Registering a virtual machine with Hyper-V in Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012

When you import a virtual machine into Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012 / Windows 8 – you now have three options:  Register, restore and copy:


Restore and copy were available in previous versions of Hyper-V – but register is a new option.  Let me quickly step you through what each of these options do:

  • Register
    • If you have a virtual machine were you have already put all of the virtual machine files exactly where you want them, and you just need Hyper-V to start using the virtual machine where it is – this is the option you want to choose.
  • Restore
    • If your virtual machine files are stored on a file share / removable drive / etc… and you want Hyper-V to move the files to the appropriate location for you, and then register the virtual machine – this is the option for you.
  • Copy
    • If you have a set of virtual machine files that you want to import multiple times (e.g. you are using them as a template for new virtual machines) this is what you want to choose.  This will copy the files to an appropriate location, give the virtual machine a new unique ID, and then register the virtual machine.