The easiest way to Install and Boot Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)

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This post provides the fastest way to get your Windows 8 Developer Preview booting off a VHD. If you’re interested in more details read my previous posts here, here and here.

  1. First of all download Windows 8 Developer Preview here.
  2. Download my script here.
  3. Select Properties on the zip-package and click on the Unblock button.
  4. Extract the zip-package to a folder of your choice.
  5. Mount Windows 8 Developer Preview with your favorite mounting tool, my favorite tool is Virtual Clone Drive you can find it here.
  6. Look for the file “install.wim” in your installation media and remember the path, in my case F:\sources\install.wim.
  7. Open a PowerShell command prompt with the run as Administrator option. You need to run the attached bat-file from a PowerShell console as an Administrator and not from the usual command prompt.
  8. Change directory to the directory where you extracted the zip-package.
  9. Before I show you how to use the CreateBootableVHD.bat file there is 2 important concepts that you need to know:
    • The third parameter in CreateBootableVHD.bat expects you to enter the type of VHD that you want to create. If you choose EXPANDABLE you will need to make sure that you have the specified amount of GB left for the VHD even though the VHD will be small at first.
    • CreateBootableVHD.bat will assign your bootable VHD a drive letter, it’s very important to use a FREE drive letter.
    • When you enter a drive letter make sure you don’t enter a colon after the letter i.e. X and never X:.
  10. Now you’re ready to use the CreateBootableVHD.bat-file like this:
    CreateBootableVHD_v2.bat
    <path where you like to store the VHD, doesn’t work on external drives>
    <size in MB>
    <type FIXED|EXPANDABLE>
    <drive letter assigned to the VHD>
    <path to the wim-file, see number 6 above>

    Ex:
    .\CreateBootableVHD_v2.bat C:\VHD\Win8.vhd 80000 FIXED X F:\sources\install.wim.

Sit back and enjoy as the complete automated process of getting your copy of Windows 8 Developer Preview bootable.

Hope you enjoy it!

Hugo

6 Replies to “The easiest way to Install and Boot Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)”

    1. Hi,

      It works on my machine (as the big banner says) and I’ve several other people that has used the script successfully and It doesn’t require any BIOS Flash.

      Yes it will use the Windows 8 Boot Manager and this means that if you use the Expandable option in the script you REALLY need to makes sure you have the supplied amount on your harddrive. Otherwise you will have to reinstall your host operating system.

      Cheers,

      Hugo

  1. Hello (Again)
    I followed the instructions and although the VHD was created, no boot loader was created. I created one using BCDEDIT. When I start it up I get to the start menu where it fails. Reason: MissingOSLoader.

    Have you seen this before?

    1. Sorry, haven’t seen that before. Are you sure that the complete script ran successfully and that you have enough space on your disc? The script may not have reached the BCDBOOT.EXE %4:\Windows part wich adds the boot loader.

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