Windows 2012 Server VHDX VM Share

In a Windows 2012 Hyper-V environment, it is possible, maybe desirable, to have a local file or data server of sorts for multiple shares. Even if an organization is in the cloud, there may be very good reasons to have some data stored locally [i.e. in an office], or maybe replicated partially etc.

One idea is to have a host Hyper-V machine allocate a large enough data RAID chunk for data usage; because Hyper-V servers themselves cannot actually be used for work [they HOST virtual machines for that purpose after all] this space will then need to be overseen by or connected to one of the virtual machines.

Here are the steps to create a Virtual Machine [VM] share:

Create a file server disk partition in Windows Server 2012 – a Virtual Machine will handle file server services; storage will be a VHDX drive passed through to a VM via the Host.

On the Host:

Go to Hyper-V Manager – right-click the host machine, create a new hard disk: go to the Virtual Hard Disk Wizard, select VHDX, a more robust option.

For better performance, choose “Fixed size”.

Give the disk a name, then a location = browse, out to the Partition [Drive D for me]: I used all the space of a drive; then created a Hard Disk Image file, named it, then saw the drive turn red within Windows Explorer. A little space remains for OS usage/overhead. The red is good – because all that space is now reserved for the VHDX.

Now connect the new disk to the Virtual Machine File or Data Server:

What if the Disk is not showing in Explorer? This means it needs to be configured.

If this VM server is in use, this needs to be scheduled. Shut down the VM, then once the VM server is off, go back in the Hyper-V Host, locating the server being hosted.

Right-click the file server virtual machine, go to “SCSI controller” under the Hardware section: browse out to the correct path to locate the Physical hard disk and add it as needed!

In the VM now, go to File and Storage Services in Server Manager:  should see the disk, right- click it, do the New Volume Wizard, referencing the aforementioned disk [chose NTFS, because I will use Data Deduplication]

You now see it is online within Volume Disks , with allotted space. In fact, it should show in Explorer now, ready for use.

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