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rfloubo

Boot OS from vhd in fat32 drive. Can it be done?

9 posts in this topic

Was anyone able to do this? It could be fat32 or any other except ntfs or exfat.

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No, NTFS is a requirement to mount a VHD. In thisTechNet Blog article, at the very bottom are 3 important limitations for VHDs. The first limitation is that VHDs can be mounted only on NTFS volumes.

David

Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro

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BUT you can still fake :w00t: that a "flat" .vhd is actually a RAW image with a single sector appended to it (which actually is ;)) and use grub4dos + Firadisk or Winvblock to mount it , it won't be "native" booting anymore, but still it will be booting from .vhd residing on *any* filesystem.

http://reboot.pro/15407/

http://reboot.pro/15997/

http://reboot.pro/16178/

jaclaz

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Ok, I tried with Winvblock but the system BSODed with the usual F8 so either I missed something or WinOutreach is unfortunately right. At least for Windows 7.

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Ok, I tried with Winvblock but the system BSODed with the usual F8 so either I missed something or WinOutreach is unfortunately right. At least for Windows 7.

The usual F8 is probably a 0x0000007.

I gave you some links.

Tens, hundreds or maybe thousands of people used and use this approach, and you also posted starting from here:

http://reboot.pro/9830/page__st__800#entry160343

that the particualr build you used worked for you, but you have issues with Task Scheduler.

So, yes, you must be doing something wrong. :unsure:

Winoutreach is right regarding "native" boot, but using other tools it is perfectly possible.

jaclaz

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Yes it is the typical F8.

I saw the links and I also looked around a lot too but I could not find anyone trying and succeeding in booting from a fat32 unit. The post you refer to is with the files on the drive, not with vhd. Have you tried it yourself in a fat32 drive?

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Have you tried it yourself in a fat32 drive?

Of course not.

I only give senseless suggestions based on things I never tried myself.

I saw the links and I also looked around a lot too but I could not find anyone trying and succeeding in booting from a fat32 unit.

Though not the most reliable source in the world:

http://reboot.pro/15997/

jaclaz

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You did it? With W7 and Winvblock? Was it a disk drive or a thumb drive?

Can you please tell me what W7 version and menu.lst code you used? I tried the two that I found in the links you gave.

I read the link and if I got it right (it's not very clear) their fat32 mention was related to vhdloader which the author says only works from a floppy or cd. I tried using their iso with grub4dos and it boots vhdloader but is impossible to select the vhd as the text comes out all garbled. Carrying a CD all the times or finding a PC with a floppy kind of defeats the purpose of having a portable OS.

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You did it? With W7 and Winvblock? Was it a disk drive or a thumb drive?

Can you please tell me what W7 version and menu.lst code you used? I tried the two that I found in the links you gave.

No, as I told you I never try things I suggest.

I read the link and if I got it right (it's not very clear) their fat32 mention was related to vhdloader which the author says only works from a floppy or cd. I tried using their iso with grub4dos and it boots vhdloader but is impossible to select the vhd as the text comes out all garbled. Carrying a CD all the times or finding a PC with a floppy kind of defeats the purpose of having a portable OS.

Yep, but that is only a reference related to your failing to find a reference, not at all a suggestion for a viable way to boot Windows 7 from a .vhd file, as it covers ONLY the actual real-mode part of the booting (which is also covered by grub4dos), the whole point being the support in the protected mode that must be provided by either the "native" VHD mounting provision of some releases of Windows 7 (which does not work on FAT32 by design) or by using a suitable driver, the mentioned firadisk or Winvblock (or there may be other ones).

You might want to go again through this:

http://reboot.pro/15407/

Those drivers "simply" map a file to a (virtual) disk device, it doesn't make any difference on which filesystem the file resides, as long as it is accessible.

Most probably you are having an issue with the actual driver(s) do check :

Firadisk:

http://reboot.pro/10234/

http://reboot.pro/16646/

http://tech.outcult.com/tutorials/winram/01/

Winvblock:

http://reboot.pro/13738/

http://reboot.pro/15997/

http://reboot.pro/16141/

Since the limit for a file on a FAT32 device is 4 Gb and there are anyway RAM limits (firadisk), the Windows 7 needs obviously to be "considerably" slimmed down.

I presume that since most people uses "native" Windows 7 booting from .vhd capabilities (from files residing on NTFS) the development of the mentioned methods wasn't particularly followed.

Or, if you have the money, you can see if the Commercial Vboot works on FAT32 (it should) :unsure::

http://www.vmlite.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=148

jaclaz

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