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I want to be able to read data from the Hyper-V VMs on the host. I understand I can go to DISM and attach VHD there - but it requires a VM to be offline - otherwise I get the following error:

Virtual Disk Manager

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

Are there any ways to achieve this while keeping VM online? I want this primary for making backups easier.

  • That's not how you should be backing up your VM's. You can use Windows Server Backup to backup your virtual machines from the Hyper-V host, you can use Windows Server Backup from within Windows Server based virtual machines to back up the virtual machines from themselves, or you can use any one of a billion backup products that are available, like Veeam Backup or Trilead VM Explorer. – joeqwerty Mar 30 '15 at 20:48
  • the thing is that i do not want to backup a VM - i want to backup certain files from it - and setting up Windows Backup on all VMs sounds too complicated for my purposes. But thank you for your answer. – avs099 Mar 30 '15 at 20:50
  • Both Veeam Backup and Trilead VM Explorer allow you to perform file level restores of the files within Hyper-V VM's. That's what I would recommend. – joeqwerty Mar 30 '15 at 21:18
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If your goal is backups, then you should be using Hyper-V aware backup software (something that uses the Hyper-V VSS writer). While the VM is running, the .vhd/.vhdx file is locked.

If you want to backup files within the VM, then use any backup software you like that will backup flat files/sql/exchange/whatever.

It sounds like the VM portion it throwing you off. Take that out of the equation, treat it like a standard computer and find a backup solution that works for you.

  • can you point me to any "Hyper-V aware backup software" then pls? – avs099 Mar 30 '15 at 20:49

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