We have a need to backup data on a 2012 R2 server and restore it to an offsite 2008 Foundation server.

Problems arise because 2008 only supports .vhd files while 2012 insists on .vhdx vDisks only.

Any ideas on how I can get 2012 R2 to backup in a format that can be restored on 2008?

Edit: Sounds like I didn't explain this fully, allow me to try again with more detail this time:

  • Server 2012 R2 running Hyper-V role
  • Can create a .vhd file on disk fine
  • When adding drives to SCSI controller for virtualized server (again 2012 R2) only .vhdx vDisks can be attached not .vhd vDisks
  • Therefore Windows Server Backup cannot backup to a .vhd from within the virtualized server

Edit2: Attempt backup from Hyper-v layer rather than from within virtualized server

  • Create .vhd attach as partition with drive letter
  • Configure Windows Server Backup to backup to the drive letter representing the .vhd vDisk.
  • Configure back of data vDisks in use by 2012 R2 virtualised server
  • Problem: these vDisks are all .vhdx files, they must be for 2012 R2 hyper-v to use them.
  • Even if 2008 can read the .vhd backup vDisk and recover from there all it will have recovered is a bunch of .vhdx files that it cannot read.
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    Who told you that 2012 supports vhdx only? You can attach a VHD just file in 2012 R2. – Zoredache Apr 3 '14 at 17:12
  • He likely means backup. I am not sure the 2012 R2 backup routine can create VHD.... – TomTom Apr 3 '14 at 17:20

You can use the Hyper-V cmdlet Convert-VHD if you must have a .vhd file.

Convert-VHD -Path C:\VM.vhdx -DestinationPath C:\NewVM.vhd

The cmdlet is smart enough to figure out you want to convert the format, typically no extra parameters are needed, unless it's a differencing disk.

  • So, where do you get the idea he is using Hyper-V from? VHD / VHDX is also used by the backup tool. Nothing in the question indicates Hyper-V is involved. And VHD has a serious size limit - for backups ;) – TomTom Apr 3 '14 at 17:35
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    @TomTom I'm just saying since he's on 2k12 server he can leverage the cmdlets is all, they're built in I believe. – MDMoore313 Apr 3 '14 at 17:37
  • @TomTom, well the OP tagged the question with [hyper-v-2012] so that is one indication that this may be about hyper-v. You may be right about this being about Windows Server backup. The question unfortunately isn't very clear. – Zoredache Apr 3 '14 at 19:54
  • Looking like Convert-VHD might work but first need to find out how to Detach the .vhdx from the running VM, do the convert and Attach it to the running VM again. – NickC Apr 7 '14 at 15:43

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