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Windows 8.1 Pro native boot?


Posts
94
#1
Win 7 only supports native booting from a vhd file for the enterprise & ultimate editions only. Do the same restrictions apply to Win 8.1? Can Win 8.1 Professional be booted natively?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7

KYHI

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2,756
#2
You can boot VHD from any version of windows 7 and above

to boot VHDx you need to use windows 8 boot files

C/P
In Windows® 7 and Windows® 8, a virtual hard disk can be used as the running operating system on designated hardware without any other parent operating system, virtual machine, or hypervisor
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8700
    CPU
    I7
    Memory
    24 GB
Posts
94
#3
I'm aware of that. I'm also aware (read somewhere) that native booting from vhd is only a feature of Win7 enterprise/ultimate. Meaning, yes, any version of Win7 can native boot a vhd, but only enterprise/ultimate 7 will work within the vhd itself. Is this assumption correct, and have they soften things wrt to Win8.1 to include all editions installed within the vdh(x)?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
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94
#5
^See? Even he installs the enterprise edition of W8 to ithe VHD. I doubt W8.1 Pro will work if it is installed as a vhdx which is why I'm asking this question...

So again, my guess is yes, Win 8.1 Pro will boot a W8 enterprise VHD but not a W8 pro VHD! Can anyone confirm?

From: Native VHD Boot is available in all versions of Windows 7 - TechRepublic

I also discovered that if you install Windows 7 Ultimate onto a VHD, you can boot just fine. However, if you install Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional onto a VHD, the install will work fine, but when you attempt to boot either version from a VHD you will receive the error message License Error - Booting from a VHD file is not supported on this system.
.
.
.
So it appears that the Native VHD Boot feature is available in all versions of Windows 7, but that only Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate can boot from VHD.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 7

KYHI

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2,756
#6
I have tested windows 8 / 8.1 Core and Pro VHD's - so the answer is YES,

You should test for yourself..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8700
    CPU
    I7
    Memory
    24 GB

jimbo45

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Hafnarfjörður IS

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4,373
#8
Hi there

This is all fine and good providing there's a WORKING "C" or boot drive in the computer. Is it possible to create a BOOTABLE VHD that runs totally from an EXTERNAL device -- even if there's no HDD / SSD in the computer at all. (Sort of like a "Windows to go").

Cheers
jimbo
 

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KYHI

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2,756
#9
Yes...
Create your VHD onto the USB Drive
Apply your windows image to the vhd (apply install.wim)
then run bcdboot to create the VHD boot files..

for x86 VHD use cmd > bcdboot M:\Windows /s U: /f BIOS
for x64 VHD use cmd > bcdboot M:\Windows /s U: /f ALL

(Assume the mounted VHD Drive letter = M and the USB Drive = U)

This is a diskpart Create_VHD.txt file to create an Expandable, 15GB Max Size VHD on C drive - with a preassigned Drive Letter M:
Code:
rem -- Create_VHD.txt --
create vdisk file="C:\Test.vhd" Maximum=15360 Type=Expandable
attach vdisk
automount disable
create partition primary
online volume
format quick fs=ntfs label="Test Label"
automount enable
assign letter=M
exit
Here is a create_VHD.cmd file to run the above diskpart.txt file (Both files need to be in the same folder as the cmd looks for the txt)
Code:
rem -- Create_VHD.cmd --
cd /d "%~dp0"
DISKPART /s Create_VHD.txt
Exit
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8700
    CPU
    I7
    Memory
    24 GB

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
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#10

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

KYHI

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Posts
2,756
#11
Well considering my VHD's are from windows 8.1 CORE iso's
And activated with a windows CORE key..
I would have to disagree with the provided information..

One is free to test for the results though..

And there is even a program that will do all the work for you > WinToUSB - Install & Run Windows/WinPE on a USB drive!

In the newest version you can clone current Windows OS (Windows 7 or later) to a USB drive as a Windows To Go Workspace
Or it could be done manually as above prior in this thread..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 8700
    CPU
    I7
    Memory
    24 GB

Kari

Old geek, new tricks
Team Member
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#12
I simply posted a link to a tutorial of ours, and quoted one warning from the said tutorial. That's all I am saying. As all my Windows editions regardless of the version are Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise, I have never tested booting from other edition vhds.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.
Posts
94
#13
Native booting is da bomb! As long as it's on the same physical machine, you can have an infinite number of copies of your vhd on it for all kinds of testing purposes, and all of them will remain activated on the same license! Source: Myself tried and tested it...
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7

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