[Bonus]: INDEPENDENT VMs!
Once you decide your Child VM is "mature enough" to stand on its own (i.e.: you want to separate your Child VM from your Father VM, such as to create an "independent" VM), you can simply create a new "traditional" vhd, plug it into your Child VM, then a simple dd-magic command should get you covered!
Here's how to do it:
Boot your Child VM at least once, so it generates the new SSH Keys (no need to login).
Shut it down.
Go to the VM Settings (by now you should already know how to do this), then ADD a new dynamic hard drive (that's right, add a second hard drive to your Child VM).
Download Gparted iso, attach the ISO to your Child VM's DVD Drive (by now you should already be an expert at this), then boot the system from the Gparted ISO.
Open "Partition Editor" and make sure you PRECISELY IDENTIFY your drives (mine are the usual /dev/sda and /dev/sdb).
Close the "Partition Editor" application and Open the terminal.
Input the following command (again, make sure you know which ones are your drives):
dcfldd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb statusinterval=10 bs=10M conv=notrunc
dcfldd is like a dd on stereoids (but with true muscles!) and it shows you some progress, so you can have a visual clue on what's happening.
Once the process is finished, you can shutdown your Child VM.
Go back to your Child VM Settings, then remove the Gparted iso image from your DVD Drive (or remove the whole drive…).
Go to the Hard Disk section, then remove the first original, Differencing vhd.
Configure your second VHD as the "first" on your controller.
Boot your Child VM.
Congratulations! Now you should have a new INDEPENDENT Virtual Machine!
Here we have:
- "Centos6.2X64.vhd" is the Father VHD.
- "201.pwrusr.com-dev1.vhd" is the Differenching, Child VM's VHD.
- "201.pwrusr.com-dev1-hd2.vhd" is the new independent VHD.
Please note how smart the VHD format is: it always kept the size of you cloned VHDs at a minimum! I second what I affirmed once:"both Hyper-V and CentOS are great products"!