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Help!! Procedure to boot a Windows 11 .vhd file on a USB

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#1 sharklodon

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 02:58 PM



I have a fresh installation of Win11 in a .vhd file (8.5GB aprox) and it works in a VMware machine with 4GB of RAM.


Now I'll want to put it on a bootable USB. Which is the correct procedure to do it?


Thanks and BR,



#2 misty


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Posted 23 March 2023 - 06:07 AM

You really need to provide more details. I've never tried moving a VMWare installation to boot from a USB or on physical hardware.

Moving and booting a windows .vhd installation from one device to another is relatively simple, however there is no guarantee that windows will boot successfully.

The basic steps are -
1. Copy the vhd file to usb
2. Mount the vhd file copied in step 1.
3. Use bcdboot to create the windows boot files and/or BCD store entry for the OS mounted in step 2.
4. Unmount vhd.
5. Boot from usb.

Is it a fixed type USB or removable?

Is the system firmware BIOS or UEFI?

If UEFI, can you boot in CSM mode.
  • antonino61 and f0rhand like this

#3 Rootman


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Posted 28 March 2023 - 12:07 PM

I just did this yesterday.  I setup a windows 11 instance on VirtualBox and used a VHD disk type.  I use Ventoy as a boot solution to boot all sorts of ISO files, they also have an extension that allows booting of VHD files, the extension is  named ventoy_vhdboot.img and you download it separately I believe.  You put the extension on the 1st partition of the Ventoy USB drive under the Ventoy directory.  then it's a simple as selecting it and booting to it.  I did it as an experiment.  So far Ventoy has booted every single thing I've thrown at it, including this VHD. I switched from my previous boot solution to Ventoy entirely.


Fair warning, the performance is absolutely dismal.   While it would take advantage of the CPU and memory being an actual physical device instead of virtualized, the disk speed is terrible, even on a USB 3.1 device and port.  It takes sometimes minutes to do something that would take seconds to do on a real PC.  Then there's the Windows licensing issue, if you license the VM and boot it on real steel, the licensing will trigger again.  Do it too many times, especially on different machines and your activation key will get locked out.    

#4 vigipirate



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Posted 29 March 2023 - 01:26 PM

Good morning For Rootman Simplest start your VHD virtual machine Capture Disk C: In Install.Wim there is full gimagex winntsetup dismgui vdism On an external disk Connect A Vour Vitual Machine you copy it on USB key from an ISO windows replace intall.wim on the key with your capture and install as a normal Windows Sue USB Cle I hope that this tip will help you thank you for reassembled the info if it works for you

#5 Darkr



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Posted 13 April 2023 - 05:32 PM

Method 1  

install Refind boot manager on usb drive or hdd

install a1ive file manager on usb or hdd

put vhd on usb or hdd  any where  and run a1ive file manager can boot everything




methode 2

install ventoy on your usb or hdd

download ventoy_vhdboot.img

copy usb root




#6 TheHive


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Posted 3 weeks ago

I did something similar using ventoy and windows 11 pro.


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