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Configure Disks and Storage

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

A virtual machine can use three types of storage media:

  • Hard disks, both virtual hard disks and physical disks

  • CDs and DVDs, both physical discs and image files (also known as .iso files)

  • Virtual floppy disks

To make various types of media and storage available to a virtual machine, you must configure the drive for the virtual machine by adding or removing it, or by changing the media.

You can add or remove virtual hard disks and physical disks attached directly to a virtual machine even when the virtual machine is running. The disks must be attached to a virtual machine SCSI controller and integration services must be installed in the guest operating system. As a best practice, we recommend taking a disk offline in the guest operating system before you remove the disk to avoid potential data loss.

noteNote
At a minimum, a virtual machine requires at least one disk to provide a location to install the guest operating system. You can add or remove additional drives as needed. When you create a virtual machine, a DVD drive is added automatically.

Configure hard disks, CDs, and DVDs

To configure hard disks, CDs, and DVDs for a virtual machine, you modify the settings of the virtual machine.

ImportantImportant
The disk that serves as the system disk must be attached to one of the IDE controllers. If you attach the system disk to a SCSI controller, the virtual machine will not start.

To add a hard disk to a virtual machine
  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.

  2. In the results pane, under Virtual Machines, select the virtual machine that you want to configure.

  3. In the Action pane, under the virtual machine name, click Settings.

  4. In the navigation pane (left pane), click the controller that you want to attach the disk to.

  5. Click Add.

  6. On the Hard Drive page, select the location on the controller to attach the disk.

  7. Under Media, do one of the following:

    • Specify the location of the virtual hard disk (.vhd) file.

    • Specify a physical hard disk.

  8. Click OK.

To modify or remove a hard drive or DVD drive
  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.

  2. In the results pane, under Virtual Machines, select the virtual machine that you want to configure.

  3. In the Action pane, under the virtual machine name, click Settings.

  4. In the navigation pane (left pane), click the hard drive or the DVD drive.

  5. On the Hard Drive or DVD Drive page, do one of the following:

    • To attach the drive to different media, under Media, select the appropriate media.

    • To remove the drive, click Remove.

  6. Click OK.

Configure the diskette drive

To make a virtual floppy disk available to a virtual machine, you must attach the virtual floppy disk (.vfd) file to the diskette drive. The diskette drive is always available and cannot be removed.

To configure the diskette drive
  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.

  2. In the results pane, under Virtual Machines, select the virtual machine that you want to configure.

  3. In the Action pane, under the virtual machine name, click Settings.

  4. In the navigation pane (left pane), click Diskette Drive.

  5. Under Media, click Virtual floppy disk (.vfd) file and then type or browse to the location of the .vfd file.

  6. Click OK.

Additional considerations

  • By default, membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. However, an administrator can use Authorization Manager to modify the authorization policy so that a user or group of users can complete this procedure. For more information, see Using Authorization Manager for Hyper-V Security (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=142886).

  • Hyper-V does not support the use of storage media if Encrypting File System has been used to encrypt .iso, .vhd, and .vfd files. However, you can use files stored on a volume that uses Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption.

  • Do not attach a virtual hard disk to a virtual machine if the .vhd file is stored in a compressed folder. The virtual machines will not be able to access the virtual hard disk.

  • Do not store .vhd files on shared folders.

  • Only one virtual machine can access a physical CD or DVD drive at a time.

  • To allow a virtual machine to access an .iso file on a shared folder in a domain environment, you must configure the server running Hyper-V for constrained delegation. Configure the computer account of the server running Hyper-V to present delegated credentials for the Common Internet File System (CIFS) service type.

  • A physical disk must be offline before you can add it to a virtual machine. You can use Disk Manager to take a physical disk offline.

Additional references

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