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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Allow boot from VHD on Windows Vista

The main change for just booting form VHD file is the new boot manager for Windows 7 which allow mounting VHD as hard disk,so if you need to allow the same feature while you are still using Vista so you can change the boot manager only.

To do so, you have to unhide and replace bootmgr which located on the root of your vista drive and the bcdedit.exe which located under \windows\system32\

To unhide

attrib -h -r –s c:\bootmgr
attrib -h -r -s c:\windows\system32\bcdedit.exe
To replace 

Find these files from Installed Windows 7 or 2008 R2, then you can use the commands below to add your VHD as Bootable option.

C:\>bcdedit /copy {current} /d "My New VHD Description" 
C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> device vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename> 
C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> osdevice vhd=[driverletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename> 
C:\>bcdedit /set <guid> detecthal on


Henrik said...


Did you really managed this to work on existing Vista installation? When i have created all the steps i get error 0xc000000d when i choose "Vista VHD" on my bootmenu.

Mahmoud Ibrahim said...

Vista does not enclude the drivers needed for booting from VHD
This is only applicable when installing Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2

Henrik said...

Thanks, for quick response...

So you mean that the OS in computer, must be Windows 7. And the OS in the "Vista VHD" can be Vista/W2008/w2008R2/Win7?

Mahmoud Ibrahim said...

the scenario is you have Windows Vista in your computer and you have windows 7 installed on Virtual PC or Hyper-V
You can access the files on that VHD directly through Powershell or WMI scripts
if you need to use the full power of your machine to Run Windows 7 directly from thhe boot sector.
so you can have dual boot system Vista from local harddisk and Windows 7 from the VHD.

Henrik said...

Thanks again...

I was so lost before your guidance... so much time saved...

Mahmoud Ibrahim said...

I would like to say that my writing is not that clear, I was always busy in work and I just want to share some thoughts, thank you for disccusing this with me.

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