Create a VM from a generalized VHD image in a storage account

This topic covers creating a VM from a generalized unmanaged disk that is in a storage account. A generalized VHD image has had all of your personal account information removed using Sysprep. You can create a generalized VHD by running Sysprep on an on-premises VM, then uploading the VHD to Azure, or by running Sysprep on an existing Azure VM and then copying the VHD.

If you want to create a VM from a specialized VHD in a storage account, see Create a VM from a specialized VHD.

For information about using Managed Disks instead of disks in a storage account, see Created a managed VM image and Create a VM from a managed image.


If you are going to use a VHD uploaded from an on-premises VM, like one created using Hyper-V, you should make sure you followed the directions in Prepare a Windows VHD to upload to Azure.

Both uploaded VHDs and existing Azure VM VHDs need to be generalized before you can create a VM using this method. For more information, see Generalize a Windows virtual machine using Sysprep.

Set the URI of the VHD

The URI for the VHD to use is in the format: In this example the VHD named myVHD is in the storage account mystorageaccount in the container mycontainer.

$imageURI = ""

Create a virtual network

Create the vNet and subnet of the virtual network.

  1. Create the subnet. The following sample creates a subnet named mySubnet in the resource group myResourceGroup with the address prefix of

     $rgName = "myResourceGroup"
     $subnetName = "mySubnet"
     $singleSubnet = New-AzureRmVirtualNetworkSubnetConfig -Name $subnetName -AddressPrefix
  2. Create the virtual network. The following sample creates a virtual network named myVnet in the West US location with the address prefix of

     $location = "West US"
     $vnetName = "myVnet"
     $vnet = New-AzureRmVirtualNetwork -Name $vnetName -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Location $location `
         -AddressPrefix -Subnet $singleSubnet

Create a public IP address and network interface

To enable communication with the virtual machine in the virtual network, you need a public IP address and a network interface.

  1. Create a public IP address. This example creates a public IP address named myPip.

     $ipName = "myPip"
     $pip = New-AzureRmPublicIpAddress -Name $ipName -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Location $location `
         -AllocationMethod Dynamic
  2. Create the NIC. This example creates a NIC named myNic.

     $nicName = "myNic"
     $nic = New-AzureRmNetworkInterface -Name $nicName -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Location $location `
         -SubnetId $vnet.Subnets[0].Id -PublicIpAddressId $pip.Id

Create the network security group and an RDP rule

To be able to log in to your VM using RDP, you need to have a security rule that allows RDP access on port 3389.

This example creates an NSG named myNsg that contains a rule called myRdpRule that allows RDP traffic over port 3389. For more information about NSGs, see Opening ports to a VM in Azure using PowerShell.

$nsgName = "myNsg"

$rdpRule = New-AzureRmNetworkSecurityRuleConfig -Name myRdpRule -Description "Allow RDP" `
    -Access Allow -Protocol Tcp -Direction Inbound -Priority 110 `
    -SourceAddressPrefix Internet -SourcePortRange * `
    -DestinationAddressPrefix * -DestinationPortRange 3389

$nsg = New-AzureRmNetworkSecurityGroup -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Location $location `
    -Name $nsgName -SecurityRules $rdpRule

Create a variable for the virtual network

Create a variable for the completed virtual network.

$vnet = Get-AzureRmVirtualNetwork -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Name $vnetName

Create the VM

The following PowerShell script shows how to set up the virtual machine configurations and use the uploaded VM image as the source for the new installation.

    # Enter a new user name and password to use as the local administrator account 
    # for remotely accessing the VM.
    $cred = Get-Credential

    # Name of the storage account where the VHD is located. This example sets the 
    # storage account name as "myStorageAccount"
    $storageAccName = "myStorageAccount"

    # Name of the virtual machine. This example sets the VM name as "myVM".
    $vmName = "myVM"

    # Size of the virtual machine. This example creates "Standard_D2_v2" sized VM. 
    # See the VM sizes documentation for more information: 
    $vmSize = "Standard_D2_v2"

    # Computer name for the VM. This examples sets the computer name as "myComputer".
    $computerName = "myComputer"

    # Name of the disk that holds the OS. This example sets the 
    # OS disk name as "myOsDisk"
    $osDiskName = "myOsDisk"

    # Assign a SKU name. This example sets the SKU name as "Standard_LRS"
    # Valid values for -SkuName are: Standard_LRS - locally redundant storage, Standard_ZRS - zone redundant
    # storage, Standard_GRS - geo redundant storage, Standard_RAGRS - read access geo redundant storage,
    # Premium_LRS - premium locally redundant storage. 
    $skuName = "Standard_LRS"

    # Get the storage account where the uploaded image is stored
    $storageAcc = Get-AzureRmStorageAccount -ResourceGroupName $rgName -AccountName $storageAccName

    # Set the VM name and size
    $vmConfig = New-AzureRmVMConfig -VMName $vmName -VMSize $vmSize

    #Set the Windows operating system configuration and add the NIC
    $vm = Set-AzureRmVMOperatingSystem -VM $vmConfig -Windows -ComputerName $computerName `
        -Credential $cred -ProvisionVMAgent -EnableAutoUpdate
    $vm = Add-AzureRmVMNetworkInterface -VM $vm -Id $nic.Id

    # Create the OS disk URI
    $osDiskUri = '{0}vhds/{1}-{2}.vhd' `
        -f $storageAcc.PrimaryEndpoints.Blob.ToString(), $vmName.ToLower(), $osDiskName

    # Configure the OS disk to be created from the existing VHD image (-CreateOption fromImage).
    $vm = Set-AzureRmVMOSDisk -VM $vm -Name $osDiskName -VhdUri $osDiskUri `
        -CreateOption fromImage -SourceImageUri $imageURI -Windows

    # Create the new VM
    New-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Location $location -VM $vm

Verify that the VM was created

When complete, you should see the newly created VM in the Azure portal under Browse > Virtual machines, or by using the following PowerShell commands:

    $vmList = Get-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName $rgName

Next steps

To manage your new virtual machine with Azure PowerShell, see Manage virtual machines using Azure Resource Manager and PowerShell.