Now that we have launched the Microsoft Virtualization strategy this Monday, I wanted to release my tool so people could start using it to import their old Virtual Machine configurations. So first of all, what is the VMC to Hyper-V Import Tool and what was it intended for?
VMC to Hyper-V Import Tool, VMC2HV for short, imports the configuration from a Virtual Machine Configuration (VMC) file. Both Virtual PC and Virtual Server use VMC files to store the hardware and other properties of a VM. It reads the VMC file and maps all relevant properties to those for a Hyper-V VM. For those properties that did not exist, it provides additional options. Those properties that no longer exist are ignored.
VMC2HV was developed to ease the transition from Virtual Server to Hyper-V. As I explained in an earlier post, I was quite annoyed by the fact that I had to enter all hardware properties manually if I wanted to use the VHD files from the Virtual Server VM with the hardware settings as they were in the original VM. It really took a lot of time to get my VS VM’s under Hyper-V. So I did not want to do that again and decided to develop a tool that would import the properties for me (development of the tool took quite more time but it was fun…).
The scope of the tool was initially to import Virtual Server VMC files. But some people also wanted to be able to import Virtual PC VMC files. So I did some additional testing with Virtual PC 2007 VMC files. It was not extensive but I did modify the code in several places to accommodate the differences between Virtual PC and Virtual Server. I did not specifically test Virtual PC 2004 VMC files. I imported several and it worked but I didn’t test those VMC files since the product has been superseded long ago. Basically the same is true for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. I only tested VMC files under the latest release of Virtual Server 2005.
Out of scope
The tool imports a VM configuration. This means it does nothing inside the VM like removing Virtual Machine Additions or installing Integration Components. I just want to make that clear to manage the expectations. Although uninstalling the Additions, installing the Integration Components and the process involved requires some work it is much less than reading the VMC file and searching and copying the hardware properties over to Hyper-V. If you want automatic removal of Additions and installation of Integration Components, use System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008.
Comparison with SCVMM
VMC2HV was never developed to replace the SCVMM functionality, as VMRCplus was never developed for the same reason. SCVMM is an enterprise class product which you should use to import, create and manage virtual machines. SCVMM can import the VMC file as well and provides some additional management functionality. VMC2HV basically does the same but was intended for people who do not (yet) have SCVMM. For example all people using Hyper-V on laptops or a couple of servers. Using SCVMM just for importing VMC files would be a bit too much of a step.
So what does the tool offer? In a list of features:
· Import of VMC files of both VS2005 and VPC2007
· Creation of VM on local Hyper-V host
· Creation of VM on remote Hyper-V host
· Validation of virtual disk and ISO files in local scenario
· Editing of virtual drive image paths (vhd, vfd, iso)
· Swapping of the first SCSI disk with the first IDE disk
· Specification of static MAC addresses
· Specification of either legacy (emulated) or enhanced network adapter
· Specification of # of virtual processors and resource control
· Specification of management settings
· Specification of COM ports
· Specification of device boot order
· Specification of alternate Virtual Machine path
· Built-in help in CHM file
· Support for both x86 and x64 Vista and Server 2008
As you can see, VMC2HV not only imports the configuration but lets you adjust almost any setting before creating the VM in Hyper-V. Several shortcut keys have been added to help speed the process if you only want to do an import-and-create of many VMC files.
You can import VMC files from any file location. Then you can create the VM either locally or remotely. In the remote scenario, both the client where VMC2HV runs and the remote Hyper-V host must be in the same domain. Or alternatively, both client and remote Hyper-V host can exist in a workgroup but you need to use mirrored administrator accounts (both same administrator, same password). Other configurations simply do not work.
The tool prevents importing VMC files which contain either saved state information or Undo disks. VM’s must be shut down and Undo disks must be committed or discarded.
I hope it just works for you but I know there are always circumstances I did or could not test. If you run into issues with a VMC file, send me the file and I may look at it to see what causes problems. If the VMC file is from an old Virtual PC version, I prefer you open the VMC file in Virtual PC 2007 SP1 and save the configuration from there. It will be reformatted in Virtual PC 2007 layout and likely to solve any import issues. If you cannot, I can look into the specific issue. The same applies to old Virtual Server VMC file versions. If import fails when using the latest VMC files, send a copy to me.
Before submitting any issues, please press F1 and see if your question is addressed in the help file. As the license agreement states, I may not support an issue at all or may not have the time. I will support on a best-effort basis.
You can find both the x86 and x64 files here.