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Install Windows 7 ON a Virtual Drive


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#1 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:13 AM

spacesurfer has just posted on MSFN a report about installing Windows 7 ON a Virtual Disk Image and boot from it.

Here:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=129475

:cheers:

jaclaz

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:19 AM

Will try it soon, thanks for mentioning this feature.

:cheers:

#3 allanf

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:24 AM

spacesurfer has just posted on MSFN a report about installing Windows 7 ON a Virtual Disk Image and boot from it.

Here:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=129475

:cheers:

jaclaz



You've read the book. Now watch the movie:

http://download.micr...A8FA31/dism.wmv

I couldn't figure out what was going on... had to rewind several times. Now I know it wasn't an illusion. Thanks jaclaz and spacesurfer.

#4 MedEvil

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:00 PM

Have you watched the movie?
Windows 7 comes with it's own version of v-lite it seems. :cheers:

B)

#5 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:16 PM

Windows 7 comes with it's own version of v-lite it seems. :cheers:


"Normal" vlite is reported to be working with Windows 7, for reducing source, other features may not work, here is the dedicated thread:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=123539

rather obviously it is not "designed" for Windows 7, so it is far less stable than on Vista or Server 2008 sources, but basically it works.

jaclaz

#6 Spacesurfer

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:28 AM

I have reason to believe it also does reduce the install by somewhat, not only the source.

Right now, we do not know which components can be removed and which cannot. Moreover, the components (like movie maker) which were present in Vista are not present in Windows 7.

However, many of the drivers are still present and if you remove those, they are also removed from install. Therefore, you may not be able to add hardware which require those.

Otherwise, the impact on the install is minimal. But remember that the install footprint of Windows 7 is smaller than Vista already.

#7 TheHive

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:05 AM

How big is the difference. Hope it doesnt get to bloated.

#8 allanf

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:30 PM

In the first movie, VHD played a bit-part. In this one its the *star*:

http://edge.technet....om-VHD-in-Win7/


And more detailed information:

http://www.buit.org/...d-in-windows-7/

Regards :cheers:

#9 allanf

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:37 AM

From what I have read, I understand that the installation of Win7 beta generally requires a System Partition of 200+MB separate to the Windows Partition. The size is a requirement of BitLocker which "must use a system partition, separate from the Windows partition, etc" (Win7 AIK User's Guide)

The installation of Win7 using setup.exe onto a new computer will automatically create the 200MB System Partition set as the Active Primary. The System Partition houses all the boot files, as well as being available for BitLocker and recovery tools.

It is possible for Win7 to be installed (image-based deployment?) onto a computer with a single Partition, in which case BitLocker may not be available. An installation into a VHD using setup.exe might appear to be a similar situation.

"In Windows® 7, system partitions do not appear in the list of available drives, although they can appear in tools such as Computer Management." (Win7 AIK Users Guide.)

OK. So what happens when Win7 is to be installed into a VHD on a computer with an existing OS such as XP on a single Partition? Firstly, it would appear that, when booted to the "native" VHD Win7, the previously existing OS Partition is designated as the System Partition without a Drive Letter and still housing the boot stuff as well as the old OS. (Thanks to spacesurfer for initial discoveries.)

How hard would it be to retain the existing boot configuration with XP OS; create the 200+MB Primary Active to house the boot info, BitLocker, etc; then add a Win7 VHD to the boot configuration?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my computer is currently dual-booting XP and WinPE 2/3 with bootmgr... May or may not be important?

Thanks :cheers:

#10 allanf

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:49 AM

How hard would it be to retain the existing boot configuration with XP OS; create the 200+MB Primary Active to house the boot info, BitLocker, etc; then add a Win7 VHD to the boot configuration?


... :cheers: ...

Here's what I'm going to do (for XP users with a single Partition c:\ - probably much simpler for Vista users):

1. Download Windows AIK 2.0 (Win7 beta).

2. If you have an earlier WAIK, go to 'Control Panel'>'Add or Remove Programs' and uninstall the older WAIK.

3. Burn the new WAIK to DVD (or mount the .iso), Autorun it, and setup the new WAIK.

4. Make a copy of the new '...\Program Files\Windows AIK' to '...\Program Files\Windows AIK 2.0'.

5. Uninstall the new WAIK using 'Add or Remove Programs', then reinstall (or download and install) Windows AIK 1.1.

6. Copy the new winpe.wim from '...\Program Files\Windows AIK 2.0\Tools\PETools\<Architecture>\winpe.wim' where 'Architecture' is the architecture of the machine to be booted.

