Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 Pro native boot?

  1. #1


    Posts : 94
    Windows 7

    Windows 8.1 Pro native boot?


    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?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    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
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  3. #3


    Posts : 94
    Windows 7


    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)?
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  4. #4


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7
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  5. #5


    Posts : 94
    Windows 7


    ^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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  6. #6


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


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

    You should test for yourself..
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  7. #7


    Posts : 94
    Windows 7


    .
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  8. #8


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


    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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  9. #9


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    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 by KYHI; 06 Apr 2015 at 07:30.
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  10. #10


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    This from an Eight Forums tutorial Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with

    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.


    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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