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Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with


Brink

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Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with
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.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Create a Windows 8 VHD at Boot to Dual Boot with Windows 7 or Vista
Synopsis
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.
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.

Example.jpg







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.​
Step1.jpg
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.​
Step2.jpg
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
Step3A.jpg
Step3B.jpg

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"
Step4.jpg
9. In the command prompt, type attach vdisk and press Enter. (see screenshot below)​
Step5.jpg
10. In the command prompt, type exit and press Enter, then close the command prompt window. (see screenshot below)​
Step6.jpg
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)​
Step9.jpg
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)​
delete-1.jpg
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




Related Tutorials


 
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AzBat360

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#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.
 

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Brink

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#3
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/tutorial...-usb-dvd-windows-8-developer-preview-iso.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

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AzBat360

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#4
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.
 

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Brink

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#5
You're welcome. I hope it goes smoothly for you. :)
 

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whs

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#6
Hmm, this is interesting. But what is the advantage of the VHD versus installing Win8 directly into the designated partition?
 

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Brink

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#7
Hello Wolfgang,

I added a note box at the top of the tutorial for some main advantages. :)
 

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Brink

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#9
You're welcome. :)
 

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whs

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#11
If you are not sure how much space you will need, dynamic is a more flexible setting. It takes the space as needed. With fixed, the total space is being allocated right away. Fixed may have a bit less overhead in processing though.
 
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djshonrock

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#12
nice tutorial.... Shawn, can you tell me that the features like: the new task bar, the aero, the animated boot screen, the new logon screen are there in the Windows Developers Preview? and can you tell me which all features are not there also..?

Shon...
 

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z3r010

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#13
nice tutorial.... Shawn, can you tell me that the features like: the new task bar, the aero, the animated boot screen, the new logon screen are there in the Windows Developers Preview? and can you tell me which all features are not there also..?

Shon...
Just have a read of the forum, all that is explained and more.
 

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djshonrock

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#14
will i get transparency without video driver?

Shon...
 

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Brink

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#16
Hello Shon,

Since Windows 8 will install and act as if you installed it normally directly to a partition, you should. I did with the default video driver included in Windows 8.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

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djshonrock

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#17
I'm getting the Developers Preview on the 1st of oct.. jus wanted to know some details... thanks for all the answers...
 

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Brink

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#18
You're most welcome Shon. Glad that we could help. :)
 

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    ASRock X79 Extreme11
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    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
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    256GB OCZ Vector
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    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Corsair Air 740
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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djshonrock

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#19
Frankly speaking, sevenforums and eightforums are the most useful website for me in the internet. if i post a threads, i will get to get the problem solved within a day or two.. Thanks to the great members...
 

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Roe5685

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#20
Could you kindly expand your excellent tutorial to include installing the VHD on a raid array??

Comments:
I tried this onto a simple hard drive and it works great ( as did some time ago your similar article for windows ultimate in the Win 7 section ) ! Thanks! But i really want to put the VHD on my raid array. With your example the raid drivers have not been placed yet so i can only put the Win 8 VHD on the slow non raid drive.
I did try delaying my visit to command prompt and using diskpart until AFTER the raid drivers were installed. I created a few VHDs.
They were listed in the installation of Win 8 set up but the install program told me i could not choose these partions.
HELP!
 

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