Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Create vhdx in win8.1 environment and install win7 on it

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    windows 8

    Create vhdx in win8.1 environment and install win7 on it


    Hi all,

    Not sure if this post should go in this forum do accept my apology if it's not supposed to be here.

    Goal: run both windows 7 and windows 8.1 native from VHDX (currently only success with win8.1 on vhdx and win7 vhd)

    I have a windows 8.1 installed in the system and rebooted into a command prompt, created a vhdx image, converted to GPT, and then install windows 7 on this vhdx (both with and without KB982018 integrated). The install went through (copying files etc) and it then rebooted itself and finish off the reset of the installation. After it rebooted it the boot menu is the old style black and white (which is fine), and choose win7 vhdx to finish off the installation. However an error comes up - An unexpected error has occurred.

    Having no luck therefore instead of installing to a VHDX I now boot up with the win7SP1 USB and install onto a VHD instead. Everything went well and booted into windows 7 (expected). I then install KB980218 and then it rebooted itself, again everything is ok. I then booted back into windows 8, converted the windows 7 from VHD to VHDX and set the sector size to 4096 as per How to Convert a VHD File into VHDX. Boot entry has also been updated to vhdx instead of vhd.

    I now try to boot to this new win7 vhdx, and instead of getting an unexpected error, it booted into a graphical screen and ask for repairing the window. (which means it's unsuccessful)

    Therefore I do ask if anyone has successfully installed windows 7 onto a vhdx and boot from it? Thanks!!!

    BG
    (Note that I know windows 7 don't support vhdx itself, as in managing, creating vhdx etc, however I am sure I read somewhere that you should be able to do so)

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8 64 Bit


    If I were you, I would stick to the VHD if it runs smoother with that. I'm not sure about VHDX personally (I'll try looking into it if you really want to use VHDX), but really the best option would be VHD, unless you use other virtualization software, like VirtualBox, where you can choose VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) which might run more fluently than other file types. If VHD runs best, just stick to that really, but I'll try looking into it if I can
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    windows 8


    Thanks for getting back,

    Well the reason I want to use VHDX is TRIM passes through to the physical disk, it's more benefit over VHD, so why not?

    Now I haven't actually tried to install and run it in hyper-V (win 8) but I know it is official support guest system of win 7 ultimate. (it is on the official microsoft page and listed there).

    However native boot wise it doesn't say but one requirement is it has to be in windows 8 boot environment.

    Further update: When win 7 vhdx booted and went into repair, I tried and it didn't work however, I have some more clues, the message log say:

    "Boot configuration is corrupt." error code 0x490

    now my question is, the boot configuration that vhdx used is different to vhd????
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8 64 Bit


    Deploy Windows on a Virtual Hard Disk with Native Boot

    This may help you out. Try it and let me know
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    windows 8


    I have read throught that site before, but thanks anyhow.

    I will update this post when I get this working (however the laptop just died... so it might take a while before I can update this post...)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8 CP


    Just to say that on this page: Deploy Windows on a VHD (Native Boot) , it clearly says that
    A Windows® 7 or Windows® 8 boot environment is required to natively boot a .vhd. .vhdx files are only supported on a Windows 8 environment.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there.

    I think the problem is in trying to MOUNT the VHDX files - using Virtual Disks you still have to get the Native computer to MOUNT the VHDX files even if trying to run off an external device. I think you'll have to fiddle around with the bootmanager or try a 3rd party one -- easyBCD ??

    Once the VHDX disk(s) is / are mounted and recognized they should be "bootable" -- however I haven't done any analysis in this area myself as I just run various Windows VM's from VMWARE from an externally booted Linux HOST OS.

    Looks interesting enough to do some investigation though. I know getting W7 to boot from standard VHD files is OK.

    Anybody who gets answers or more info please post - this looks an interesting puzzle to solve.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8 CP


    Win 8 BOOTMGR + BCD can mount a Win 8 VHDX and boot it natively (note that the BCD has to be outside the VHDX -- the one that's inside is ignored). The same boot environment can also mount a VHDX with Win 7 installed in it, but you get an error when control is passed to the Win 7 drivers. They don't understand the VHDX format for native booting and cause a crash. If you change the same VHDX to VHD, using the PowerShell Convert-VHD cmdlet, it boots (if you have Win 7 Ultimate or Enterprise; you can't native-boot Win 7 Pro or less). Note that the partition style of the VHD is irrelevant: the BOOTMGR can mount it and read it whether it's GPT or MBR. If your boot ENVIRONMENT (outside VHD) is GPT, then it will run Windows in EFI mode. If it's MBR, it'll run it in MBR mode. At least that's my (limited) experience doing this. Correct me, someone, if you have more technical info.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 4
    windows 8


    thanks everyone

    it is confirmed that win7 cant native boot off if it's on vhdx, like other said it doesnt understand it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Create vhdx in win8.1 environment and install win7 on it
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