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Create VHD Image for Azure

Prepare a local VM of Windows 8 to upload to Azure

Prepare a local VM of Windows 8 to upload to Azure

There are numerous tutorials available about how to boot up a Windows 8 client in Hyper-V Manger, so I am only going to give minimal information. This step is needed to have Windows 8 running in Azure.

First I created a VHDX file with 50 GB, dynamic storage allocation, 1024MB of RAM and a single core. Choose an iso with the Windows 8 source from which to boot: I used the Windows 8 Developer Preview which is free to use for 90 days. The other Win 8 installations require a key directly when you install it. So we don’t want to waste Win 8 licenses...

This is Part 1 of the tutorial Installing Windows 8 on Windows Azure
Part 2: See how to upload your VHD to Azure
Part 3: See how to create a Virtual Machine from VHD in Azure
Part 4: See how to capture an image in Azure after Sysprep
Part 5: See how to deploy Windows 8 in Azure
Video of entire tutorial: Checkout how Windows 8 runs on Azure

You can download the developer preview of Windows 8 here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx?wt.mc_id=MEC_132_1_4

Basically, one has to create a VM with the preferred software. Install the “Integration Services” Drivers for a better user experience and compatibility with Azure (not 100% sure if necessary).




Important: Enable Remote Desktop and add your Admin User. Create one if you don’t have it. The “Administrator” will be disabled after Sysprep. This is necessary because otherwise you cannot open a remote desktop connection to the client, and because there is no integrated console in Windows Azure you will really need to access the client with RDP.

The disk file is dynamic, it only uses up the effective size on the local hard drive. For a regular Win 8 Install you end up with a 9 GB file.

DO NOT Sysprep the machine yet. Just shut it down and remember its computer name.

On the local hard drive a VHDX file is stored which contains the VM. This will need to be converted into a VHD file in order to upload it to Windows Azure. VHDX files are not yet supported.

PowerShell has an integrated command for this: convert-vhd




After the conversion is successful you can proceed to uploading the file to Azure.

Next step, Part 2: See how to upload your VHD to Azure


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