server 2012 R2.

Microsoft states:

To configure a guest failover cluster that uses shared virtual hard disks, you require the following:
  • At least a two-node Hyper-V failover cluster. Servers must be running Windows Server 2012 R2. 
  • Servers must belong to the same Active Directory domain. 
  • Availability of configured shared storage resources—for example, CSVs on block storage (such as clustered storage spaces) or a Scale-Out File Server cluster (running Windows Server 2012 R2) with SMB 3.0 (for file-based storage). 
  • Sufficient memory, disk, and processor capacity within the failover cluster to support multiple virtual machines that are implemented as guest failover clusters.

Can a virtual machine be backed up?

Yes, a Hyper-V virtual machine should be backed up as often as it makes sense using a specialized virtual machine backup software, such as BackupChain. A virtual machine is different from a regular computer in that its virtual disks and other VM related settings are stored on a host machine. When you have multiple virtual machines on the same host, it’s important to use a Hyper-V backup solution that are efficient in the way they back up the virtual machine.

Can Hyper-V run Linux?

Yes, please check the following articles, depending on the type of Linux you wish to use. Please note that the best support, in our opinion, for all kinds of non-Windows operating systems is with VMware. However, Microsoft has updated Hyper-V and added drivers pre-installed drivers to various Linux distributions so that those operating systems will work well with Hyper-V without having to install additional software.

Can Hyper-V run Windows?

Yes, Hyper-V is part of Windows 8, 10, and 11 as “Client Hyper-V” with certain limitations. The Windows Server versions beginning with Windows Server 2008 had Hyper-V included as an installable server role. Hyper-V Server 2008 – 2019 was Microsoft’s only free operating system. It is now obsolete. It has been superseded by Azure Stack HCI, which is available as a 60-day trial. Note that BackupChain runs on all versions of Windows, included Azure Stack HCI and Windows Core installations that do not include a graphical user interface; however, BackupChain does provide the same graphical user interface even on Core installations of Windows.

Can I clone a Hyper-V virtual machine?

Yes a Hyper-V virtual machine can be cloned. You could either back up the Hyper-V virtual machine with BackupChain and then restore it as a clone, or you could export the VM and then create a new VM with similar settings and link to the VHDs that were exported. You could also replicate a virtual machine automatically on a schedule.

Can I copy a Hyper-V virtual machine?

Yes, copying a Hyper-V VM can be done manually or you could replicate a virtual machine automatically on a schedule. To copy the virtual machine by hand, simply right click on the VM name in Hyper-V Manager and then select Export. Provide a target folder and let Hyper-V copy all the necessary files.

Can I install BackupChain on the Hyper-V host?

Yes, installing BackupChain backup software on the host is the preferred method for virtual machine backups because this is the most efficient way to back up VMs. Installing BackupChain inside virtual machines is also possible. See Backing up Virtual Machines vs. Backing up Inside VM.

Can snapshot replace backup?

Snapshots, now called Checkpoints in newer Windows Server versions, are not replacing backups. Snapshots simply create a checkpoint file, a so-called differencing file to which Hyper-V continues to write disk changes. When the snapshot is deleted, Hyper-V simply discards the checkpoint file. Backups, on the other hand, are taken to different storage media or even locations (in the case of cloud backup), to ensure that even if the host server fails completely, you have a working copy of the virtual machine. Hence, snapshots or checkpoints have little to nothing in common with backups. The ideal scenario for checkpoints is to use them for short-term risk management, for example, if a Windows Update is attempted and you would want to be able to revert in case the update corrupts the VM (a not so uncommon scenario).

Can VirtualBox and Hyper-V coexist?

Yes, but it’s generally a bad idea. Users have reported random blue-screen system failures when multiple hypervisors are installed and running simultaneously.

Can VMware coexist with Hyper-V?

No, VMware needs its own host operating system. VMware Player and VMware Workstation can be run on Windows; however, they will not install if Hyper-V is already installed, for a good reason.

