Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with

  1. #1
    Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with

    Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with
    How to Create a Windows 8 VHD at Boot to Dual Boot with Windows 7 or Vista
    Published by Brink is online now
    16 Sep 2011
    Default Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with

    Published by


    Brink's Avatar
    Administrator

    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Posts: 21,819

    How to Create a Windows 8 VHD at Boot to Dual Boot with Windows 7 or Vista


    information   Information
    This will show you how to create a Windows 8 VHD file at boot and be able to natively dual boot with your current Windows 7 or Vista installation with the created Windows 8 VHD.

    Note   Note
    Some Advantages of Using a VHD to Dual Boot with:

    Using a VHD to dual boot with will act just as if the operating system was installed directly to a partition when ran at startup, but you will not have to have the VHD on a separate HDD or partition to do so like you would if you installed the OS. You could run the VHD as a dual boot say directly from within your Vista or Windows 7 partition. I think the biggest advantage of this would be for those that have a OEM computer where the OEM had setup 4 primary partitions on the HDD where you cannot create a new partition on the HDD to be able to install a second OS. Using this VHD method, they will be able to.

    You will also be able to attach the VHD say in Windows 7 as a virtual drive, use the VHD as a virtual machine, is a lot easier to remove from a multi-boot installation, and a VHD will not mess with any of your current partitions or drives.

    warning   Warning
    All Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (except Windows 8 RT) editions support booting from a VHD.

    You must have either Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8 Enterprise installed on the VHD to be able to boot from the VHD natively.


    EXAMPLE: "Choose an operating system" Screen at Boot
    NOTE: This is what you will see now at boot or restart instead of the Windows 7 Windows Boot Manager screen to be able to select to start either Windows 7 or the Windows 8 from the VHD file.

    Click image for larger version







    OPTION ONE
    To Create and Add the Windows 8 VHD to Boot From

    1.
    If you would like to create a backup of your Boot Configuration Data (BCD) to be safe, then from within your Windows 7 or Vista, open an elevated command prompt, type the command below, and press Enter. This will save your BCD backup as the MyBCDBackup.bak file in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

    bcdedit /export MyBCDBackup.bak

    2.
    Boot or restart the computer from your Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise installation DVD or USB thumb drive.
    NOTE: To have Windows 7 on VHD, see instead: How to Create a Windows 7 VHD at Boot to Start with from Boot


    3. At the Install Windows 8 screen, press the Shift + F10 keys to open a command prompt. (see screenshot below)
    WARNING: If you are using a language other than English, then see this post first.

    Name:  Step1.jpg
Views: 28192
Size:  58.1 KB


    4.
    In the command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter, then type list volume and press Enter. Make note of the drive letter for the volume that you want to create the Windows 8 VHD file on. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: This will allow you to see what the drive letters are for each volume. They are not always the same at boot as they are in Windows.

    Click image for larger version


    5. Do either step 6 or 7 below for what type (fixed or dynamic expanding) of VHD file you would like to create.


    6. To Create a Fixed VHD File
    NOTE:
    A fixed VHD file will allocate the entire maximum size that you set (ex: 30GB) below on the HDD to be used by the VHD file. The VHD will only use a fixed amount of space (ex: 30GB) regardless of the amount of data stored on it.

    A) In the command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step 8 below.

    NOTE: Substitute the D drive letter in the command below for what volume (step 3) you would like to create the VHD on. You can substitute the Windows8 name with any name you would like within quotes for the VHD file instead. You can also substitute the maximum size of 30720 MB for the VHD to the maximum size you want instead in MB (1GB = 1024MB).

    create vdisk file="D:\Windows8.vhd" maximum=30720


    Click image for larger version
    Click image for larger version

    7. To Create an Dynamically Expanding VHD File
    NOTE: A dynamically expanding VHD file will only be as large on the HDD as the amount of data that is saved in the VHD file, but is able to get as large as the maximium size that you set below (ex: 30GB). The HDD space used by the VHD does not shrink (compact) automatically when data is deleted in the VHD though.

    A) In the command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step 8 below.

    NOTE: Substitute the D drive letter in the command below for what volume (step 3) you would like to create the VHD on. You can substitute the Windows8 name with any name you would like within quotes for the VHD file instead. You can also substitute the maximum size of 30720 MB for the VHD to the maximum size you want instead in MB (1GB = 1024MB).


    create vdisk file="D:\Windows8.vhd" maximum=30720 type=expandable

    8. In the command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: Substitute the D drive letter and Windows8 VHD file name in the command below to the same one that you used in step 5 or 6 above.

    select vdisk file="D:\Windows8.vhd"

    Click image for larger version

    9.
    In the command prompt, type attach vdisk and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    10. In the command prompt, type exit and press Enter, then close the command prompt window. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version


    11. You can now finish doing a clean install of Windows 8, and select the unallocated space (ex: 30GB) that you created in step 6 or 7 above. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version


    12. When finished, you will be in Windows 8 with Windows 8 set as the default OS to start automatically after the wait time. Restarting Windows 8 will allow you to be able to select what OS you would like to start with like in the example at the top of the tutorial.








