Jump to content











Photo
- - - - -

Native VHD Boot on unsupported versions of Windows 7


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 agni

agni

    Frequent Member

  • Tutorial Writer
  • 257 posts
  • Location:Bengaluru (Bangalore)
  •  
    India

Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:58 AM

In Windows 7, Native VHD boot is currently supported only on Ultimate and Enterprise versions and is disabled by a license policy on other versions of Windows. This article/tutorial shows how Native VHD boot can be enabled on unsupported versions of Windows 7 as well.

The post Native VHD Boot on unsupported versions of Windows 7 appeared first on AgniPulse.

9SiofMWtDr8

View the full article

#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:27 PM

Just in case:

 

 

Please note that this article is only for educational purposes and I wrote it as it appealed to my intellectual curiosity. Circumventing license policies on Windows operating systems could be a violation of Microsoft’s Software License Terms. I do not take any responsibility and I am not liable for any damage caused through this tutorial.

Read more: http://agnipulse.com...ions-windows-7/

The "could be" is better expressed by "definitely is". 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 erwan.l

erwan.l

    Gold Member

  • Developer
  • 1976 posts
  • Location:Nantes - France
  •  
    France

Posted 30 December 2016 - 05:19 PM

Hi Agni,

 

If you really want to be accurate, this method was actually discussed/described first here on reboot.pro  ;)

Wonko and myself (and others) were part of that discussion.

 

Regards,

Erwan



#4 agni

agni

    Frequent Member

  • Tutorial Writer
  • 257 posts
  • Location:Bengaluru (Bangalore)
  •  
    India

Posted 30 December 2016 - 06:36 PM

Hi Agni,
 
If you really want to be accurate, this method was actually discussed/described first here on reboot.pro  ;)
Wonko and myself (and others) were part of that discussion.
 
Regards,
Erwan


Thanks,I will add the link to article and give credits.

#5 agni

agni

    Frequent Member

  • Tutorial Writer
  • 257 posts
  • Location:Bengaluru (Bangalore)
  •  
    India

Posted 30 December 2016 - 06:36 PM

Just in case:

The "could be" is better expressed by "definitely is". 
 
:duff:
Wonko


Agreed,will update it.Thanks

#6 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:03 PM

Now, if everyone would agree that there is no real reason to use Dynamic VHD's, (there must be a reason why - besides my personal opinion -  JFX marks "Fixed" as "Recommended" in WINNTSETUP), the next step would be to test if having "native" VHD booting (using a Fixed Size VHD) actually provides any *meaningful* advantage over using Winvblock or Firadisk (and for all that matters a RAW image) in a "perfectly legit" manner on non-Ultimate, non-Enterprise varsions of 7 instead of breaking the EULA.

 

I mean,  besides the fun, are there any actual noticeable "advantages"? :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 erwan.l

erwan.l

    Gold Member

  • Developer
  • 1976 posts
  • Location:Nantes - France
  •  
    France

Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:15 PM

The only advantage around dynamic disk (IMHO) is disk space :

 

A dynamic disk can grow (obviously) and therefore enable you to create a 100gb virtual disk which will actually take much less space on your disk to start with.

Portability is greater i.e your image is easier to carry around.

 

Apart from that, I would stick to a fixed disk.

 

Keep in mind that a dynamic disk is also slightly slower than a fixed disk.



#8 agni

agni

    Frequent Member

  • Tutorial Writer
  • 257 posts
  • Location:Bengaluru (Bangalore)
  •  
    India

Posted 31 December 2016 - 02:30 PM

Now, if everyone would agree that there is no real reason to use Dynamic VHD's, (there must be a reason why - besides my personal opinion -  JFX marks "Fixed" as "Recommended" in WINNTSETUP), the next step would be to test if having "native" VHD booting (using a Fixed Size VHD) actually provides any *meaningful* advantage over using Winvblock or Firadisk (and for all that matters a RAW image) in a "perfectly legit" manner on non-Ultimate, non-Enterprise varsions of 7 instead of breaking the EULA.

 

I mean,  besides the fun, are there any actual noticeable "advantages"? :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

You are right. There are not many noticeable advantages. One other advantage that I can think of is that the native VHD driver supports fragmented vhd files.( I think Firadisk/Winvblock require the fixed size vhds to be contiguous ) But I suppose its better to have a contiguous vhd file rather than a fragmented file.



#9 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 31 December 2016 - 04:13 PM

The only advantage around dynamic disk (IMHO) is disk space :

 

A dynamic disk can grow (obviously) and therefore enable you to create a 100gb virtual disk which will actually take much less space on your disk to start with.

Portability is greater i.e your image is easier to carry around.

 

Apart from that, I would stick to a fixed disk.

 

Keep in mind that a dynamic disk is also slightly slower than a fixed disk.

Yep, and as said elsewhere:

http://reboot.pro/to...ini-7/?p=201216

it could be useful when testing to determine the right size of a .vhd, but not for anything else.

 

The whole issue is that once it has grown it doesn't shrink back, in this the name (nomen est omen) is inaccurate, as it is dynamic one way only, the other common "growable" term is IMHO more descriptive.

 

Additionally there is a "psychological effect" (the same that exists with large hard disks), if you have *unlimited* space you have no real incentive to keep things small and tidy, unlike when you have limited space.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#10 erwan.l

erwan.l

    Gold Member

  • Developer
  • 1976 posts
  • Location:Nantes - France
  •  
    France

Posted 31 December 2016 - 04:30 PM

Actually you can shrink it back with CompactVirtualDisk windows API.

