Jump to content











Photo
- - - - -

Chainload Windows 10 Enterprise VHD with GRUB2/GRUB4DOS, located in an EXT4 partition?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Wonko the Insane

Wonko the Insane

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 458 posts
  • Location:The Inside of the Asylum (gate is wide open)
  • Interests:Oh, so you hate me too? Well, join the club! There are weekly meetings at the corner of Fuck You St. and Kiss My Ass Blvd.
  •  
    United States

Posted 30 May 2016 - 02:03 AM

I am commencing on a Linux-only setup, and I'm going to install 10 in a fixed-size VHD. I want to get to learn Linux more in-depth, but still need Windows for a few things, like flashing firmware onto Android devices, 3D graphics modeling, etc.

 

I am planning to place this VHD in my Fedora's /home partition, which will have an EXT4 filesystem. But I'm not sure if either G4D or GRUB2 can chainload a VHD located within an EXT4 partition. My preference is to use GRUB2 for this. I had wanted to try VBoot, but saw that it is relatively unsupported trialware, and cant be chainloaded from another bootloader. Do I need to place my VHD within an NTFS partition instead? My Windows boot files (bootmgr and BCD) will be located in a small System Reserved partition within the VHD itself. My current booting mode is BIOS/MBR.

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: I would also like to make it clear that GRUB2 will be in my laptop's MBR. I would like it to either:

1. Directly chainload the VHD located in the EXT4 partition

or

2 (less preferable). Chainload G4D, which will then find my VHD and load it.



#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13340 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 30 May 2016 - 07:34 AM

Hmmm. :dubbio:

If I were you I would be much more concerned about whether the Windows driver that should load the actual .vhd can access that EXT4 volume and mount the VHD image.

Windows has no "native" support for EXTn filesystems, and it is unlikely (though possible) that any "third party" EXTn FS driver is usable/used in the very early part of booting. :unsure:

Surely you will have an easier life if you put the .vhd on a NTFS partition (but then in your described setup you could install the windows directly to the NTFS volume and avoid the VHD altogether).

 

As a side note, and JFYI:
https://msopentech.c...x-development/#

https://gallery.tech...ageps1-0fe23a8f

The documentation and "features" are a bit (actually more than a bit) messed up, the thingy seemingly worked nicely when I tested it, but you will need anyway to check the reports as a few lines in the script might need to be changed, depending on your source.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 Wonko the Insane

Wonko the Insane

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 458 posts
  • Location:The Inside of the Asylum (gate is wide open)
  • Interests:Oh, so you hate me too? Well, join the club! There are weekly meetings at the corner of Fuck You St. and Kiss My Ass Blvd.
  •  
    United States

Posted 30 May 2016 - 07:45 AM

So this is a bad idea? There is a driver called ext2fsd, but I don't think it can load in the early boot stages. I didn't think it mattered what kind of partition the VHD is on, as long as the 10 volume *within* the VHD can be accessed. Windows can't be trusted to handle Linux volumes. Another issue is that my Linuxes are already installed and confugured, would rather avoid repartitioning.



#4 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13340 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 30 May 2016 - 08:53 AM

So this is a bad idea? There is a driver called ext2fsd, but I don't think it can load in the early boot stages. I didn't think it mattered what kind of partition the VHD is on, as long as the 10 volume *within* the VHD can be accessed. Windows can't be trusted to handle Linux volumes. Another issue is that my Linuxes are already installed and confugured, would rather avoid repartitioning.

Not necessarily a bad idea in itself, simply something that personally I wouldn't do on a "production" and "configured" system, a nice experiment to verify the level of integration of the one or the other EXTn FS driver with the boot time VHD/VHDX driver, but that I would carry on a "test" system.

 

I would trust much more gparted (say) to shrink an existing partition and creating a new one for the new Windows install.

 

But then I tend to apply Occam's Razor whenever possible as IMHO making things complex without a real reason (while sometimes fun :) ) is more likely to result in issues.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 Wonko the Insane

Wonko the Insane

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 458 posts
  • Location:The Inside of the Asylum (gate is wide open)
  • Interests:Oh, so you hate me too? Well, join the club! There are weekly meetings at the corner of Fuck You St. and Kiss My Ass Blvd.
  •  
    United States

Posted 01 June 2016 - 12:42 AM

Well, the fact remains that I still need to access Windows every now and then, but don't want to install it into a physical partition on my drive. I guess I'll havto look into creating a portable Windows (perhaps in another thread, so I can take this in a slightly different direction). I know Easy2Boot can boot a VHD/VHDX, I have a spare 256GB Patriot Supersonic USB 3.1 flash drive I can use for this.

 

But I do think that testing the various EXT drivers with the VHD mounting mechanism would be an interesting project that might also benefit others (not that I would really have any inclination to share my results in the event of success, I'm just a selfish bastard like that).

 

How can I go about extracting the drivers from the handful of solutions available? Something like 7-Zip/WinRAR/Universal Extractor/etc would work? Or it is better to install the solutions and manually copy over the driver files (if they can be found)? Once obtained, how would I go about testing?

 

I sometimes don't mind using my everyday systems for testing, you'll never learn if you don't test in day to day scenarios. What works in an isolated test environment may not always work the same used on a "live" system.

 

Thanks!



#6 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13340 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:38 AM

Well, those drivers are usually in archive/installers accessible through 7-zip, and at the very minimum it should be just a .sys and a .inf, the point is the level of integration they have in the OS and the compatibility with Windows 10, as I see it, I would first try with the IFS:
http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html
If I recall correctly (but cannot really say for sure) Ext2fsd is not "fully "integrated" and needs a mounter/helper executable and the Paragon on is based on Dokan, i.e. it has an "added layer".
BTW I seem to remember having read - but never found a real confirmation for it - that Windows to go has some built in access to EXTn volumes, you may also want to try that.

YMMGV.

:duff:
Wonko

#7 Wonko the Insane

Wonko the Insane

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 458 posts
  • Location:The Inside of the Asylum (gate is wide open)
  • Interests:Oh, so you hate me too? Well, join the club! There are weekly meetings at the corner of Fuck You St. and Kiss My Ass Blvd.
  •  
    United States

Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:50 AM

I'm none too happy about trying the IFS driver, since it can't access EXT4, and EXT3 volumes are accessed without journaling benefits or maintaining access rights. I think I'll try the Ext2FSD drivers first. Maybe they can be accessed without the GUI, via plain text config files. I also prefer that my /home partition use the latest EXT available (4).






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users