The easy way to configure multi-booting from .VHD on Windows 7 and later operating systems

This is so simple, even a caveman can do it. First off let’s look at the current Boot Configuration Database (BCD) using then command prompt and BCDEDIT.exe. In the scenario below I will be running a Windows 7 operating system and adding a Windows Server 2012 R2 VHD.

Note: Ensure the original operating system hard drive has enough free space to expand the VHD you are booting into.

 001-VHD-multi-booting

Take note that there is currently only one operating system available in the current configuration.

Using the following 4 steps will now configure the Windows 7 computer to boot from .VHD a Windows Sever 2012 R2 operating system.

Step 1:

1. Attach the desired VHD.

See the blog post: How to attach a VHD in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 for steps. 

002-VHD-multi-booting

2. Note the drive letter assigned to the volume containing the operating system you desire to boot to. In this case it is drive letter F.

Step 2:

1. Launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

2. At the command prompt, use bcdboot to add a boot file to the Boot Configuration Database.

Type bcdboot F:\windows (Drive letter is the identified in step 2 above) and press enter. Verify the response says a new Boot file was created.

003-VHD-multi-booting

3. At the command prompt, use bcdedit /set to configure the boot option name.

Type bcdedit /set {default} Description “Windows Server 2012 R2” and then press Enter. Verify the response says operation completed successfully.

 004-VHD-multi-booting

4. At the command prompt, use bcdedit verify the new entries in the Boot Configuration Database.

005-VHD-multi-booting

Step 3:

Detach the VHD .

See the blog post: How to attach a VHD in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 for steps. 

006-VHD-multi-booting

Step 4:

Restart the computer and choose your desired operating system.

007-VHD-multi-booting-boot0manager

It is that simple, until next time- RIDE SAFE!!!
Rick Trader
Windows Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ

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