Can you move a virtual machine from one physical host to another?

Yes you can move Hyper-V virtual machines from one host to another either by hand or automatically using BackupChain. To do it by hand, simply right-click on the VM name in Hyper-V Manager and select Export. Then move the folder you created after the export finishes to the new host. On the new host, select Import from the Hyper-V Manager menu to import the VM.

BackupChain offers a great feature to copy a virtual machine automatically on a schedule using Hyper-V backup. This process can be done while virtual machine is running with absolutely no downtime or any risk to the VM.

Can you restore a backup to a virtual machine?

Yes, with BackupChain you can back up your physical server and restore as a Hyper-V virtual machine. You can also restore at the file-level into a VM or use a network share as a restore target.

Can you restore a virtual machine?

A virtual machine backed up with BackupChain can be restored on any other host machine. You can even back up VMs running on Windows 11 client Hyper-V and restore them on Windows Server. Vice-versa is also possible with a specific work-around.

Can you run two hypervisors at the same time?

No, running two hypervisors simultaneously is a bad idea and generally not supported. However, experimentally this has been achieved with VMware and VirtualBox. Another option is nested virtualization, which does work but is probably only useful in development and testing scenarios.

Can you store a virtual machine on an external hard drive?

Yes, a virtual machine can be stored on external drives. Ideally you will want to use USB 3 or later, such as USB 3.2, and a SSD or faster storage for best performance. Note, however, that USB controllers are by far not as reliable as SATA or SCSI, so expect to see occasional glitches where Windows loses connection to the external storage.

Do virtual machines have their own storage?

Yes, virtual machines have their own dedicated storage, called virtual disks. A virtual disk is like a real disk but it’s simulated by the host. You can shrink or expand virtual disks as needed. Hyper-V supports the older VHD and the new VHDX format. The latter is more reliable and can be used for larger virtual disks.

Do virtual machines save data?

Yes, changes to virtual machines are stored inside their virtual disks. However, if you use a checkpoint, you can quickly discard all the changes made and revert to a previous state within seconds. If you needed a computer that always resets itself quickly to a defined state after you use it, a virtual machine would be the best solution.

Do you need Hyper-V to run a virtual machine?

No, on Windows there are many other options to run virtual machines. You could use VirtualBox or VMware Player or VMware Workstation, for example. BackupChain supports VirtualBox backup and VMware backup, as well.

Does deleting the VM from Hyper-V delete the disks?

No, when you delete the virtual machine, Hyper-V does not delete the virtual disks that the VM uses. On Windows Server 2008, it won’t even remove the configuration, it will only remove it visually from the screen. On newer Windows Server versions, Hyper-V will remove the configuration but not the disks.

Does deleting a virtual machine free up space?

Virtual machines use virtual disks as their storage, that’s where the space is being used. By deleting the VM in Hyper-V Manager, Hyper-V only removes the VM configuration and the link to it. The virtual disks remain on the host. You will need to check the VM settings and see where the virtual disks are stored, and then delete those files by hand after you delete the VM in Hyper-V.

Does Hyper-V cause performance issues?

Since Hyper-V simulates one or more computers on the same physical host, you can expect that under heavy load it will max out what the hardware resources can offer. If the VMs are idle, the performance impact will not be so dramatic, as long as the physical host has enough free RAM and system disk space to function. Under high I/O load (more than the HW can handle), however, you can expect dramatic performance degradation on the host and across all VMs.

Does Hyper-V cost anything?

No, Hyper-V is already included in Windows 8-11 Pro, and all Windows Server versions beginning with Windows Server 2008. Azure Stack HCI, does involve a cost, in the form of a subscription.

Does Hyper-V have snapshots?

Yes, Hyper-V offers snapshots. In Windows Server 2016 they were renamed to checkpoints but are functionally identical to snapshots and the terminology used in VMware and other hypervisors.

Does Hyper-V have something like VMware tools?

