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Thursday, October 29, 2009

An now for something completely different: dual boot :S

Ok, after years of evangelizing VMs against dual boot I’ve re-discovered dual boot! And what’s new about it? My new eSATA external disk!


I’ve now 3 OS on my laptop (and an extra 4 virtual machines):

  • A conservative Windows 7 on my internal drive
  • A Windows Server 2008 R2 directly on my eSATA
  • A Windows Server 2008 R2 supported on eSATA as a VHD


The later was installed the way I’m installing OSs from now on. Here’s how:


  • Start installing Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Start the shell (Shift-F10)
  • Launch diskpart
  • Create a VHD file:
    • create vdisk file=”D:\Documents\Virtual Machines\VWMROMANO-DEV05\VWMROMANO-DEV05.VHD” type=fixed maximum=20000
  • Attach it:
    • select vdisk file=”D:\Documents\Virtual Machines\VWMROMANO-DEV05\VWMROMANO-DEV05.VHD”
    • attach vdisk
  • Install into your new disk :)


Here’s a simple how to.


It’s cool having a bunch of native OS on my laptop! Just think about it: the next time you want to test-drive a new beta OS, you can do it without compromising you stable workstation :)



When we already have the VHD, here’s how to registry the boot entry:

bcdedit /copy {originalguid} /d "New Windows 7 Installation"
bcdedit /set {newguid} device vhd=”[locate]\Image.vhd“
bcdedit /set {newguid} osdevice vhd=”[locate]\Image.vhd”
bcdedit /set {newguid} detecthal on

I had to look for it as EasyBCD messed up the VHD boot entry. In the same blog it states:

The advantages are magnificent:

  • Simply copy one file (the .VHD file) and you’re entire system is included.
  • Create incremental VHD files: One VHD file can be based on another one. So if you have different systems, create a base Win7 VHD and make all others incremental. This will save a lot of disk space!

There’re also some small disadvantages :-)

  • The .VHD booted OS needs to be Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.
  • There’s a performance decrease of about 3%.
  • Hibernate and some BitLocker scenarios don’t work
    (BitLocker CAN be used within the guest VHD though, but not on the disk where the VHD resides).
  • Windows Experience index won’t work.




Here’s another link from TechNet.


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