Ok, Adam convinced me that I should share my experience uploading a VM to Azure.


I ran into a provisioning delay at a client when trying to test some remote virtual desktop. Rather than let a 2 week delay become a 2 month delay – due to prior schedules, holidays and vacations – we decided to try the new Azure IaaS. Not the best excuse, but we in IT do not need much of an excuse to try a new toy. Usually I take to new technology like a duck to water. This was not one of those times.


    1. Identify need to host a Wn7 VM in Azure, see that Azure does not have Win7 templates in the library.
    2. Download Enterprise trial ISO to build VM locally.
    3. Create new VM, install Win7 from ISO on Client Hyper-V in Windows 8.
    4. Downloaded ISO is corrupt, download again.
    5. Patch new OS.  Reboot.  Repeat.
    6. Obtain login for Azure.
    7. Try to login in to management portal only to watch the circle spin for 30 minutes while on conference call.
    8. Guess Azure requires Silverlight, which isn’t working with 64bit IE 10 on Win8.  Launch Chrome and log in.
    9. Create new storage space.
    10. Notice that storage space is homed in Western Europe.  Delete and recreate space homed in Eastern US.
    11.  Follow instructions for uploading the VHD for the VM here.
    12. Uploading a VHD requires a self-signed management cert.  Instructions suggest using MAKECERT from Visual Studio, which I don’t have.
    13. Or use IIS manager, but I am not running a server OS or hosting a site.
    14. Download Win8 SDK, which should have MAKECERT.  It does not.
    15. Learn new Win8  PowerShell command, New-SelfSignedCertificate.  Create certificate.
    16. Export certificate with private key as PFX, per instructions linked above.
    17. Attempt to upload cert, per instructions, to learn that the upload only supports .CER files not PFX.
    18. Find CloudBerry Explorer link in comments on upload instruction page.
    19. Download free version of CloudBerry, have registration key sent to Gmail account to avoid potential spam
    20. Log in to Gmail, learn that someone tried to hack my account from China.  Change password and create new device password for phone.
    21. Fix phone.
    22. Add blob storage space from Azure to CloudBerry.
    23. Copy 11 Gb vhdx file.
    24. Wait 6 hours…
    25. Create new image in Azure from uploaded vhdx file.
    26. Learn Azure only supports VHD files.
    27. Start over.
    28. Create new VHD.  Copy contents from existing VHDX to new VHD.
    29. Test new VM using a copy of new VHD to verify it still works.  Test successful.
    30. Delete earlier VHDX from storage space.  Upload new VHD.
    31. Wait 6 hours… (maybe I am not getting the full 6MB upload claimed by my ISP)
    32. Create image from new uploaded VHD
    33. Receive error: "The VHD must be stored as a page blob"
    34. Cannot find page blob setting in CloudBerry Explorer
    35. Download CloudXplorer v2 trial
    36. Upload VHD as page blob
    37. Get error "An attempt was made to move the file pointer blah blah blah"
    38. Uninstall CloudXplorer v2
    39. Download CloudXplorer v1
    40. Upload VHD as page blob
    41. Wait 6 hours…
    42. Create image from page blob VHD
    43. Receive error: "The blob is an unsupported VHD format. It must be a fixed-type VHD."
    44. Create new, fixed-size, 40 GB VHD using contents from previous dynamic VHD
    45.  Upload 40GB VHD as page blob
    46. Wait 24 hours….
    47. Create image from VHD
    48. Create new VM from image
    49. VM starts, but provisioning times out
    50. Fail to connect using RDP
    51. Create new local test VM with copy of 40 GB fixed VHD
    52. Verify that Remote Desktop was enabled in the image.
    53. Give Up


We were finally able to confirm that Azure does not support virtual desktops, and that was most likely my problem. More importantly I learned that it is easier to just use an Azure template instead of uploading my own VM.



Along the way I bought a new 3D TV as a pre Black Friday deal. That install did not go well either.


  1. Install TV
  2. Connect cable box
  3. The HDMI handshake between the TV and cable box (same manufacturer) failed and caused my cable box to freeze.
  4. Pulled the power on the cable box and let it sit
  5. Connect game consoles and AV receiver
  6. Power up cable box
  7. Begin reprogram universal remote
  8. My wife asks "What’s that smell?"
  9. I look up to see smoke coming from the cable box
  10. Quickly unhook box and take glowing hot, smoking box to porch before it sets off the smoke alarm and wakes my son.
  11. Call cable company and request a new cable box
  12. Wait 12 hours….


Really, not my finest week technology-wise.