Windows 10: Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows

Discus and support Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows in Windows 10 Tutorials to solve the problem; How to: Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [img] Information The easiest way to install Windows 10 for dual or multi boot is to... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Tutorials' started by iyae, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. iyae Win User

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows


    How to: Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]
    Information The easiest way to install Windows 10 for dual or multi boot is to create a virtual hard disk and install Windows on it:



    See this post in Ten Forums video thread for more detailed instructions. Be sure to read the note in video post:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]
    Note When creating VHD file to be used in native boot, always use MBR partitioning! To upgrade Windows on native boot VHD, it must be temporarily attached to a virtual machine. An MBR partitioned VHD is easy to attach to VM, it only needs Windows partition to be marked active, whereas a GPT partitioned VHD with only a single partition for Windows requires manually creating system partitions before it can be used on VM.

    If you for any reason want to use a GPT partitioned VHD in native boot (can't think any valid reason!), it is better and recommended that you first create a Generation 2 VM in Hyper-V, installing Windows 10 on it. This takes care of the partitioning, doing it correctly. The VHD can then be used as native boot VHD, or on a VM.
    If the on VHD installed Windows 10 edition is the same than Windows edition on host machine, Windows 10 on VHD will be automatically activated.

    However, Windows cannot be upgraded when booted to VHD. This is somewhat illogical; booted to VHD, Windows acts as on any physical installation, for instance using real hardware devices, but system still sees the VHD as virtual disk. Trying to upgrade, user will get this message:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    When the same VHD is used on a virtual machine instead of native boot, all hardware Windows sees is virtual, but the VM sees the VHD as a physical hard disk.

    This tutorial will show how to use a virtual machine to upgrade Windows on a VHD.

    The length of the tutorial does not mean the process is difficult and time consuming. Quite the contrary. Process is easy, straight forward and relatively fast (a minute or two, excluding time required to upgrade Windows). I just wanted to answer as many possible questions as possible in advance, making it easier for beginners to follow the tutorial.
    [table][tr][td]Method One:[/td] [td]Upgrade VHD using Hyper-V[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]Method Two:[/td] [td]Upgrade VHD using Macrium viBoot[/td] [/tr] [/table]




    Method One [/i] Upgrade VHD using Hyper-V

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]
    Note Although these instructions are for Hyper-V, there's nothing preventing using VirtualBox or VMware instead. 1.1) The process shown in video at the beginning of this tutorial creates a MBR partitioned virtual hard disk. There simply are no reasons to use GPT partitioning on a native boot VHD, but it is important to be sure about how VHD is partitioned.

    1.2) Mount the VHD (right click it, select Mount).

    1.3) Open an elevated Command Prompt, enter command Diskpart (#1 in screenshot) to start Windows Disk Partitioning Tool. Enter command list disk (#2) to list all disks.

    1.4) Find your mounted VHD on list. If it shows an asterisk in column GPT, the disk is GPT formatted. Missing asterisk, as in this example case, tells that the disk is MBR formatted (#3):

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.5) Close Command Prompt, unmount the VHD (right click mounted VHD file in Explorer This PC, select Eject).

    1.6) Create a new VM in Hyper-V (tutorial). In New Virtual Machine Wizard, in Specify Generation page, select Generation 1 if the VHD is MBR partitioned, Generation 2 if GPT partitioned:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.7) In Configure Networking page, select Not connected:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]
    Note Because the VHD has been used in native boot, it contains drivers for devices on physical host machine. When VHD is used on a VM, the update / upgrade process would try to update these devices, but fail because they are not present on VM.

    It is therefore better to not connect the VM to network for upgrade through Windows Update, but upgrade using ISO image instead.
    1.8) In Connect Virtual Hard Disk page, select Use an existing virtual hard disk, browse to and select your native boot VHD:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.9) Get Windows 10 ISO image for the version and build you want to use for upgrade:
    1.10) Open Settings for the new VM (right click in Hyper-V Manager, select Settings)

    1.11) Make the VM boot from CD, add virtual RAM and virtual processors as you'd prefer, add Windows ISO image you will use for upgrade, and (really important!) disable automatic checkpoints:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.12) Click OK to save settings, start the VM booting from ISO (virtual CD / DVD).

    1.13) The virtual machine contains no boot records. To boot it to Windows, we need to add them. When booted from ISO, Windows Setup shows the region selection screen. Press SHIFT + F10 to open Command Prompt:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.14) Enter command DISKPART (#1 in next screenshot) to open Windows Disk Partitioning Tool. Enter command list vol (#2) to list all volumes (partitions); depending on how VHD was partitioned, booting to WinPE or Windows install media, Windows partition might be something else than usual C:

    1.15) Find the volume number and partition letter for the Windows partition (#3).

    1.16) MBR partitioned VHD only (not required on GPT VHD): Enter command sel vol N (#4) where N is the volume number for VHD Windows partition, enter command active (#5).

