If you for any reason need to install Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB stick, and boot it from there, now you have an easy option to do it. You could have done that before, but the process was quite complicated. Now that process is quite simple, thanks to Paul Despe, who made a very simple tool BootHVSR2FromUSB.
How to use it:
- Install the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)
- Grab Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and either burn it to a DVD or mount it with a virtual CD program
- Connect your USB flash device
- Run the tool As Administrator
- Select your USB flash device as your target disk
- Warning! You can select any disk in your system – and it will get formatted. Make sure you are selecting your USB flash disk – and you do not have any data on the disk that you want to keep.
- Click on the Create Blank VHD button and choose a temporary location for the VHD
- Locate your copy of the INSTALL.WIM file from the Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
- Hit the Start button and wait a short time for everything to be setup
But be aware, there are some limitations:
- This is only supported for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Not for Windows Server 2008 R2.
- It is recommended that your USB flash disk be at least 8GB in size, and that you only fill your disk up to 75% to get the best performance / life span.
- For this reason Paul’s tool defaults to creating a 6000MB virtual hard disk. You can change the size of the virtual hard disk using the File menu.
- While you can move the USB device from system to system and *most* things will work:
- This is not supported (if you read the whole TechNet article you will see that this is only supported if you are using a USB device that is hard-wired to the system).
- The virtual network switches will get disconnected whenever you move to a new system.
- To reduce wear-and-tear on your flash device, the page file is disabled by this tool. This means that you should not try and allocate every last megabyte in the system to virtual machines. Try to leave some room for processes in the parent partition.
Why should you consider installing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB stick? Marin Frankovic wrote this in his post:
Currently I have dual boot of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 installed in VHD files. Having Hyper-V Server on a stick can be usefull if you have to temporarily start some applications (like WSUS) in branch office or similar. I am sure that there will be more scenarios where you will find this usefull in the future.