Patrick's SharePoint Blog

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Native VHD boot from external harddisk using Win7

Posted by Patrick Boom on September 22, 2010

Like many of us out there, I like the use of virtual servers for testing, research and developement. It keeps my host OS clean, but also gives me the opportunity to leverage the hardware of my machine to the full extend, except for the disk virtualization.

The possibility of Windows 7 to native boot VHD images is great, if not a blessing. I never want to move back to VPC or VMWare. The only downside was that it was hard to boot an image from an external harddisk (USB). I say hard, because I simply did not know how to make that work. But it should be possible.

Cut a long story short, using the following article described here by Mark Wilson, you can modify the windows installationin the VHD to allow booting from USB. It takes a lot of command line commands, but in the end, it works! Thanks Mark!

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4 Responses to “Native VHD boot from external harddisk using Win7”

  1. Jenny Smith said

    Damn, rather cool information. Where will I get this subscription?

    Jenny Smith

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  4. Jon Homer said

    Hi Patrick, I might be being really daft but from what I am reading on the 70-680 Native Boot means being able to boot a Pc into a VHD file containing an operating system where the PC does not already have a host OS. It also states that it is limited only to Ultimate or enterprise. Does this mean that you can only boot from a VHD file containing Win7 Ultimate/Ent? My colleague mentioned that it could mean that you have to use ult/ent when creating the VHD file on another machine, but I am stuck at this point.

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