Change Azure ARM VM OS disk

Sometimes you would want to create an Azure ARM based Virtual Machine using an existing VHD disk. It used to be much easier in ASM (Classic). However you can easily swap out the OS disk for a VM using PowerShell. This post focuses on swapping un-managed disks, however you can swap out managed disks now, since April 2018.

Simply create a new (non-managed disk) based VM in Azure with new disks. Then you use PowerShell to swap out the OS disk with an existing disk. Good news is that the OS disk doesn’t have to be sysprepped, simply swap the VHD disk URI path using PowerShell, then fire back up the VM to get back into your existing VHD.

My example uses non-managed disks, remember with non-managed disks you have to manage a storage account, however with standard (non-premium(SSD)) non-managed disks, you are not charged for the white space on the disk. You could provision a 1TB disk with only 6KB of data and you are only charged for the data you consume. Plus it makes this process below work. Managed disks works slightly differently.


# Recently tested fully with a later version of the Azure PowerShell module – Install-Module AzureRM -RequiredVersion 4.4.1
#region Logon to Azure
$subscription = Get-AzureRmSubscription | Out-GridView PassThru
Select-AzureRmSubscription SubscriptionId $subscription.Id
# Variables for YOu to fill in
$ResourceGroup = 'NestedVMware' # resource group name to contain the new NIC
$VMname = 'VMware-01' # name of the VM you want to swap out the OS disk
#Get the VM config to a variable
$VM = Get-AzureRmVM Name $VMname ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroup
#Stop and deallocate the VM
Stop-AzureRmVM Name $VM.Name ResourceGroupName $VM.ResourceGroupName Force
#swap out the OS disk using the VM variable
$VM.StorageProfile.OsDisk.Vhd.Uri = ''
#Update the VM configuration
Update-AzureRmVM VM $VM ResourceGroupName $ResourceGroup

If you are using managed disks, you can now swap out the managed disk of a VM as well by following this.


  1. thebitguru

    FYI, it seems that this is no longer allowed. Here is the error that I get when I follow this.

    Update-AzureRmVM : Changing property ‘osDisk.vhd.uri’ is not allowed.
    ErrorCode: PropertyChangeNotAllowed
    ErrorMessage: Changing property ‘osDisk.vhd.uri’ is not allowed.
    StatusCode: 409
    ReasonPhrase: Conflict

    1. Check the extension of the disk

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