    1.17) Quit DISKPART with command exit (#6). Enter following command to create boot records (#7), replacing all three instances of drive letter C with actual Windows partition letter for the Windows partition on VHD:

    C:\Windows\System32\bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.18) Close Command Prompt, close Windows Setup to restart the VM, boot normally to desktop. Because VM cannot find all installed physical devices, you might get a few device related error messages. Just ignore and close them:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.19) Run Windows Setup from ISO, and upgrade Windows:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    1.20) When upgraded, shut down VM. You can now restart the host, and boot to your upgraded native boot VHD.


    Method Two [/i] Upgrade VHD using Macrium viBoot
    2.1) If you use Macrium Reflect for imaging, upgrading Windows on a native boot VHD is even easier than when using a Hyper-V VM.

    2.2) Boot to your Windows VHD, create a Macrium system image of it. Notice that you should save the image on an external HDD, or other network share accessible from host!

    2.3) Boot back to host.

    2.4) Open the system image in viBoot (tutorial).

    2.5) As told in step 1.7, do not connect viBoot VM to network. Assign RAM as preferred, let viBoot set virtual processors automatically:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    2.6) Macrium viBoot starts the VM automatically, but it fails to boot showing no boot device error. Click the Turn Off button and turn VM off:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    2.7) Open VM settings, and do steps 1.10 through 1.18 in Method One. Macrium viBoot VM boots now without issues.

    2.8) Upgrade as told in step 1.19. When upgraded, shut down viBoot VM, save the new Macrium Reflect image:

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]


    2.9) Boot to your VHD, restore the upgraded system image made in viBoot.
    That's it. Although requiring some extra effort to upgrade Windows on VHD, native boot using VHD file is the easiest, most practical and convenient method to do dual / multi boot. When done, when dual boot is no longer required, just delete the VHD file and remove its boot entry. No partitioning required.

    Kari


    Related Tutorials

    :)
     

  2. Win 10.VHDX native boot....with linux as well?

    Hi Shrine,



    Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.



    I suggest you to refer the articles Best Practices
    for running Linux on Hyper-V
    , Boot
    to a virtual hard disk: Add a VHDX or VHD to the boot menu
    , and
    Supported Linux and FreeBSD virtual
    machines for Hyper-V on Windows
    to check if you can add a second Virtual Hard Drive to install Linux.



    If you want more help on installing Linux on VHDX, then I suggest you to post your query in
    IT Pro TechNet Forums, where we have support professionals who are well equipped with the knowledge
    on Hyper-V and Virtual Hard Disks and they will help you with the exact information that you are looking for.
     
    Shafeeq_Khan, Oct 27, 2019
    #2
  3. Windows 10 VHD Native Boot Installation--Officially Supported?

    I apologize for not seeing your reference and leaving an incomplete solution ;

    Not sure where you are at in this so I am providing a breakdown with an overview.

    It appears they do not mention Windows 10, however the mention Windows 8 to using the .vhdx file format.
    Hope this helps:

    I am just now getting to exploring the use of VHDs for booting some Virtual machines.

    I have included a more complete background on VHDs for you and others that maybe exploring this topic.


    • The local disk must have at least two partitions: a system partition that contains the Windows 8 boot-environment files and Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store, and a partition to store the VHD file. The .vhd file format is supported for native boot on a
      computer with a Windows® 7 boot environment, but you will have to update the system partition to a Windows 8 environment to use the .vhdx file format. For more information about how to add a Windows 8 boot environment for native VHD boot, see

      Download and install Windows PE (WinPE) so you can boot from a USB flash drive or an external USB hard drive
      .

    • The local disk partition that contains the VHD file must have enough free disk space for expanding a dynamic VHD to its maximum size and for the page file created when booting the VHD. The page file is created outside the VHD file, unlike with a virtual
      machine where the page file is contained inside the VHD.

    This was from a recent Article :

    Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot
    Last Updated: 5/4/2016;

    VHDs with native boot are frequently used in the following scenarios:


    • Using disk-management tools to create and attach a VHD for offline image management. You can attach a VHD by using the
      Attach vdisk command which activates the VHD so that it appears on the host as a disk drive instead of as a .vhd file.

    • Mounting reference VHD images on remote shares for image servicing.

    • Maintaining and deploying a common reference VHD image to execute in either virtual or physical computers.

    • Configuring VHD files for native boot without requiring a full parent installation.

    • Configuring a computer to boot multiple local VHD files that contain different application workloads, without requiring separate disk partitions.

    • Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS) for network deployment of VHD images to target computers for native boot.

    • Managing desktop image deployment.
    Deploy Windows on a VHD (Native Boot)

    Last Updated: 7/20/2016

    Create and deploy virtual hard disks (VHDs) with native-boot capabilities to test devices or to manage multiple operating systems on a device without re-partitioning the drive.

    Creating VHDs
    You can create virtual hard disks (.vhd or .vhdx files) using the DiskPart tool or the Disk Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC). You can create .vhdx files from PowerShell when you have the Hyper-V Manager Role installed.