    OPTION TWO
    To Remove the Windows 8 VHD from Boot

    NOTE: This option will remove Windows 8, and leave you with only Windows 7 or Vista as an option to start.

    1. Start or restart your PC, and boot into Windows 7 or Vista instead of Windows 8. (see screenshot below)


    Click image for larger version

    2.
    In Windows Explorer, navigate to the location of the Windows 8 VHD file that you created in step 6 or 7 in OPTION ONE above, then either delete or rename the VHD file.

    3. If you used step 1 in OPTION ONE and would like to restore your BCD back to how it was when the backup was created to be safe, then open an elevated command prompt, type the command below, and press Enter.

    bcdedit /import MyBCDBackup.bak

    4. Restart the computer, and you will no longer have Windows 8.




    That's it,
    Shawn




  2. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows Vista & Joli OS 1.2


    Love the tutorial, but I assume this will work with systems where Linux is installed alongside Windows? I'm wanting to triple boot Vista, Joli OS 1.2 & Windows 8 Dev Preview. Also, what's the minimum flash drive size required? I've seen 4gb & 8gb mentioned in various places. I've downloaded the 32-bit ISO.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2


    Posts : 21,819
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello AzBat, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    You'll need to create a new thread in the Installation & Setup forum area for more help on triple booting with Linux since that is not related to this tutorial.

    A 4GB USB flash drive worked for me for the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8 Developer Preview, but you'll need at least a 6GB USB flash drive for the 64-bit Windows 8 Developer Preview with developer tools though.

    http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...eview-iso.html

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3


    Posts : 2
    Windows Vista & Joli OS 1.2


    Thanks for the reply. I might consider posting a new thread, but also just thinking of just temp removing Linux as that would be the easiest/simplest. As for the flash drive, thanks sounds like I won't have to worry.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. #4


    Posts : 21,819
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're welcome. I hope it goes smoothly for you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,515
    Vista and Win7


    Hmm, this is interesting. But what is the advantage of the VHD versus installing Win8 directly into the designated partition?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6


    Posts : 21,819
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Wolfgang,

    I added a note box at the top of the tutorial for some main advantages.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,515
    Vista and Win7


    Thanks Shawn. Those are some good points.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #8


    Posts : 21,819
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're welcome.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #9


    Posts : 5
    Windows 7 with 8 developer preview


    Hi It feels gud around here, BTW this is to ask which is better between VHD fixed and dynamic ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with

Similar Threads
Tutorial Forum
Dual Boot Linux preventing Windows boot
Hi I recently felt the urge to experiment with Linux and installed Ubuntu Mint and tried to set up dual booting. However I seem to have only suceeded in preventing Windows booting at all. I cannot get into the recovery drive to undo my wrong doing. How can I reset the windows boot manager...
General Support
how to create dual boot?
I have sony vpceh3aen laptop with windows 7 home basic. I have IOS file of embedded windows 8.1 industry pro with update via dreamspark.com. just now I run windows 8.1 upgrade assistance and its says "your pc's firmware doesn't support secure boot so you won't be able to use it in windows 8.1"....
Installation & Setup
Dual drive, dual OS Boot, not GUI boot menu.
My computer has Windows 8.1 Pro x64 on an SSD. It's that free Windows 8DL MS offered before Windows 8 was released. My son did the 8.1 upgrade. This is the boot drive. The second OS is Windows 7 Ult. x64 on an HHD. Until last week, the SSD had Windows 7, and 8 was on the HDD. The SSD is...
General Support
Dual Boot Windows 8.1 and 7 Boot issue
Ok so I have searched all over the internet looking for an answer to this. I have an HP Pavilion P7-1459 that came OEM with Windows 8 on it. I added a new HDD and installed windows 7 on it (had to disconnect the windows 8 one to do so) and booted into windows 7. I didn't have drivers for my...
Installation & Setup
Dual-Boot setup -> Single Boot: How do I fix Windows 8?
This happened about two days ago. By going in chronological order: I used to have a dual-boot setup, a Windows 7 and Windows 8 on two different IDE 80GB hard drives, named Drive A and Drive B, respectively. Both of these hard drives are quite old, and I'm worried that it may be near the end of...
Installation & Setup
Windows 8: Create a System Image on a Dual Boot OS Windows 7
Hello again to all. Can anyone please explain because this a little bit confuses me, CREATING a SYSTEM IMAGE, now that I have a DUAL BOOT win7-win8 OS. >>I want to know if I CREATE A SYSTEM IMAGE via windows 7 (my default OS), and then later, if ever I RESTORE THIS CREATED SYSTEM IMAGE, will the...
Installation & Setup
Windows 8 dual boot installed, Windows 8 won't boot up. Black Screen!
Hey guys, I am having an issue when installing the consumer preview. So, I downloaded the W8 iso, off of Microsoft's site. I burned it to a DVD with 4.7 GB free of storage. I even bought a new set of DVDs. Anyways, I downloaded the iso, I downloaded the USB/DVD download tool, there I burned my iso...
Installation & Setup

Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook