Hyper-V Backup and Restore of Virtual Machines Step-by-Step

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The steps outlined here are for backup and restore of virtual machines running on Hyper-V, either on Windows Server 2022 or Windows 11 and other supported platforms. For product information please check our Hyper-V backup solution.

Backup of Hyper-V Virtual Machines

1. Create a Hyper-V Backup task using the New Task button.

2. Keep the selection “Automatic, Single Click Backup” and click Next.

3. On the next screen, simply select the VMs you want backed up. There is also the option of having the VMs automatically selected for backup by selecting “Automatic VM Selection”.

If you select “Automatic VM Selection”, the screen changes to the following:

The above Automatic VM Selection options allow the selection of VMs based on their name and other characteristics. For example, you could name your VMs Exchange_Production, SQL_Production, and so on to signify through the suffix that the VMs are production VMs and need to be backed up. In the Automatic VM Selection screen you would then check “Include only VMs with this text in their name” and enter the text _Production in the box below the check.

A typical use-case of Automatic VM Selection is the case where many VMs are created and discarded or move automatically from node to node. In that case you wouldn’t have to change the backup configuration at all as it adapts itself to the rules you defined.

Once you have your VMs selected or you defined automatic VM selection filters, click Next to proceed.

4. On the next screen, proceed with recommended settings. Detailed compression, encryption, schedule, and other settings can always be set later when the task is saved.

On the next screen, select the target folder. In this example, we’ll use a network folder target:

When the target folder is set, click Next and then “Save Task and Edit” to see the task in the main screen and make additional changes as needed.

Video: Backing up Hyper-V Virtual Machines

The above steps are also shown in the video below:

Restoring Hyper-V VMs

1. First select the Hyper-V backup task in the main screen, then click Restore in the main menu, followed by Restore Files, Folders, and VMs. If you are restoring on a new host where the backup task doesn’t exist, simply select Restore Files, Folders, and VMs in the main menu.

2. If you are restoring on the same host where the backup task still exists and you pre-selected the backup task, then the backup folder is already set and you can proceed as-is by clicking Continue. Otherwise, select the type of backup folder and then set the folder with the Browse button. In our example, the network backup folder is preset from the backup settings and we simply proceed by clicking Continue:

3. On the next screen we select the Restore Point, which is simply the date and time of the VM we want to restore. In the calendar, the days that have backups in them are shown bold. Select the day first, then the time on the right. In this example below, we select the last good backup:

After selecting the day and time of the backup, click Continue.

5. In the next screen “Restore Hyper-V Virtual Machine Selection”, select the VM you want restored. The (OK) behind the name signifies that BackupChain has checked the backup status and that the backup had run successfully.

In this example, we will use the Full Restore option, which restore the entire VM along with its configuration and checkpoints to this host. Click Proceed to continue.

6. On the next and final screen, you can enter a target folder for the VM. That’s the folder where the VM files will be stored at. If you want to restore the VM to its original path, leave the target folder setting blank and select “Restore VM to Original Location”. Please note, if your backup used encryption, you will need to enter the password now. Moreover, the default settings are such that the VM is restored as a clone. If you would like to restore the original VM with its original identity, unselect the “Clone virtual machine” check.

Proceed with the restore by clicking OK and wait until finished. The VM will then appear in the Hyper-V Manager. If it does not, refresh the VM list in the Hyper-V Manager by clicking F5.

Note: When powering up a restored VM, if you receive a “Windows has not been shut down correctly” it’s because the “booted” flag hasn’t been cleared from the hard disk image. Be assured that the VM is in good condition. In addition, the restored VM does not connect to the network. This is done by design to avoid accidentally having two servers (the original and the clone) with the same IP and network name on the same LAN. Once you have booted and checked your VM, you can always connect the VM to the LAN by setting the appropriate VM setting in the Hyper-V Manager.

Video: Restore Hyper-V Virtual Machines

The Hyper-V virtual machine restore steps above are also shown in the video below:

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