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simonking

VHD Native Boot with Junctions

40 posts in this topic

I've been trying to do something interesting with native VHD boot.

 

Has anybody tried to do anything like this? I've been at it for a few weeks now, without much progress. I did get this working with physical partitions before.

 

Are there any particular gotcha's with this process? I've tried bootsect /nt60 z: /force /mbr, bcdboot z:\windows, both [locate] and the physical drive path of the VHD with bcdedit, all to no avail.

 

The Windows 8 spinner never shows, and the boot consistently fails.

 

The same method does succeed when I clone my OS into the VHD using some kind of disk cloning software. There's some extra stuff that the disk cloning software does, apparently, but I haven't been able to figure it out, even despite comparing registries.

 

Does the VHD have to be created a particular way? I've even tried both GPT and MBR partitions.

Edited by simonking
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Not trying to boot off of bare metal. I already have my OS loader on hidden MS partitions.

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If you are running Windows installed normally, and you have a vhd which is on your hard drive, then you just mount it from your normal OS. I use EasyBCD, and then open it, and assign the new vhd to the boot menu.

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I've tried that and similar to no avail. Unfortunately, I must be missing something for the boot to work - because it is just not happening with this approach. A cloned VHD can be added to the boot menu and it works.

Edited by simonking
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You might be better off just to use a program to create a vhd from a physical drive. Or you can do a fresh installation on the vhd. I am sure you thought of that, but unless you are really trying to solve this problem it might be the easiest and quickest approach.

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Yes of course. However, my requirements dictate that I do this in the way that is described. So I need to know what steps/actions I need to undertake to ensure that the resultant VHD is bootable normally.

BTW, my condolences on the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Was a favorite author. May he rest in peace and in magical realism!

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Thank you for condolences. I am sorry I can't help you any further with your issue. You may want to create a free account at beyondwindows9.com as they have some real tech gurus there who may help. There is also a VIP membership for sale (real cheap.) It may be worth your while. I would try that forum though. I have had some real issues, and received excellent results.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I suppose no one else here has any feedback or experience with the issue?

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@simonking have you tried creating vhd in vmware or sun virtual box and then install os into that vhd and than use that vhd for boot than it will work

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Thanks for the suggestion. I suppose no one else here has any feedback or experience with the issue?

Maybe you could expand a little on:

  • Why exactly you want or need this particular setup (i.e. what is the intended final goal)
  • What exactly you have tried, exact meaning exact, as opposed to "vague", i.e. "I used program xy wit this specific command line w z as opposed to a program that preserves security and hard links on files, so everything is "original"

Right now I cannot understand what is your expected final result :unsure:.

jaclaz

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Let's say there's a generic Windows installation with the C: partition containing the OS and the program files, users, etc. folders. Since this is a generic Windows installation, the BCD store will be located on the hidden boot partition as typically created by Windows setup (my current development case), or it may also be located on the C: partition itself (I have not yet tested this scenario, but hope to eventually arrive at it as well, once my current setup succeeds).

The VHD boot simply stalls. I am doing my R&D on a Surface Pro 2, so all that happens is that I get the Surface logo (would be the Windows logo on a non-OEM Windows 8.1 install) after opting to boot into the VHD, and then the "spinner" below the VHD just never appears. No error is shown at any time, I can only hard-reset the machine to boot into another partition.

I created a new VHD, and then I used Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 to clone my partition C: onto this VHD. This VHD boot worked!

Clearly, there's something "a little extra" that Paragon is doing here, to either the partition, or the boot sector, or wherever - that I am missing.

I am virtually certain there's some kind of partition tweak/setting that I am missing; because Paragon's clone works.

Edited by simonking
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OK, now I understand better, still I miss why exactly you want to "install to C:\" and later "move" this install "to Z:\" (but leaving the "program files, users, etc. folders" on C:\).

I mean (just an idea) why not installing to the VHD and later move the "program files, users, etc. folders" to C:\?

And, if I get this right, the "final goal" is to have (besides the "boot" partition with the BOOTMGR and the \boot\BCD which may be either a separate one or being your same "C:\") all the actual Operating System, exception made for "program files, users, etc. folders" inside the .vhd while having the "program files, users, etc. folders" still resifding on C:\.

But I am still failing to uinderstand what would be the advantage use of such a setup. :unsure: Saving hard disk space? Allow for a (better) multibooting?

As a side note, if you are into Windows 8.1, the new Wimboot approach may interest you (if the scope is to save hard disk space).

Also, more generally, if you capture a Wim image of the C:\ and apply it ot the .vhd, what happens? (without any third party tool and rather simple).

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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I'm happy I was able to explain the scenario.

 

I have a lot of constraints; as such, the approach I have described appears to be the best one. The only problem is, getting the VHD to boot!

Edited by simonking
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I'm happy I was able to explain the scenario.

I have a lot of constraints; among these:

1) I cannot assume a fresh install will be possible,

2) I cannot assume more than 1 GB of free space will be available,

3) I cannot assume any additional external storage will be available.

As such, the approach I have described appears to be the best one. The only problem is, getting the VHD to boot!

Still, nothing tells me which actual advantages you expect from this approach.

But it's not my business at all, anyway.

What I would do right now if I were you would be to (temporarily) forget about your approach :w00t: and see if you can find the *whatever* you are missing into the procedures used for native or non-native VHD booting, like:

http://reboot.pro/topic/16557-vhd-based-windows-to-go/

http://reboot.pro/topic/18467-vhd-w8-compact-make-mini-8/

Maybe the step you are missing is correcting/updating the MountedDevices key?

Or *somehow* your procedure changes the Disk Signature of the .vhd?

Maybe if instead of "directly" on the Surface2 you try your test inside a "more normal" VM, you can get a BSOD or however an error that could give hint of what is the actual problem.

jaclaz

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