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Switching from IDE to SATA controller types for older Windows guests in VirtualBox

May 7, 2011 1 comment
  • System Notes: Oracle VirtualBox 4.0.6, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003

I have been unable to find a decent source of material online that covers how exactly to switch from using IDE drive controllers to SATA drive controllers for older Windows guest systems under VirtualBox.  After much experimenting on my own guest systems, this is the way I have found that works:

  1. Create the guest system as you normally would, using the default IDE controller and a new VDI file for the hard drive.
  2. Install the operating system and get it up and running.
  3. Download the most recent Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers from the Intel web site.  Use the one appropriate for your operating system, whether 32 bit or 64 bit (Intel changes things regularly, but the most recent link I have for them is here).
  4. Make sure the new guest system is shut down.  Add a SATA drive controller to the Storage entry under the Settings for the new guest system in VirtualBox.
  5. Restart the new guest system, and do not install any drivers when prompted by Windows.  Run the installer for the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers, and shut down the system after install.
  6. Under the Storage entry for the Settings of the new guest system in VirtualBox, remove the existing VDI hard drive file from the IDE storage controller, and re-attach it as a hard drive under the SATA storage controller.
  7. Restart the new guest system.

Additional Notes:

I verified this method works with Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2003 (32 bit), and Windows Server 2003 R2 (both 32 and 64 bit) guest systems.  An Intel ICH8M-E/M controller should be indicated during the install of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers.  I have not retested performance on my systems after this conversion, but I have read elsewhere that it can make a big difference, especially to lower the resource draw on the host system itself.

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How to move virtual guest servers from Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 to Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment
  • System Notes: Windows Server 2008 Standard x64, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64

Now that Windows Server 2008 R2 has been out for a while, and I have gained some experience with it, I have found it to be much easier to work with than Windows Server 2008, although honestly the differences are not that great. It’s simply more refined and it really does seem as if Microsoft listened to their customers and worked all the kinks out.

I have one production Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 that we use simply as a Hyper-V host for four virtual server guests, all running Windows Server 2003 R2 (in both x86 and x64 editions). We now want to upgrade the 2008 server to R2. Concise information from Microsoft on doing this can be found at this link.

Test scenario:

  1. Build a Windows Server 2008 Standard x64 host server running the Hyper-V role, complete with Service Pack 2 and all patches available through August, 2010.
  2. Add Windows Server 2003 R2 virtual guest servers, both x86 and x64 editions. Add Service Pack 2 and all patches available through August, 2010 to both guest servers. Add various file shares for testing purposes after move to Hyper-V R2 host server.
  3. Use the Export feature of Hyper-V to export guest servers for later import to Hyper-V R2 host server (see link provided above).
  4. Build a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64 host server running the Hyper-V R2 role, complete with all patches available through August, 2010.
  5. Import guest servers to the new host server using the Hyper-V R2 console. Make sure to use the “Duplicate all files” option (see Additional Notes below).
  6. Start and verify guest servers, including network and share access, and review the Event Log for any errors.

Additional Notes:
When importing servers to the R2 host, make sure you select the “Duplicate all files so the same virtual machine can be imported again” option, if you want your virtual guest files to go to the default set of folders on the R2 host (see this link). I figured this one out the hard way, before reading the details provided in the link. I also received a few errors during the Import process of the virtual guest servers. They related to a change in the network configuration and network switch name, and were easily correctable through the Settings interface for each of the servers. Don’t forget to update the Hyper-V Integration Services once the guest servers are imported to the new R2 host.

Categories: Hyper-V, migration, R2