Error importing VM on Hyper-V 2012 R2 from 2008 R2

I am working now on upgrading 2 Hyper-v 2008 R2 servers to latest 2012 R2.

My client has 2 servers running Hyper-V 2008 R2 with several VM’s on each. There is no Domain present and each server has to be managed separately. Since there are no shared resources the migration had to involve some downtime.

First thing I did was to backup the most important VM’s. Actually, I copied them over the network (while down) to the other server. I then made sure that all the VM files (config and VHD’s) are located on other disks (not the system drive) and that none of the VM’s have any snapshots (checkpoints).

The next step was to upgrade one of the servers to 2012 R2. The installation was pretty straight forward and the new server identified most of the drivers. I have configured Hyper-V according to my best practices (NIC Teaming and etc…) and then started to import the VM’s. As you might know, you cannot import VM’s on 2012 R2 server that were exported on 2008 R2. But, what you can do is simply import the VM from its original location. Well at least most of the time. You have to make sure that the VM’s config files are located in a sub directory called ‘Virtual Machines’ and the you have access.

The next step was to upgrade the second server. This time I figured it will be a lot easier to simply import the VM’s on the newly installed host (the first server) directly instead of first coping them and then doing the import. I mapped a drive on the new server to a folder containing all the VM’s on the 2008 R2 server and started the import process – that’s when I got the following error:

Error importing VM

Error importing VM


The VM was not running so I had no clue why it says “while the object is in use”. Searching the web I found a very nice blog post:

The post actually describes some other issue but that lead me to the right solution:

The Easiest way will be to turn off the VM on the hyper-V 2008R2 host and stop the VMMS service on the host server

Once I’ve disabled the service the wizard completed successfully and the VM was imported on the new server.


Incoming search terms:

  • export vm from 2008 r2 to 2012 r2
  • hyper-v object in use

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