Win7 Native Boot From VHD

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by redbug, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    Hello! I am a new member.
    I searched for threads relating to Win7 Ultimate ability to install the OS in a VHD and the ability to boot natively (without using a virtual machine) from the VHD, but I couldn't find any threads. I am surprised there is apparently no discussions about it here.
     
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  2. DARKOR04

    DARKOR04 MDL Tester/Developer

    Jul 5, 2010
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  3. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    I have just recently started experimenting with native-boot VHD. Here is my setup:
    Win7 Home Premium installed normally.
    Win7 Ultimate installed in a VHD.
    Differencing VHD attached to the parent VHD.

    I used EasyBCD to create a Boot Manager entry for the Differencing VHD so I could choose to boot from it. So far, it works well.
    Neither Home Premium nor Ultimate have been activated.
    I am wondering when the time comes (soon) to reset the 30day grace period, should I reset it in Differencing VHD, or in the parent VHD? I read that if the parent VHD is changed, the Differencing VHD will become corrupt. So, I think if I reset the grace period in the parent, I would lose all the changes I have made to the Differencing VHD. But, if I reset the grace period in the Differencing VHD, the underlying parent VHD would still not be reset. Any suggestions? Anyone else here experimenting with the native-boot VHDs?
     
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  4. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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  5. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    I was wondering how activation resets and hacks would work in the VHDs. I reckon I'll find out myself eventually by trial and error. I was hoping somebody else had advice that would minimize my errors and reduce the time required for the trials.
     
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  6. jabberwocky

    jabberwocky MDL Member

    Aug 28, 2009
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    #6 jabberwocky, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    HyperOS has been doing something very similar to this for some time now . for many years they had the options to install 11.or 24 Operating systems by partitioning disks . a year or two back they fathomed a way to run an OS from within an existing OS (not virtual). it works remarkably well .although I prefer the security of individual partitions or drives ,as if the parent OS goes down it will take down any other OSs within the same drive/partition.
    a good idea is to load a fresh OS then apply all updates and essential softwares and activate it .,then clone it to other drives ,this way they will all be activated ,as the hardware visable to all of them is identical , you can then customize each to suit your needs . also HyperOS will back up any drive/s on a schedule , thus keeping any backups reasonably up to date as well . their recent release , is as easy as it gets for running multiple OSs .
     
  7. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    Thanks jabberwocky for the tip about HyperOS. I took a peek at the company's page. Looks interesting, but it's not free. I am poor and I try never to pay for software. It has been 10 or 15 years since I have actually paid for software, if you don't count paying for the OS that comes pre-installed on new computers.
    Native booting Win7 from a VHD seems superior to HyperOS because no extra software is required, other than the OS itself. I use EasyBCD to add and subtract items from the Boot Menu, but that program really isn't necessary. I use it because I haven't learned yet how to use the Command Prompt to manipulate the Boot Menu.

    Here is an update of my experiments so far with activation and VHDs:
    Win7 Ultimate installed in a parent VHD. OS on 30 day grace period. Not activated.
    Created a child VHD.
    Booted from the child VHD and ran it for about 29 days.
    Durring this time, I did not boot from the parent VHD. I booted only from the child VHD.
    When there was 1 day remaining on the grace period, as indicated when I booted from the child, I reset the grace period in the child using "slmgr -rearm".
    I rebooted the child, and noticed the grace period had been successfully reset. There were 30 days remaining.

    I rebooted the child again, but this time it failed to boot. Got screen saying "Win Boot Manager...Win failed to start...A recent hardware or software change might...File: WMILIB.SYS. Info: Win failed to load because a required file is missing or corrupt."
    I tried to reboot the child again, and again it failed to boot. This time the screen said "\Windows\System32\Winload.exe was missing or corrupt."

