Windows 7 Boot from VHD

For all Windows junkies out there. (and for those loving Mac fans) this is one feature that I’m really excited about. Working with tons of PCs and a lab environment, having one base image for you VHD is quite powerful. This saves time and energy from doing things over and over again. Yea yea, there are existing tools you can use to do this but this one is just better. There’s VMWare, VPC, and other virtualization technologies that you can use but booting from VHD!? Hell yea! (I’m not sure if VMware has something like it though)

This topic has been discussed in several blogs and I’ll be adding to those and linking the ones I found very useful.

Two main steps to get your VHD a bootin:

  1. Prep your image via ImageX
  2. BCDedit to make it show up upon boot.

This is not really a daunting task, the only problem is it would take quite some time. Installing Win 7 via copying the .wim file, Disk Management, getting it prepped via Image X. These steps are quite time consuming but! after you have set it up, you basically have a VHD that you can boot on and install all the stuff you want in it. This is really helpful for me as rather than having to install the common dev tools (Visual Studio, SQL) you would just have to copy your VHD to the host OS and bcdedit (just four lines) your VHD. The amount of time you’ll save is just amazing.

Two blogs that gets it done

http://blogs.technet.com/aviraj/archive/2009/01/17/windows-7-boot-from-vhd-first-impression-part-1.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/aviraj/archive/2009/01/18/windows-7-boot-from-vhd-first-impression-part-2.aspx

http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thelazyadmin/archive/2009/01/12/windows-7-boot-from-vhd.aspx

Follow the two blogs and you shouldn’t encounter any major problems. I’m looking at automating the BCDedit but the guid every VHD produces is unique. My simple workaround is just a batch file that has a variable for the guid. Quick and easy.

Much fun this is! πŸ˜‰

~Eugene

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One Comment on “Windows 7 Boot from VHD”

  1. Phyo says:

    Visted your site. New layout and new domain. Will visit frequently. πŸ™‚


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