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Creating a Virtual Machine from an Existing Virtual Hard Disk in VMM

This topic describes how to create a virtual machine from a virtual hard disk file (.vhd) in the Virtual Machine Manager library.


The source virtual hard disk must meet the following requirements:

  • The Administrator password on the virtual hard disk should be blank as part of the Sysprep process. However, the Administrator password for the guest operating system profile does not have to be blank.
  • Virtual Machine Additions must be installed on the virtual machine.
  • The Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2003 R2 operating system must be installed.
  • The operating system must have been prepared for duplication by using the System Preparation tool (SysPrep.exe).


To create a virtual machine from a virtual hard disk:

  1. On the Actions pane in the Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console, click New virtual machine.
  2. Complete the New Virtual Machine Wizard.
Wizard Page Action

Select Source

  1. Select the From an existing template, virtual machine, or virtual hard disk stored in the library option, and then click Select.
  2. In the Select Library Object dialog box, select the virtual hard disk that you want to use.

Virtual Machine Identity

Configure the following options:

  • Virtual machine name (required). Type a unique name for the virtual machine.
  • Description (optional). Type a description for the new virtual machine.
  • Owner (required). The owner must have a domain account in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

Configure Hardware

To configure additional hardware for the virtual machine, use the following procedures:

  • CPU Requirements -- Specify the processor resources on a host that you want a virtual machine to use. This entry does not actually specify hardware. The CPU type is used in calculating resource requirements for host ratings.
  • Amount of Memory -- Specify the amount of memory on a host that you want to allocate to any virtual machine created from the settings on this hardware profile.
  • Floppy Drive -- Specify the virtual floppy drive settings. The virtual floppy drive can read a physical floppy disk inserted into the physical floppy drive on the host or it can read a virtual floppy disk file.
  • DVD Drive or Virtual Hard Disk (IDE) -- Specify which IDE devices that you want to add and configure on a virtual machine.
  • Virtual Hard Disk (SCSI adapter) -- Specify one or more virtual SCSI adapters to a virtual machine. You can then attach a virtual hard disk to the SCSI adapter.
  • Network Adapters -- Configure one or more virtual network adapters to connect to virtual networks.
  • Virtual Machine Priority for Host CPU Resources -- Specify how CPU resources are allocated among virtual machines deployed on the same host.

Select Destination

Choose between two options:

  • Place the virtual machine on a host. The wizard will continue through all of the remaining wizard pages.
  • Store the virtual machine in the library. The wizard will continue with the Select Path wizard page.

Select Virtual Machine Host

(Host placement only)

Select a host to deploy the virtual machine on.

All hosts that are available for placement are given a rating of 0-5 stars based on their suitability to host the virtual machine. The host ratings are based on the virtual machine's hardware and resource requirements and anticipated resource usage. They are also based on placement settings that you can customize for VMM or for individual virtual machine deployments. The ratings are recommendations. You can select any host that has the required disk space and memory available.

  1. To see the placement settings that were used to rate the hosts, and optionally change those settings, click Customize Ratings to open the Customize Ratings dialog box.
    You can choose between two placement goals--either resource maximization on individual hosts or load balancing among hosts--and set the relative importance of the availability of CPU, memory, disk I/O capacity, and network capacity for the virtual machine. For more information, see "How Virtual Machine Manager Rates Hosts" ( If you change settings, the host ratings will be repeated to apply the new settings. When you finish reviewing settings, close the dialog box.
  2. To view additional information about a host rating, select the host in the list. The tabs in the details pane beneath the list provide the following information:
    • Details -- Displays the status of the host and lists the virtual machines that are currently deployed on it.
    • Ratings Explanation -- If a host receives a zero rating, this tab lists the conditions that caused the rating.
    • SAN Explanation -- If a SAN transfer cannot be used to move the virtual machine's files to the host, this tab lists the conditions that prevent a SAN transfer.

Select Path

Select the path to the folder that will store the configuration files for the virtual machine:

  • If you chose Place the virtual machine on a host, specify the path on the host to which to save files associated with this virtual machine.


    If you would like to store other virtual machines on this path, select the Add this path to the list of host default paths check box to add the path to the list of default paths during virtual machine creation.

  • If you chose Store the virtual machine in the library, specify the library server that will store the virtual machine, and then select the path on the available library shares to store the virtual machine's configuration files. The wizard will continue with the Summary page.

Additional Properties

(Host placement only)

To enable optional actions when the Virtual Server service starts and stops, you must specify the account that Virtual Server will run under. For account requirements, see " 'Run-as' Account Requirements for Virtual Server" (

If the hardware supports hardware-assisted virtualization, and you would like to use that feature with the new virtual machine, select the Use Hardware Assisted Virtualization check box.


Review the configuration settings. To change settings, click Previous. To begin creating the virtual machine, click Create.


Use the View Script button to display the Windows PowerShell - Virtual Machine Manager cmdlets that will perform the operation. All administrative tasks in Virtual Machine Manager can be performed at the command line or scripted.

Tutorial: Getting Started Creating Virtual Machines in VMM