 

Following scenario :

-initial 50 gb dynamic disk

-you install 20gb of OS -> your vhd is now 20gb

-you install 20gb of whatever you want -> your vhd is now 40gb

-you switch your mind and decide to remove the last 20gb of whatever -> your vhd is still 40gb

-compact your vhd -> your vhd goes back to 20gb (more or less)

 

Note that in the above scenario, it would be better to use a differentiating disk and later decide to merge it or drop it...



#11 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 31 December 2016 - 04:50 PM

Sure :), in theory you write a program using that API, in practice in WIndows 7 you can use Diskpart "Compact":

https://linhost.info...-a-dynamic-vhd/

 

The difference is that it grows automatically but needs user intervention to shrink.

 

Of course it is not that difficult to "grow" or "shrink" a static VHD or a RAW image manually, if really needed.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 erwan.l

erwan.l

    Gold Member

  • Developer
  • 1976 posts
  • Location:Nantes - France
  •  
    France

Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:06 PM

For dynamic disks, growing is a "have to" or else it would kill the idea of dynamic disks.

Shrinking on the other hand is something you would do ad-hoc, only if you need it / want to reclaim disk space on your host, not something you would expect to happen automatically (would be counter productive).

 

Side notes :

 

-One can also expand the size (ad hoc) for a dynamic OR fixed VHD.

In the case of a fixed VHD expanding, you would need to extend your volume as well (at the OS level).

 

-One can also shrink a volume (at the OS level) and later "cut" the fixed VHD file : tricky but doable (done it before).

So even with a fixed VHD disk, there are ways to shrink it.

 

-Compacting VHD only works if you truely cleanup your volume : some defragmenters will do it - I personally prefer to zero all unused clusters to reclaim 100% of the free/unused volume space.

In most cases, if you "only" delete a bunch of stuff in your VHD, compacting it will actually have no effect.

So, compacting VHD is not something straighforward.

 

I hope I used the word "volume" correctly :)

 

Edit

About "writing in theory a tool" that does compact VHD's, doing some free publicity for myself there : vmount does such things :)



#13 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:36 PM

Shrinking on the other hand is something you would do ad-hoc, only if you need it / want to reclaim disk space on your host, not something you would expect to happen automatically (would be counter productive).

Allow me to disagree.

 

I have a virtual disk of given size.

I boot to it.

I need to download a huge something that for whatever reason needs to be on that same (virtual) volume.

Then I delete the huge whatever.

And then I have to manually shrink the virtual disk because it has grown and it won't go back.

 

This is not "dynamic", it is "growable".

 

A balloon is "dynamic", you pump more air in it and it expands and when you remove some of the air it shrinks back.

 

Those "pocket/travel" sponges are "growable", as soon as you put them in water they grow to full size, but then you will have a heck of a time to try and re-squeeze them to fit in the package.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#14 erwan.l

erwan.l

    Gold Member

  • Developer
  • 1976 posts
  • Location:Nantes - France
  •  
    France

Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:48 PM

I aggree with you : the word "dynamic" sounds more like a marketing thingie from MS as it does not fully reflect reality.

If dynamic is compared to something "elastic" (inflate/deflate) then indeed, growable is more adapted for these VHD's.

 

Thus, I still believe that a VHD that would constantly grow and shrink would be a bad idea in real life.

Apart from archive files (zip, etc) which do increase/decrease each time one adds/removes a file, I cannot think about any production storage that would adopt such a behavior.

Even databases do not decrease automatically when one deletes thousands of records (it is usually a scheduled task at night reclaiming disk space).

 

About "pocket/travel" sponges : who uses that? Travelling psychopath killers ?  :D

 

/Erwan



#15 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

    The Finder

  • Advanced user
  • 13745 posts
  • Location:The Outside of the Asylum (gate is closed)
  •  
    Italy

Posted 31 December 2016 - 06:12 PM

About "pocket/travel" sponges : who uses that? Travelling psychopath killers ?   :D

 

Cannot say, next time I happen to meet a travelling psychopath killer I'll give him your address, so you can ask him directly when he visits you   :whistling:

 

;)

 

:duff:

Wonko



#16 alacran

alacran

    Frequent Member

  • Advanced user
  • 490 posts
  •  
    Mexico

Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:29 PM

I have used CCleaner (free) in order to zero all unused clusters to reclaim 100% of the free/unused space on a "dynamic" VHD.

But once you know the right size required for your needs, I like better to use fixed size VHD's and load them using grub4dos or Windows boot manager.

Using Winvblock is so easy as just add this driver during install with WinNTSetup and deactivate verify VHD, latter on during first boot just verify Winvblock is loading properly.

Any way (jost for fun) I made an old 60 GB USB HDD MBR formated with 1 GB FAT32 first primary active partition for Windows boot files (legacy boot and UEFI boot), grub4dos and some ISO's and a very limited (20 GB) NTFS second partition (third partition is about 35 GB rest of HDD) and this small second partition contains 2 dynamic VHD's 8.1 update 1 (x86 is 3.94 GB & x64 is 5.3 GB) compact installs (no pagefile) on it, so when I boot one of them it can see and use all available space in that small partition if required. So I think this aproach let you have several dynamic VHD's in a very limited partition as far as you have at least 10GB free on it, any one you boot has plenty of space available.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users