Our cloud product has been transferred to another company. This company have their own Azure subscription and I need to transfer all the services to the new subscription. The cloud service includes an Azure SQL Database, a Cloud Service (classic, with 1 web role and 1 worker role), a storage account (classic) and VM (classic) running SQL Server with Reporting Services.

Our CI/CD server has been configured to deploy the database and cloud services. The storage service is being transferred using AzCopy.

The problem I have is, I don't have the details to reconfigure a Reporting Server. I have taken a copy of the VHDs (whilst the machine was switched off, but not sysprepped) and copied them to the new storage service. I need to find a way to create a new classic VM and attach the two VHDs to it without disrupting the existing environment. Once the environment has passed testing, the current environment will be torn down. Because the VM is a "classic" model, the Azure portal will not transfer it to another subscription. I'd like to avoid sysprepping the current live reporting server if possible because I cannot afford to disrupt the current service.

I have read a lot on here but most of it seems to apply to later (non-classic) VMs and refers to "managed" and "unmanaged" disks, which I don't understand. There are scripts that create virtual networks, etc. that the current environment does not seem to have anything comparable.

I'm hoping someone can help me with the easiest way to transfer this VM?

  • If you have a copy of the relevant VHD's in the new subscription why not create a new VM and attach these VHD's? You can then run Sysprep if needed on the new VM. Alternately, download the VHD's to your local environment, create a VM with these VHD's, Sysprep the VM and then upload the VHD's back to your subscription? Or perhaps I'm not quite understanding what you need to do.
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:39
  • @joeqwerty Thanks for your comment. The bit I'm struggling with is when I use the portal to create a new VM I can't find a method that allows me to just create an empty, blank VM with no disks. The only thing I can see are templates for existing models. Do you know of a way to create a blank VM and attach the VHDs?
    – Andy Jones
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:42
  • Admittedly, I don't use Azure that much, but this should (hopefully) help. - docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/…
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 19, 2017 at 21:03
  • @joeqwerty Thanks Joe for the initial idea to download to Hyper. I'll combine your advice with that of Walter and see how I get on.
    – Andy Jones
    Apr 20, 2017 at 11:46
  • Glad to help...
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 20, 2017 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


According to your scenario, if you want your original VMs and new VMs exist at the same time, you need to execute sysprep. Now, you could not execute on original VMs, I suggest you could download the VM's VHDs to your local and use the VHD to create new VM in Hyper, then you could execute sysprep. Please refer to the following steps:

1.Download your original VM's VHD to your local PC from Azure, you could use Azcopy.

2.Create a new VM in Hyper, you could refer to this link.

3.On Hyper VM, you need to execute sysprep.

4.Upload VHD to Azure classic storage account. Important: If using AzCopy to copy the VHD from local storage to Azure Storage, make sure you specify /BlobType:Page for the copy.

5.Create a new Image on classic Portal.

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6.Create new VM on Azure with your Image.

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  • I'm going to give this approach a try. I have started the VHDs downloading. Once they're down I'll try creating an instance in Hyper, sysprepping it and re-upload it to Azure. Thanks for your detailed instructions. I'll let you know how it goes.
    – Andy Jones
    Apr 20, 2017 at 11:45
  • OK, what is progress now? Apr 21, 2017 at 0:56
  • Unfortunately, the download failed with a "Could Not Finish the Operation Within Specified Timeout" message. One of the VHDs is 1TB (it's not full). I've seen some advice about reducing the number of threads AzCopy is using and am trying that.
    – Andy Jones
    Apr 22, 2017 at 10:22
  • Yes, according to the error, it seems download timeout. You had better improve your network environment. Apr 24, 2017 at 1:27
  • I've managed to get the disks down. Having sysprepped the OS I rebooted it to see what impact sysprep would have on the environment. I haven't completely got SSRS responding and need to get help from a colleague on this so, I've sysprepped the original download again and am attempting to upload it back to Azure to complete your instructions. I'm working from home and whilst my download speed is 200Mbps, my upload is 20Mbps. If it fails, I may need to sysprep the original server anyway. Hopefully, if I do this, I can migrate the VHD and immediately restore the server from the Backup Vault.
    – Andy Jones
    Apr 24, 2017 at 11:50

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