Run Hyper-V Server from a USB Flash Drive
Updated: November 27, 2013
Applies To: Hyper-V Server 2012, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
The scenario that is described in this topic is only supported for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Microsoft Hyper-V Server supports the ability to boot from a USB flash drive. This topic describes the policy requirements, hardware requirements, and steps required to create and deploy a Hyper-V Server image on an embedded USB flash drive. A USB flash drive with Hyper-V Server can provide virtualization capability for servers that ship with no local hard disk drives, and it offers the same functionality and flexibility as an installation of Hyper-V Server on a spinning disk drive.
The USB flash drive must be properly formatted, prepared with a generalized Hyper-V Server image, and it must have the boot files copied onto it to provide a virtualization experience for customers. The USB flash drive can then be used to boot Hyper-V Server onto any computer that has hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities and is capable of booting from USB.
The directions and limitations in the following topic apply to Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012: Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Flash Drive.
For Hyper-V Server, the recommended hardware is the same as that recommended for Windows To Go. For more information, see Windows To Go: Feature Overview. Specific USB flash drives that are currently recommended include:
Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate
Super Talent Express RC8
Western Digital My Passport Enterprise
In general, a host computer used for running Hyper-V Server from a flash drive must have the following characteristics:
Must be capable of booting with a USB flash drive
Must be certified for use with Windows Server and configurable to boot directly from a USB flash drive. If you are unsure of the ability of the computer to boot from a USB flash drive, check with the hardware manufacturer.
External USB hub
Not supported. Connect the USB flash drive directly to the host computer.
2.0 or newer