Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dual Booting Windows 7 and Server 2008R2 from VHD files

I learned a REALLY cool concept from Keith Comb of Microsoft (http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithcombs/) that I want to share with everyone.
I’m starting to use this method on all my machines!  Good luck!



Here are the step by steps...including how to add Server 2008.

The only issues that I've seen using this technology is that if you're wanting to use Ready-boost, you'll get an error that the drive is too slow (duh, it's running off of a VHD on a drive).

The COOL thing is on the server installation, you can actually run Hyper-V off of it...(running Hyper-V off of a .VHD...it's like the time space continuum...it hurts my head to think about it! ;-)

  1. Boot your machine with a blank hard drive using the Windows 7 DVD.
  2. Click next on the language screen if English is appropriate.
  3. SHIFT+F10 to launch a WinPE command console.  Although the commands below are in upper case, the commands are not case sensitive.  I am only using upper case for readability here.
  4. Enter DISKPART to run the utility.
  5. LIST DISK to see the available disks in your system.  I am assuming a single raw disk.
  6. SEL DISK 0
  7. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
  8. FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
  9. LIST VOL
  10. ASSIGN
  11. LIST VOL
  12. CREATE VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd MAXIMUM=200000 TYPE=EXPANDABLE
  13. SELECT VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd
  14. ATTACH VDISK
  15. CRE PART PRI
  16. FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
  17. ASSIGN LETTER=V:
  18. LIST VOL
  19. LIST VDISK
  20. exit DISPART
  21. exit WinPE command console
  22. Continue installing and select the new partition (200gig'ish) virtual hard disk which looks just like a partition to Windows Setup
  23. To install Server 2008... Repeat steps: 1 (using Server DVD) through 4 then skip to steps 11-18 for the Windows  but with the obvious changes for the vdisk filename, size, etc.
I'm OUT!

1 comment:

Josh Wickern said...

I took your exchange class a while back and loved this concept you mentioned. I used your blog to get a virtual windows 7 vm and then mimic'd it to create my server 2008 setup.

Sweet blog post. You never did finish posting the video, but people should be able to figure out how to do the 2nd half.