Boot Hyper-V R2 from USB Stick

by Marin Franković on 18 November, 2009

USB Hyper-V R2 Great news from Ben, aka as Virtual PC Guy. Microsoft made available tools and procedures that enable you to boot Hyper-V R2 Server from USB device.

TechNet article describing complete procedure is here. It seems to be a lot of work, but if you check this out it may be easier than you think.

Be aware of limitations!

  • This is only supported for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.  Not for Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • It is recommended that your USB flash disk be at least 8GB in size, and that you only fill your disk up to 75% to get the best performance / life span.
    • For this reason Paul’s tool defaults to creating a 6000MB virtual hard disk.  You can change the size of the virtual hard disk using the File menu.
  • While you can move the USB device from system to system and *most* things will work:
    • This is not supported (if you read the whole TechNet article you will see that this is only supported if you are using a USB device that is hard-wired to the system).
    • The virtual network switches will get disconnected whenever you move to a new system.
  • To reduce wear-and-tear on your flash device, the page file is disabled by this tool.  This means that you should not try and allocate every last megabyte in the system to virtual machines.  Try to leave some room for processes in the parent partition.


    Full article from Virtual Guy.

  • { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Miha Pecnik November 19, 2009 at 11:39

    Would you be so kind to list a couple examples as to why this is useful (in general and to you in particular)?


    Marin Franković November 19, 2009 at 12:18

    Currently I have dual boot of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 installed in VHD files. Having Hyper-V Server on a stick can be usefull if you have to temporarily start some applications (like WSUS) in branch office or similar. I am sure that there will be more scenarios where you will find this usefull in the future.


    Miha Pecnik November 19, 2009 at 12:26

    Thank you Marin, I’ll reconsider what this brings us.


    Denis Gundarev November 20, 2009 at 2:13

    I think this option is great for software sales guys, they can show funcionality of products without installing anything. Just come to customer and ask for one free server for one hour!


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