7. In Windows Explorer (or another File Manager), go to '...\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\<Architecture>\' and rename 'winpe.wim' to 'winpe2.wim'.

8. Paste the new 'winpe.wim' into the folder.

9. Run Winbuilder Project pe21.003b (or pePA.com for x86 only and no Language selection) to create a bootable .iso of Customized Windows PE 3.0.
a. Make sure in the '* Windows Tools' Column of the Winbuilder GUI of pe21.003b.config, that 'Select Individual Tools' is visible in the ScrollBox, and that all individual tools are unchecked.
b. In pe21, also select 'Languages...' as 'EN-US', the default. (I haven't tried installing WinPE 2.0 Language Packs into Windows PE 3.0.)
c. In the 'Configuration' Column, select 'Program Files in RAM'.
d. To add Drivers, select 'Add Drivers (See Below)', and Click the Folder icon for 'Select the Folder containing your extracted Driver Files...'. Navigate to the Driver Folder which must contain an .inf file for the driver.
e. Select the Architecture of the machine that will be booted.
f. The .iso will be found at '<Winbuilder Base Directory>\ISO\pe21.iso'.
g. Do not select too many additional Programs. The winpe.wim does not contain the 'Scripting Host' and peimg is unable to install it to WinPE 3.0. At boot-time there will be a warning for every Program advising that a vb script for creating shortcuts cannot be run. It will be necessary to start Programs from 'run...' or the Command Prompt.

Alternative 9. Do it manually from Start>'All Programs'>'Microsoft Windows AIK'>'Windows PE Tools Command Prompt'. Execute 'copype <Architecture> <Directory (without spaces in Path)>'; 'peimg /inf=<Driver .inf> <Directory>\Windows' to install drivers; and 'oscdimg ...' to create the .iso file.

10. Obtain Win7Beta .iso file from an MS Partner (if not previously downloaded).

11. Burn Win7Beta .iso to DVD (or mount the .iso). Don't Autorun it. Copy contents to a folder 'C:\Win7Beta_Install'.

12. Boot the WinPE 3.0 created in Step 9. I use bootmgr to boot the boot.wim only from HDD ('C:\source\boot.wim') - for the pe21 Project, the boot.wim is found in '<Winbuilder Base Directory>\Temp\pe2\ISO\sources\'. wimb has provided a tool and description for booting a WinPE .iso from HDD using Grub4DOS. (see: Tutorial: Install XP from USB AFTER Booting with PE from HDD or USB and first post of that Thread)

13. In WinPE 3.0, open the Command Prompt, type DiskPart and press enter.

14. Type the following, pressing enter afterwards.
a. List Disk
b. .......................... to be continued. How am I going so far? ... :cheers: ...

diddy to the rescue ... :cheers: ... I could never write instructions as beautifully as this:
http://www.boot-land...?...ost&p=62577

#11 Spacesurfer

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:14 AM

OK. So what happens when Win7 is to be installed into a VHD on a computer with an existing OS such as XP on a single Partition? Firstly, it would appear that, when booted to the "native" VHD Win7, the previously existing OS Partition is designated as the System Partition without a Drive Letter and still housing the boot stuff as well as the old OS. (Thanks to spacesurfer for initial discoveries.)

Well, the 200 mb partition is NOT an absolute requirement. If you already have an active system partition, then Windows 7 setup will not create the 200 mb partition. If there is no active system partition, then Windows 7 setup will create this partition. To avoid getting a 200 mb partition if you are installing on a fresh HDD, you can start Vista setup, create the partitions, format, make active, then quit Vista setup, then install Windows 7.

For installing Windows 7 to a VHD, however, setup will not alter you physical partitions and it does not create a 200 mb partition in the VHD either. A VHD install does two things, basically 1) Add boot entries to your Vista boot file (bcd), and 2) install to your VHD.

So, if you wanted to get rid of Windows 7, all you need to do is delete the VHD and delete the boot entry from Vista boot file (bcd)

#12 allanf

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:06 AM

Well, the 200 mb partition is NOT an absolute requirement. If you already have an active system partition, then Windows 7 setup will not create the 200 mb partition. If there is no active system partition, then Windows 7 setup will create this partition.

