FAQ: Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V Integration Services

I’m frequently receiving questions about what’s wrong with Windows Server 2016 and how to manage Hyper-V IS. I’d like to discuss it in a FAQ manner. If your question is not answered, just feel free to leave a comment

Where is the integration services setup disk (VmGuest.iso)?

All of us remember times when we had to insert ISO which was available on Hyper-V host , run it on each VMs and check it’s version from time to time for keeping them up-to-date (yes, vmguest.iso was updated via Windows Update).

The process of Hyper-V IS upgrading has been changed since Windows Server 2016. Now VMs get IS updates directly from Windows Update (WU). ISO is not included and it’s not needed anymore.

It’s completely true if you have new OS inside VMs (Windows 2012 R2/Windows 8.1 and later). Hyper-V IS automatically get updates from WU in these OSes. No actions required.

We have another picture for older OSes (Windows Server 2012/Windows 8 and older). For such OSes, you need to verify that Data Exchange Service (DES) is turned on and running.

DES provides shared registry values (HostSystemOSMajor and HostSystemOSMinor under the hive HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Virtual Machine\Guest\Parameters) between host and VMs for determining IS applicability. These values should be existed in VM in order to get IS updates from WU. If DES has never been enabled on VMs – IS won’t be provided.

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Hack: you can edit/add these parameters and set values manually (of course, it’s unsupported)

Example of outdated IS in VM with WS2012R2 on WS2016 host (DES provided values from VM, compared them with host’s and they are not the same):

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Linux Guests? Built-In or  Linux Integration Services are required

Unsupported Windows Server 2003? Integration services setup disk is required. Can be copied from WS2012R2 (download link is below). Better option: plan migration to newer OS

How to install IS manually?

Use this KB if DES can’t be enabled or WU is unavailable:

Hyper-V integration components update for Windows virtual machines that are running on a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016-based host

Note: To install this update, you must have April 2014, update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (2919355) installed in Windows 8.1. Or, install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7.

To install IS (CAB-file) use PowerShell:

Add-WindowsPackage -PackagePath <path> -Online

If you want to do offline VM servicing : read guide from Sarah Cooley

Where can I find ISO if I haven’t got Windows Server 2012 R2 installed?

I’ve uploaded Hyper-V Integrations Services ISO for you. It was taken from Windows Server 2012 R2 (up-to-date, 02/20/17). You can use this ISO to install Integration Services in “prehistoric” guest OSes (but again..migration to newer OS is better option for such VMs) on Windows Server 2016 or with hosts running on Windows 2012 R2/Windows 8.0/8.1 Download link for VMGuest.ISO

I’m querying Integration Services version from PowerShell but it shows me 0 for all VMs. What’s wrong?

I’ve provided example of outdated IS in a VM SQL01 above. Cluster validation report generates a warning. PowerShell shows 0 in IntegrationServicesVersion

By default, PowerShell loads Hyper-V module with version 2. I tried to remove that module, import one with 1.1 version and query again IS versions. In that case, I received actual IS versions and  “Update required”  in IntegrationServicesState. It seems like something wrong with Hyper-V 2.0 module. Waiting for official fixes or confirmations.

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To be continued…