Booting Windows 7 from a VHD on a USB HDD

#1
Hi

I'm having some trouble booting a Windows 7 Ultimate installation from within a VHD on a USB drive, and am wondering if anyone can help me, and explain if I'm doing something wrong in my process.

So, I do the following:

Bootloader setup --> Drive2 partition1 (z:\ as NTFS - 233 GiB)
Install BCD
Load this drive's BCD automatically when asked

Add New Entry
Virtual Disk
Name: Win7
Path: Z:\Win7.vhd
Force portable entry (tried without this selected too)
Add Entry

View Settings:
---
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.
Path: Z:\Boot\BCD

Default: Win7
Timeout: 10 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: Z:\

Entry #1
Name: Win7
BCD ID: {default}
Device: boot
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
---

Safely remove USB drive.
Connect to other PC & power on.
Select USB boot device using BIOS menu
Windows boot manager appears: select OS (one choice: Win7)

Error occurs
---
Windows failed to start....
...
File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Status: 0xc0000002
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.
---

I've tried the VHD on virtual PC on two different PCs and it works, so its not a problem with a corrupt VHD as far as I know.

If it were a hardware/driver issue I would have thought it would have failed on loading a driver...?

Any help? Thanks.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
It appears you didn't load the BCD store newly installed on the device, and instead added the new VHD entry to the system store. You can load the new store from File > Select BCD Store, after which add the new VHD entry again, close EasyBCD, than take the device to the other machine to test.
 
#3
BCDEdit startup settings (same as file-->load system bcd)
---
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.

Default: Microsoft Windows Vista
Timeout: 10 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Microsoft Windows Vista
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
---

File-->Select BCD Store-->choose file Z:\boot\BCD
---
There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.
Path: Z:\Boot\BCD

Default: Win7
Timeout: 10 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: Z:\

Entry #1
Name: Win7
BCD ID: {default}
Device: [locate]\Win7.vhd
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
---

As far as I know, I've made no changes to the external drive BCD since posting this message. However it now looks different to me...? I'll try it again just to be sure and post back here.

Addendum:

Same issue still. At least, as shown above, it is clearly two different BCDs I'm editing, and it's definitely the one on the external USB drive (Z:\).
 
Last edited: