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Problems dual-booting Win8.1 and Win8.1 VHD


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#1 doveman

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 04:16 PM

I've got a working install of Win8.1 on my SSD's 1st partition but it's a bit cluttered and I didn't do a fresh install when I updated my motherboard, just sorted out all the devices, so it's probably not running as smoothly as it should be.
 
I'm using the rest of my SSD as a 2nd partition for games but there's enough space on there for a VHD, so I've installed Win8.1 into one of those and added it to the Windows boot menu.
 
So I have grub4dos booting the Windows boot menu with this:

title Win8.1 (SSD)
unhide (hd0,0)
root (hd0,0)
chainloader /bootmgr

and then it shows me the two options. However, whenever I select the VHD, it has to reboot before showing the grub4dos menu again and then selecting the above boots straight to the VHD. Is this how it's meant to work, as it's a bit slow and annoying? If I select the non-VHD option it boots straight to that without needing to reboot.

Second problem is that it's BSOD after installing the Windows Updates. After fixing it, I first did just the driver updates and .NET update, then just the Security Updates, as from memory it had been the other updates (titled Windows Update or Update for Windows, I can't recall exactly) that had caused me problems in the past but on this occasion it was the Security Updates that trigger the BSOD again.

Third problem is that I haven't found any way to run System Restore to fix the VHD, other than booting into my working Win 8.1 and running Virtualbox with the VHD and Win 8.1 DVD attached. If I boot from a Win 8.1 USB, use the commandline to run diskpart and mount the VHD to C:, then try running rstrui.exe it just says that no Windows is selected and I need to reboot. I did once manage to get the Startup Repair/Advanced Options up without the USB, I think I pressed Shift+11 on the Windows Boot Menu but that didn't work any better and told me that the Boot or Recovery partition (something like that) couldn't be found.

I can't boot the VHD directly from grub4dos, as it's non-contiguous and I can't defrag it as that will stress the SSD too much and obviously can't load it into RAM as it's too big. For some reason, grub4dos can't find my ISOs on either of my two HDDs (one 2TB and the other 3TB) so I can't boot any Windows ISOs from those and can only do so from USB.

#2 Vas709

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 05:23 PM

You don't need to use Grub4DOS.
 
These steps will work only if you have Windows 7 (with editions of Enterprise or Ultimate) or later installed on your computer. Use recovery media to backup your data before proceeding.
 
1. Create a new VHD with VirtualBox
2. Install Windows 8.1 on VHD
3. When the installation is complete, close VirtualBox
4. Download and install EasyBCD
5. Add VHD to the boot menu using EasyBCD
6. Reboot the virtual machine
7. Select VHD from the boot menu
 
Now you can use Windows 8.1 in VHD.
 
Vasja Stojkovic


#3 steve6375

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 06:39 PM

Why not defrag the SSD and get the VHD contiguous? If your running Windows from it there will be loads of disk accesses anyway - a one-time defrag won't add that many writes. By the time the SSD 'wears out'  the same capacity SSD will probably cost $10 and you will have replaced\upgraded it long before then or got a new computer.

P.S. Has anyone ever 'worn out' an SSD yet - or won't this happen until a few more years have passed? 



#4 doveman

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 12:59 PM

 

You don't need to use Grub4DOS.

Not for just booting VHDs I don't but I need grub4dos to boot other stuff, so that's why it's my first boot menu.

 

Does Windows have to reboot when selecting a VHD from the Windows boot menu even when grub4dos isn't used and is there any way to run system restore for a VHD other than by attaching it to a Virtualbox?

 

I think perhaps that grub4dos can't see files on GPT partitioned HDDs, which both my HDDs are. I should be able to load an ISO from my SSD's 2nd partition though, as that's using MBR, so I'll try that next.



#5 doveman

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

Why not defrag the SSD and get the VHD contiguous? If your running Windows from it there will be loads of disk accesses anyway - a one-time defrag won't add that many writes. By the time the SSD 'wears out'  the same capacity SSD will probably cost $10 and you will have replaced\upgraded it long before then or got a new computer.

P.S. Has anyone ever 'worn out' an SSD yet - or won't this happen until a few more years have passed? 

I just know that everywhere says you should never defrag a SSD, so I'm not willing to risk it! If I could be sure it would only make a few writes to make the VHD contiguous I'd do it but I can't be sure about that.



#6 Vas709

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 01:44 PM

Not for just booting VHDs I don't but I need grub4dos to boot other stuff, so that's why it's my first boot menu.

 

Does Windows have to reboot when selecting a VHD from the Windows boot menu even when grub4dos isn't used and is there any way to run system restore for a VHD other than by attaching it to a Virtualbox?

 

I think perhaps that grub4dos can't see files on GPT partitioned HDDs, which both my HDDs are. I should be able to load an ISO from my SSD's 2nd partition though, as that's using MBR, so I'll try that next.

 

I only know how to install an operating system in virtual machine and even on physical computer and I know how to boot the VHD. I have tried many ways to boot the VHD with Grub4DOS but failed.
 
You need to restart your computer and select the VHD from the Windows Boot Menu, and not in Grub4DOS boot menu.
 
You also don't need to boot Windows 8.1 in VHD if you already have Windows 8.1 in your physical machine. Simply install some other operating systems like Windows 7 or Windows 10 in VHD that has different graphical-user-interface.
 
Use recovery media to backup your files before doing this.
 
Vasja Stojkovic


#7 doveman

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 07:17 PM

Yep, I'm booting the VHD from the Windows boot menu. It's working OK now after I did the initial install in Virtualbox anyway, so I can put up with it rebooting until I get another SSD and have room to move it to that.

 

I need two Win 8.1 installs as my first one is a bit cluttered and has some problems but I can't afford to wipe it at the moment as I've got work I need to do, so the VHD is just a clean boot for now for a couple of games, until I have time to migrate everything over.






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