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Boot from VHD

So I recently moved my SharePoint development environment from VPC 2007 to Windows virtual PC on windows 7.  Having it integrated into the OS is really nice, but not without it’s problems.  For whatever reason, my SharePoint server became unbearably slow after the move.  I decided it was time to rebuild.

Being able to boot from VHD is new to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.  So I decided this was a good time to try it out.

There are many great articles out there that describe the process, including:

I was attempting to maintain my existing Windows 7 native OS, while adding the ability to boot from my SharePoint Server vhd.

First off I copied over my vhd to c:\vhd\spdev.vhd.

Then I tried the steps in the Windows 7 forums for adding to the boot loader, etc.  That did not work, as I was trying to load a 64-bit os, and kept crapping out on me.

I then booted from the Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) DVD, and following the steps in Keith Combs entry, I was able to add the vhd to the boot menu.  Because I already had the vhd, I could skip the steps for creating one.

Both OSs showed up on boot.  However, when I selected the server, it would blue-screen and restart every time.

I eventually decided to create a new vhd from scratch.  Here’s the steps that worked for me.

Laptop with windows 7 installed natively.

  • Boot from Windows Server 2008 R2 DVD
  • On the language screen, press Shift+F10 to bring up command prompt.
  • Enter DISKPART to run the utility.
  • LIST DISK to see the available disks in your system.  I am assuming a single raw disk.
  • SEL DISK 0
  • CREATE VDISK FILE=c:\vhd\SPServer.vhd MAXIMUM=81920 TYPE=EXPANDABLE
  • SELECT VDISK FILE=c:\vhd\SPServer.vhd
  • ATTACH VDISK
  • CRE PART PRI
  • FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
  • ASSIGN LETTER=V:
  • LIST VOL
  • LIST VDISK
  • exit DISPART
    Now we have our vhd ready, we can continue with the Server install.  Returning to the install program, continue to where you have to select a drive to install to.  You will now see the virtual drive.  Select this drive to install, and continue.
    When you restart you will see “Windows Server 2008 R2” as a boot option.

The last thing I wanted to do was to change the boot menu option to say “SharePoint Development Server” instead of “Windows Server 2008 R2”.  to do this, boot into the Server OS, open a command prompt.

c:\>bcdedit \copy {current} /d “SharePoint Server”

c:\>bcdedit \delete {current} /cleanup

This will replace the boot option with a new description.

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