    You can attach the VHD so that it appears as a system drive that you can partition, format, and apply your operating system to.

    Deploying VHDs
    You can deploy a supported Windows image to an attached VHD using disk-imaging software such as the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. The VHD can then be copied to one or more systems either to run in a virtual machine or for native
    boot.

    For more information, see
    Download and install Windows PE (WinPE) so you can boot from a USB flash drive or an external USB hard drive
    .

    On first native boot, the specialize configuration pass runs and computer-specific information is applied to the Windows operating system on the VHD. The instance of the VHD cannot be copied onto another system or run in a virtual machine after
    the specialize configuration pass is completed. The original VHD that has a Windows image can continue to be copied and deployed to multiple computers, if the image has already been prepared for installation using the Sysprep tool with the
    /specialize option. You can also use an answer file to prepare the image for installation by using the Microsoft-Windows-Deployment | Generalize setting. For more information about the
    specialize and generalize configuration passes, see

    Windows Setup Configuration Passes
    . For more information about how to use the Generalize setting in an answer file, see the Windows® Unattended Setup Reference.

    The Windows Deployment Server role supports deployment of VHD image files in addition to .wim files. Windows Deployment Server automates the network deployment of VHD images for native-boot usage. Windows Deployment Server can be used to copy the VHD image
    to a local partition, and to configure the local Boot Configuration Data (BCD) for native boot from the VHD.
     
    RandyKielan, Oct 27, 2019
    #3
  4. Kari Win User

    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows

    Compacting virtual hard disks


    We must have totally different working methods Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows :)

    Let's see what I told to be my workflow, and check how that works in reality. Example W10 x64 VM is one I have used for ESDtoISO and UUPtoISO testing, a clean installed build 15048 with no additional software installed, upgraded several times to builds 15055, 15058, 15060 and 15061, always restored back to clean 15048. This has of course caused the VHD size to grow to multiple times what really is needed.

    After the above, checking file sizes. Macrium image was made when the original 64 GB dynamically expanding VHD was 34.5 GB:


    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]

    Macrium image size just under 5 GB:


    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]

    After restoring Macrium image to a new dynamically expanding VHD, file size is 9.3 GB. Over two thirds smaller than original one:


    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]

    The same as seen by File Explorer, yellow highlight is the original VHD, start situation, and green highlight the new VHD where Macrium image from old VHD was restored. Old VHD can now be deleted, net storage save savings over 25 GB in this example case:


    Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows [​IMG]

    (Notice that VHD has already grown over 0.5 GB since the previous screenshot a few minutes earlier. This is because in previous screenshot VM was not started yet after restoring the image.)
    This of course is all logical, happens every time.
     
  5. D4ni3l Win User
    Hyper-V - Native Boot VHD  


    thanks Kari for all these new ideas (at least for me)
    i have already installed a vhdx native boot the hard-way as explained by Microsoft

    Macrium seems to have advantage over Acronis (I use it for OS backup) for this job
    I will have a look
     
    D4ni3l, Oct 27, 2019
    #5
  6. Aaron_Sum Win User
    Can't remove Hyper-V Virtual Hard Drive partition

    Hi Robert,

    Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.

    I understand that you are facing an issue when you are trying to remove the Hyper-V Virtual Hard Drive partition. This partition is just a virtual partition that is created by using the space within your physical hard disk, so that
    it can be used within Hyper-V. Since you are no longer using Hyper-V and you wish to remove the Virtual Hard Drive partition, I would suggest you to follow the steps below and check if it is helpful to you.

    Steps to remove the Virtual Hard Drive partition using Disk Management:

    1. Press the Windows key and
      R key, this will open the Run dialogue box for you.
    2. Type diskmgmt.msc and press
      Enter, this will open the Disk Management Window for you.
    3. Your Virtual Hard Drive will be indicated by a ‘blue’ drive beside the
      Disk n (n is the disk number to which the VHD is associated), select the allocated
      Volume, right-click and select Delete Volume. You can check the picture below for your reference.

      Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows a9bbe536-f604-4912-9a6e-fdb56b275e03?upload=true.png

    4. You will receive a prompt, click on
      Yes. This will delete the volume allocated to the Virtual Hard Drive and the space allocated will now be turned into an
      Unallocated space.
    5. To detach the Virtual Hard Drive completely,
      right-click on the Disk and select Detach VHD.
    6. You will receive a prompt, you may click on the check box to
      Delete the virtual hard disk after removing the disk. Click on
      OK
      .

    This will remove the Hyper-V Virtual Hard Drive partition from your system.

    If the issue still persists, I would suggest you to post your query in IT Pro

    TechNet
    forums, where we have support professionals who are well equipped with the knowledge on the issues with Hyper-V and Virtual Hard Drive to assist you with your query.

    Regards,

    Aaron Summith

    Microsoft Community - Moderator
     
    Aaron_Sum, Oct 27, 2019
    #6
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Native boot Virtual Hard Disk - How to upgrade Windows

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