30 January 2014

Hyper-V Bug In Win 8.1 Obstructs Use of Lync Test Drive

Windows 8.1 logoIn December Microsoft released the longed-for Lynch Server 2013 Test Drive, but a serious bug in Windows 8.1 makes it impossible to import the Test Drive into Hyper-V.

Seven VHDs
The Lync Server 2013 Test Drive is a set of seven virtual hard disks that can be downloaded from Microsoft. It contains Lynch, Exchange, SharePoint and several developer tools, and it is intended for evaluation of the Microsoft platforms. I find it very useful for testing and demonstrating.

Hyper-V in Windows 8Microsoft Hyper-V is needed to use the virtual hard disks, so when you have downloaded the Test Drive and installed the files on your hard drive you want to import them into your Hyper-V. You might think that this would be possible via "Import Virtual Machine" in the Hyper-V Manager, but when I wanted to do that in Windows 8.1 I discovered that it did not work.

Bug in Win 8.1
After a lot of trouble I found out that this was a bigger problem. It was not just isolated to my machine or to the Lync Server Test Drive but actually a major shortcoming in Windows 8.1. Something that has worked for a long time in Windows 8 has now stopped working in 8.1. What has happened is that Windows 8.1 no longer gives a possibility to import old virtual machines into Hyper-V.

Hyper-V virtual machines in Windows 8New machine creation not allowed
The problem can be solved by creating new virtual machine in Hyper-V and attach the Test Drive or old VM hard disks  to these new machines. This can even be done quickly with a PowerShell script – but it is against the EULA. Business Solutions is a Microsoft Silver Partner, and Microsoft prohibits partners from manipulating their VMs.

Downgrading again
Since I am a Microsoft Certified Trainer I have a lot of virtual machines in the old format. They will now fail to work, so regretfully I am in the process of downgrading to Windows 8 at the moment. I want to be able to use both my old virtual machines and the new Lync Server 2013 Test Drive.

Read more
If you want to read more about the 8.1 problem or about the Lync Server 2013 Test Drive I recommend Thomas Lee's blog "Under the Stars":

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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