How to Setup Your A2 on Hyper-V

Pre-req.) Setup & Tools

Getting your A2 running on Hyper-V is an easy process that requires three tools: a web browser (to download the VHD), Windows File Explorer and Hyper-V Manager.

This demonstration will walk you through the steps needed to get a basic A2 up and running in your Hyper-V environment.

Part 1.) Getting the A2 Image

To get started, navigate your preferred web browser to and pick the “Download VHD” option. This is the quickest way to get your A2 up and running on Hyper-V. Choose a download path for the .zip where it can be extracted to your desired Hyper-V VHD location.

When the download has completed, right-click the a2.vhd and click “Extract All…” to browse to your preferred Hyper-V VHD location and extract (the default is: C:\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks, also presented in Windows as C:\Public\Public Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks).

When the extraction is complete, rename the "0.vhd" to something recognizable so we can find and attach it later on.

Part 2.) Build your A2 VM

Open up Hyper-V Manager, right-click your Hyper-V Server and choose the option New -> Virtual Machine.

The New VM Wizard will appear. From here, you’ll need to:

  • a.   Pick a VM Name.
  • b.   Specify the VM as a Generation 1.
  • c.   Specify the VM’s memory (we suggest a fixed rate of 1GB memory).
  • d.   Give your VM network access that can reach the network you wish to protect.
  • e.   Pick a VHD, we should attach the VHD we moved in Part 1

These should be all the initial settings you need to create your new A2 VM.

Part 3.) VM Settings & Picking your ADS

Right-click your new A2 VM and go to its Properties. We’ll want to make some quick adjustments here:

  • a.   Click “BIOS,” change the boot order to boot directly to IDE (this skips any attached ISOs).
  • b.   Click “Processor,” specify how many vCPUs you wish your VM to have, we recommend two vCPUs minimum.

A popular ADS option is utilizing local storage attached to the VM as your ADS. In this demonstration, we will make a new VHDX for this purpose. Other ADS options can be found here:

  • c.   Click “IDE Controller 0” make sure “Hard Drive” is highlighted and click “Add.”

The “New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard” will pop-up. Here we can specify some options for our ADS VHDX:

  • d.   Pick VHDX for your format – this is a newer format and standard for Hyper-V versions 2012 & later.
  • e.   For “Choose Disk Type” you have two viable options: “Fixed Size” and “Dynamically Expanding.” Most of the time you will want “Dynamically Expanding” so that your ADS VHDX is only as large as the actual backup data. Else, the “Fixed size” option does have *minimal* performance gains for Hyper-V (but can take a long time to generate and a lot of room).
  • f.   Give your ADS VHDX a name and browse to the location where you wish to store this VHDX (as before, the default is: C:\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks, also presented in Windows as C:\Public\Public Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks).
  • g.   Specify how large you wish the VHDX to be, click “Finish.”
  • You will be dropped out of the “New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard” and back to your VM settings. You should now have a new Hard Drive for IDE Controller 0.

Your A2 is now ready to boot! In Hyper-V Manager, right-click your new A2 VM and click “Start.”

Part 4.) First Boot Setup

After the startup process your A2’s console will present you with an options menu. The first thing you’ll notice is your services are not running and your ADS is not defined; we’ll have to start with the ladder to turn our services on, but before then we should:

  • a.   Select option 5) “Get Latest Software Update” to update your A2. This will search for any updates to your appliance and apply any it finds for you – it’s important to do this before moving on!

  • b.   Select option 1) “Configure Networking” if you wish to specify any advanced Networking settings.
  • c.   Select option 2) “Configure Backup Storage” to hook up your local ADS. In the ADS Wizard:
  • c1.   Pick option 1) to specify your Primary Backup Storage (ADS).
  • c2.   Pick option 3) for Local Storage.
  • c3.   Choose between an encapsulated and non-encapsulated ADS. For a locally attached, Dynamic VHD, encapsulated makes the most sense.
  • c4.   You will be presented a list of disks attached to Alike (minus the boot drive). Pick the correct drive.
  • c5.   Review your settings at the prompt, if all looks good use “y” to advance and wait for the Format to complete.
  • c6.   When the format is complete you will be prompted to specify a size for the ADS’ partition; we suggest picking the maximum available (in this demonstration that would be 187GB). Review your settings at the prompt, if all looks good use “y” to advance and wait for the Format to complete.
  • c7.   Lastly, you will be prompted to Enable Block Encryption. This will prevent other A2s from mounting your ADS unless the user knows the Block Encryption password. If you wish to do this, use “y” to advance and specify your Block Encryption Password twice.
  • c8.   The ADS Wizard should now complete and prompt you to return to the Main Console Menu.

Hitting any key will return you to the Main Console Menu. You will now see your ADS as “[Mounted]” at the top of the console.

If desired, you can utilize option 6) “Advanced Options” to change things like your username/password, SSH access and Support access.

If all else looks good, it’s time to finally start the A2 services. Use option 3) ”Start Alike Services” to do just that. When startup is complete your Service states should turn Green to indicate that they are running.

From here you can access the Web UI, add in licensing, set up your Hosts and configure your backup jobs.