The point of this exercise is that I do have an existing System Partition, and I do want this nice new clean 200MB Active Primary Parttion. The basic setup will not create the new one with my current configuration. The size is simply a requirement for BitLocker according to the Documentation.


... you can start Vista setup, create the partitions, format, make active, then quit Vista setup, then install Windows 7.

That's basically what I'm doing, except I don't have the Vista Install DVD to run it's setup. And rather than running the Windows PE 2.1 (Vista SP1), I'm going to use Windows PE 3.0 (Win7) to do the initial configuration work, and then to install the VHD.


For installing Windows 7 to a VHD, however, setup will not alter you physical partitions and it does not create a 200 mb partition in the VHD either. A VHD install does two things, basically 1) Add boot entries to your Vista boot file (bcd), and 2) install to your VHD.

That's why I'm going to do it manually. The most important query I have is the number of reboots and what determines what is booted. I'd rather not lose control of the situation.

Also a bit worried about the point where drivers are installed for the VHD because my current single c:\ Partition is actually a RAID0 Array.

The other thing is that when installing to an attached VHD, I have read that the setup does not list a VHD per se. It is listed as unallocated space. Where does the unallocated space come from when the a configuration has been made with only one shrunk Windows Partition for XP and the manually-created 200MB System Partition?


So, if you wanted to get rid of Windows 7, all you need to do is delete the VHD and delete the boot entry from Vista boot file (bcd)

That sounds like the easy bit. ... :cheers: ... Getting to that point, it seems like a long road for me.

Most of the info comes from you, spacesurfer, with thanks. Don't hesitate to put me straight because I'm sailing uncharted waters here. ... :cheers: ...

Regards :cheers:

#13 conqrr

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:01 AM

cant wait to see how u proceed allanf, i have a win7vhd and want to boot from it , currently on xp single boot and dont hav a vista boot menu

#14 Spacesurfer

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:47 PM

cant wait to see how u proceed allanf, i have a win7vhd and want to boot from it , currently on xp single boot and dont hav a vista boot menu

Well, if you want to boot from VHD you need a boot manager capable of doing that. Vista's boot mananger (bootmgr/winload.exe) is capable and XP's boot manager (ntldr/boot.ini) is not capable.

To date, I don't know of a way to actually install Windows 7 with XP installed. I'm not sure if Windows 7 changes XP boot manager to it's own and allows XP to load. That's a matter of exploration.

#15 was_jaclaz

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:45 PM

To date, I don't know of a way to actually install Windows 7 with XP installed. I'm not sure if Windows 7 changes XP boot manager to it's own and allows XP to load. That's a matter of exploration.


Spacesurfer,
you should read this also:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=7260&hl=

You can use a floppy or floppy image to boot the Windows 7 on Windows XP machines. :cheers:

jaclaz

#16 ktp

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:29 PM

Well, if you want to boot from VHD you need a boot manager capable of doing that. Vista's boot mananger (bootmgr/winload.exe) is capable and XP's boot manager (ntldr/boot.ini) is not capable.

To date, I don't know of a way to actually install Windows 7 with XP installed. I'm not sure if Windows 7 changes XP boot manager to it's own and allows XP to load. That's a matter of exploration.


Very intesting question. I just discover this subject (thanks to a message from the forum board). Does anybody has the answer to Spacesurfer's question? I guess the Seven installation will have to create a new BCD from scratch in XP partition. Where will be winload.exe/bootmgr ? Maybe by using grub4dos one can boot this bootmgr then through the BCD boot the Seven VHD ?

By the way, Ubuntu has a very good solution named Wubi http://wubi-installer.org/ . It installs from XP/Vista running, and creates a kind of virtual hard disk (single big file, customizable size, under a new Ubuntu directory). Then it adds to boot.ini entry (for XP), so you can boot Ubuntu without any disk repartitioning. Uninstall Ubuntu is a matter of uninstalling Wubi application (suppress boot.ini entry and delete the appropriate directory/files).

#17 paraglider

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 12:02 AM

win7 install replaces the boot sector and installs bootmgr. Every time I have to reinstall boot-us after installing any MS OS. You can boot xp though from bootmgr.




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