Yes, Hyper-V used to have Hyper-V Integration Services. Newer Windows versions and Linux distributions have them built-in. Occasionally when you try to add a VM to a new Windows Server Hyper-V host that isn’t supported, you can try to copy the vmguest.iso from an older Windows Server host and attach it to a VM as a CD, in order to get the Hyper-V integration to work properly.

Does Hyper-V slow down your PC?

Hyper-V used on Windows 8-11 will not slow down the host PC unless the VMs are very resource intensive. Another issue that may lead to a slow down is using up all of the host’s RAM or system disk space.

Does Microsoft own Veeam?

No, Microsoft does not own Veeam. However, the Forbes Magazine states that “… the entirety of the back office of Veeam Software” is based in Russia. Hence,  there may be some ties to Russia.

Does rebooting Hyper-V host reboot VMs?

When you reboot the Hyper-V host, Hyper-V quickly saves the state of all running VMs. A saved state is like a freeze. Once the host reboots, the VMs are resumed again. However, you can override the default behavior in the VM’s settings in Hyper-V.

Does BackupChain work with Hyper-V?

Yes, BackupChain works on all Windows versions that support Hyper-V. This includes core installations of Windows, the free Hyper-V Server operating system, and the newer Azure State HCI.

How do I access data from a virtual machine?

You could use Remote Desktop and access host files via \\tsclient. Or, you could set up a network share inside the VM or on the host, and access it from either side. Or you can use PowerShell to copy a file from the host to the VM or vice versa.

How do I access my Hyper-V virtual machine?

In order to access the Hyper-V virtual machine you need some kind of a remote tool, such as Remote Desktop, which comes with Windows, or a 3-rd party solution, such as ScreenConnect, Citrix, TeamViewer, or similar software. Remote Desktop is not a good choice in terms of security if you plan to access your Hyper-V VM over the internet. In that case you could set up a VPN and then once you have a VPN connection, you can connect via Remote Desktop (RDP).

How do I access my local drive in Hyper-V?

With your local drive you probably mean the host’s drive. In order to access the host’s drives from a virtual machine you will either have to create a network share on the host and access it from inside the VM, or you could use \\tsclient inside the VM. The latter requires an active RDP session. Also, when connecting via RDP you must select to allow access to certain host drives before connecting.

How do I add more memory to my Hyper-V VM?

You can add more memory to any virtual machine by simply accessing the VM’s settings. Be aware, however, that if you use dynamic RAM sizing, the host may over-allocate RAM and run out of memory. On the other hand, if you reserve a large chunk of RAM for each VM, it limits the number of VMs you can host. And, when the VMs are just idling, you would be wasting (or under-utilizing) your host’s RAM.

How do I automate a Hyper-V backup?

Hyper-V backup in BackupChain is fully automated. You simply create a Hyper-V backup task, select your VMs and then set a target folder. In the Schedule tab, simply set a schedule, such as daily or weekly and the backups will run automatically. See this video.

How do I backup and restore my Hyper V virtual machine?

Automatic Hyper-V virtual machine backup and restoring a Hyper-V virtual machine are very simple tasks in BackupChain. See the illustrated instructions for backup and restore.

How do I backup Hyper-V on Windows 11?

BackupChain is the only Hyper-V backup solution for Windows 11 and it also supports Windows 10 and Windows 8. See this video and see how easy it is to use.

Backup Software Overview

The Best Backup Software in 2024
Download BackupChain®

BackupChain is the all-in-one server backup software for:
Server Backup
Disk Image Backup
Drive Cloning and Disk Copy
VirtualBox Backup
VMware Backup
Image Backup
FTP Backup
Cloud Backup
File Server Backup
Virtual Machine Backup
Server Backup Solution

Hyper-V Backup

  • 18 Hyper-V Tips & Strategies You Need to Know
  • How to Back up Windows 10 Hyper-V VMs
  • Hyper-V Backup



    Other Backup How-To Guides