The Hyper-V (download) snapshot feature allows you to capture the configuration and state of a virtual machine (VM) at any point in time, and return a VM to that state without noticeable interruption. When you take a snapshot of a running VM, Hyper-V briefly pauses the VM to create a new automatic virtual hard disk (AVHD) which is essentially a differencing disk, attaches it to the VM to store changes to the VM data, saves the processor state into a file (.bin), then resumes the VM. Hyper-V also makes a copy of the VM configuration file (.xml), and saves the contents of the VM memory into a file (.vsv). Snapshots can also be created when a VM is turned-off, in which case Hyper-V does not need to capture VM memory or processor state data.
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