3 Methods to Perform Hyper-V Storage Migration Securely

Hyper-V Live Migration is a flexible technology for virtual machine. Today, I will introduce another Microsoft’s technology which allows you to move the virtual machine’s storage from original place to another without any downtime and compatibility issues.


By Crystal / Updated on December 15, 2023

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What is Hyper-V Storage Migration

Hyper-V Storage Migration was first introduced in Windows Server 2012, with the intent to live migrate virtual machine’s storage within a single Hyper-V host or across Hyper-V hosts in a cluster without any downtime. This feature is not as same as Live Migration since it does not require virtual machine to change hosts and is handled by the Virtual Machine Management Server, while Live Migration is handled by the cluster.

When should you use Hyper-V Storage Migration? The common situation is that you need to update your physical storages for Hyper-V or suffer from performance problems. In this article, I will describe how Hyper-V Storage Migration works and 3 efficient methods + 1 secure alternative to perform it.

How Does Hyper-V Storage Migration Work

The procedure of Hyper-V storage migration are as follows:

1. Configure Hyper-V Storage Migration using Hyper-V Manager, PowerShell, Windows Failover Cluster or System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

2. When start performing Hyper-V Storage Migration, it will transfer the VHD files, VM configuration files, and another data from the source storage to a new location.

3. In the live process, read operations are only occurring at the source virtual machine, and write operations are taking place at both (the source and target virtual hard disks).

4. The destination storage are synchronized with the disk copy. Once the copy is completed, the virtual machine will be switched to the new Hyper-V storage.

5. Finally, all the files and the source storage will be deleted from the original Hyper-V host.

Hyper-V Storage Migration

After familiar to the basic overview and the whole process, I am going to introduce how to move Hyper-V Storage in detail using Hyper-V Manager and PowerShell.

How to Move Hyper-V Storage (3 Methods)

In Hyper-V, how to move virtual machine to another storage securely, here I will introduce 3 frequently used methods.

Before you start performing the Hyper-V Storage Migration actually, you should enable the Hyper-V role. Next, use the Hyper-V Manager and PowerShell cmdlets to migrate Hyper-V storage.

Method 1. Use Hyper-V Manager for Hyper-V Storage Migration

1. Access to Hyper-V Manager. Then right-click the virtual machine in Running status and select Move to open the configuration wizard.

2. In Before You Begin window, select Next.                                

3. In Choose Move Type window, select Move the virtual machine’s storage.

move virtual machine's storage

Move the virtual machine: move the virtual machine and, optionally, its storage to another computer running Hyper-V.
Move the virtual machine’s storage: move only the virtual machine’s storage to another location, either on this server or on shared storage.

4. In Choose Move Option window, you can choose to move all of the virtual machine’s data (vhd or vhdx files, configuration files, checkpoints and Smart Paging) to a single location, move the virtual machine’s data to different locations or move only the virtual machine’s virtual hard disks.

move virtual hard disk only

For example, I will select Move only the virtual machine’s virtual hard disks.

5. In Select Items to Move window, select all of the virtual disks or just select some of them to migrate as you need.

select items to move

6. Then click Browse to specify a new location for the virtual machine’s virtual hard disk.

specify new storage

7. Review the information and click Finish.

Method 2. Using PowerShell to Perform Hyper-V Storage Migration

1. Check the location of the virtual hard disk that you want to move. Click Settings >> Hard Drive >> Virtual hard disk.

2. Open PowerShell and run the following command as Administrator. This cmdlet is to move the storage of the running VM, including the VHD or VHDX files as well as paging files and snapshots.

Move-VMStorage 'Windows Server 2016' -DestinationStoragePath C:\Virtual Hard Disks

use PowerShell to move Hyper-V storage

Method 3. Use Failover Cluster Manager to move Hyper-V Storage

1. Right-click the virtual machine >> Move >> Virtual Machine Storage to the wizard.

2. Form the upper window, select files you want to migrate, and simply drag and drop the entire directory of the source VM to the displayed Cluster Shared Volumes.

If you want to migrate virtual machines to file share location, just click Add Share.

use Failover Cluster Manager to move Hyper-V storage

After that, you can check whether the storage has been successfully migrated using Hyper-V Manager.

Besides, there are several ways to move VMware virtual machine to another drive easily. For example, in VMware ESXi, you can migrate VM to another datastore manually.

Alternative | Restore VM to Another Storage (VMware & Hyper-V)

When performing Hyper-V Storage Migration, please backup your virtual machine data before you make ang changes to avoid data loss. Meanwhile, if you want to migrate virtual machines and protect your data at the same time, you can try AOMEI Cyber Backup that is a powerful virtual machine backup and recovery software. It’s efficient to backup running virtual machines automatically, monitors the status and sends email notifications if there's an error. It also offers fast recovery to source or another host without any complicated configuration.

Automate Hot Backup: Automatically perform hot backups in real-time to protect VM workloads continuously.
Fast Disaster Recovery: Once the VM crashes, quickly restore VM to normal state and reduce business-critical downtime. Based on clicks, you can easily restore a VM to another storage.
Secure Migration Solution: Offers reliable virtual machine backup strategy and allows you to restore a virtual machine from any point.
Flexible Pricing Plans: It offers both plans based on VM numbers and host numbers, suitable for all sizes of business.

You can click this button to start a free trial:

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

Move Hyper-V virtual machines with backup and restore

1. Add Hyper-V device. Access to Source Device >> Hyper-V >> Add Hyper-V, then enter the required information.

add Hyper-V device

Tips: If you are using VMware virtual machines, it also supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions.

2. Click Backup Task >> Create New Task to automate Hyper-V virtual machine backups.

create Hyper-V backup

Device Name: Select one or more virtual machines on the host.

select virtual machines

Target: Specify a location to store the virtual machine backups such as a network share or local location.

specify a network locatoin

Schedule: Select full/incremental backup and configure the backup frequency as daily/weekly/monthly.

backup Hyper-V automatically

Backup Cleanup: Specify a retention period that will delete unwanted backups automatically.

delete files automatically

3. Start Backup: Select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

4.Then you can Restore the backup task. Choose the Content (VM and its history version) you want to migrate, and select Restore to new location. The you will be asked to name the new VM, choose the target host and datastore. 

After the setup, click Start Restore to execute the opertion. When it's done, the selected version of the selected VM will be migrated into your specified datastore. 

restore VM to new location


Hyper-V Storage Migration is efficient to move virtual machine files to the same or another host in Hyper-V automatically, which greatly reduces the downtime of virtual machines.

This article describes 3 ways to configure and perform Hyper-V Storage Migration. You can try these solutions in your Hyper-V environment.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.