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This article is a work-in-progress based on the TechNet article Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Flash Drive.  Please help correct and extend it. It is the Wiki way!

NOTE: As mentioned in the TechNet article, deploying Hyper-V this way is only supported by Microsoft for OEMs. However, as with running Hyper-V on a laptop, just because it is not supported by Microsoft, does not mean that it does not work well for certain limited scenarios that do not require official Microsoft support, such as learning about Hyper-V, or creating training material such as demos, for development purposes, or just for fun.

Before you begin you may wish to review the resrouces available in the Hyper-V Survival Guide, and the Hyper-V Gotchas (common issues). 

Hyper-V supports boot from a USB flash device (UFD).  The UFD must be properly formatted, prepared with a generalized Hyper-V Server image, and must have boot files copied onto it to provide an out-of-box virtualization experience for customers. The device must be a standard mass storage device (Class 08h) that is Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 compatible. The write performance can vary significantly and will yield different results when used in this scenario.The UFD can then be used to boot Hyper-V Server on any computer which has hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities and is capable of booting from USB (BIOS settings might need to be changed, check your OEM documentation).

You can automate this process with the free tool available on MSDN: Create bootable USB drive for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (also called BootFromUSB).

NOTE: The tools has been tested only on Windows 7 (32/64 bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2, but should work everywhere the Windows AIK/OPK does.

Before you start, you must have:
NOTE: The operating system will display a "Format disk?" dialog box a number of times while preparing the USB drive. You should ignore and just close those dialogs.

For More Information
  • about WIM images:
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