    Next, I booted the parent VHD.
    Control Panel showed there was 1 day remaining on the grace period.
    I reset the grace period in the parent using "slmgr -rearm".
    Rebooted the parent and saw there was now 30 days left to activate.
    I shut down and again tried to boot the child.
    Got screen saying it wouldn't boot, but this screen gave me some options including the option to start in Safe Mode. So I tried to start the child in Safe Mode. To my great surprise, it booted in Safe Mode!
    From Safe Mode, I tried again to reboot the child. And to my great surprise, it apparently booted normally this time!

    The reason I was so surprised that the child booted was that I have read that if the parent VHD is changed, the child will become corrupt (and I assumed it would become completely unusable).

    I'm going to continue with these tests and make notes. I don't understand much about what is going on. I wish somebody else here had already done tests such as this and could advise me. My next test will probably be to try to use some kind of activation hack on the parent and see how that works when I boot and run the child. Surely somebody else here has tried this already?
     
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  8. jabberwocky

    jabberwocky MDL Member

    Aug 28, 2009
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    #8 jabberwocky, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
    one of hyperos,s downfalls over the years has been their poor instructions and lack of information ,but in fact it could not be easier to use . you simply create your initial OS installation and then using partition software ,create a number of partitions ,this number depends on how many OSs you want to have installed ,lets say for example I wanted to create 10 Installations , it does not matter if they are mixed ,Vista ,Win7, 32BIT OR 64BIT , I would create 12 partitions (yes 12) , then install HyperOS in your 1st (and only) OS . once installed you will have an extra Icon on your desktop ,when opened you have your OSs and empty (spare computer) Icons in the upper pane and a lower pane that is empty .you can at any time drag your OS into the lower pane and this will create a backup in the location of your choice ,you can even schedule regular backups (that overwrite) the original . these can be scheduled to run anytime . you can also drag your OS to any of the other drive icons to effectively clone . I allways create my first OS but dont clone ,I install a second one for this as its easier to clone /copy /backup, an inactive drive .
    by the way ,check your PM
     
  9. MrG

    MrG MDL Addicted

    May 31, 2010
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    #9 MrG, Sep 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2010
  10. urie

    urie Moderator
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    May 21, 2007
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    You can also use acronis trueimage to load VHD and it can also edit the boot manager.
     
  11. asabater

    asabater MDL Member

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    #11 asabater, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
    create vdisk from cmd?????

    example of 7 x86 installed real in c: & vhdboot 7 x64 ---> dual boot

    to create 15gb vdisk

    run cmd

    take care line sel dis 1 is when your lis dis tell you the number of your 15gb vhd (dis 0 is your c disk & dis 1 is vhd)

    to install new 7 in vhd you need imagex & install.wim from 7 dvd, you only need to extract install.wim in vhdboot disk

    firs line is to see the diferents version of 7 in install.wim container, second line is to extract ultimate in vhdboot disk (e:\)

    first time you boot from vhdboot disk you only have to finish instalation steps,,,,,

    to modify dual boot you need bcdedit 7 standar:

    first line only to see actual boot conf
    second to add new line in boot (copy of actual)
    third more info to see the new line {ID} in this case {4d732473-8623-11de-b364-e7de6101e935}
    rest of lines to modify this new boot line attributes
    bcdedit /? the see more options

    restart & see

    saludos from spain
     
  12. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    #12 sebus, Oct 2, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
    Which part of it is this "..bit of a job"?

    Just use EasyBCD! (sadly it can not be run from WinPE easily, as it uses dotnet)

    sebus
     
  13. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    I like EasyBCD. It really is easy to use. It permits even dummies like me to do geeky-nerdy things without straining my brain too much. The boot-from-ISO feature is cool. And the boot-from-VHD feature is even cooler.
     
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  14. redbug

    redbug MDL Junior Member

    Sep 27, 2010
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    No, it won't create a VHD or an ISO either. But it will easily enable you to add a link to either of those two file types in the Boot Menu so you can boot from them. Not all ISOs can be booted this way, but some can.
     
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