How-To Software Technical

VHD! Booting Windows 8

Why wipe your system clean to preview Windows 8 developer preview when you can simply use the good old VHD to boot it up on your system.

Here is the quickest method to do this.  <Warning — This is GEEK / not GREEK >

  • Boot from the Win8dev DVD or USB
  • When in setup the disk selection appears where to install to you press SHIFT-F10
  • A cmd window appears.
  • Now your drive letters may have shifted so do some DIR commands where you want the put the VHD file also choose a volume that has enough free space.
  • Then run diskpart:
    • create vdisk file=d:win8dev.vhd type=expandable maximum=50000 (for better performance do not use expandable, but creating the VHD may take some time.
      I choose about 50 GB in size
    • select vdisk file=d:win8dev.vhd
    • attach vdisk
  • Now alt-tab back to the disk selection window and click refresh, the VHD volume should appear, select it to install Windows in it.
  • Click next, Windows will install and reboot into next phase of Windows 8 setup
  • After another reboot the new Metro style boot menu appears where you can choose to boot from Windows 8 or Windows 7. Advanced options lets you set the default and change timeout. Also troubleshooting options are here.
  • The default is Windows 8 and it will run direct on your hardware