VHD as a boot option

#1
This subject really intrigues me. I have imaged my old XP system with Acronis TrueImage (I can convert this to a VHD).

So, if I have a VHD of my old XP system, how exactly would I create an entry in EasyBCD to be able to boot from it?

Two questions, can the VHD reside on an external hard drive and is this possible with Windows 7 Professional? I thought you needed Ultimate for this.

If I can do this, I can move the VHD to an external drive and reformat the drive that the actual XP system resides on.

Thanks!
 
#2
Don't mean to double post (I replied to a previous post and then saw it was in the 'wishlist' forum), so I figured I'd put it here where it belongs:

I have a dual boot (XP and Windows 7) system on two different disks. Everything is working fine and now I am confident in just running the Windows 7 system. I have imaged my old XP system with Acronis TrueImage and can convert this to a VHD..

So, if I have a VHD of my old XP system, how exactly would I create an entry in EasyBCD to be able to boot from it?

Two questions, can the VHD reside on an external hard drive and is this possible with Windows 7 Professional? I thought you needed Ultimate for this.

If I can do this, I can move the VHD to an external drive and reformat the drive that the actual XP system resides on, freeing up a whole new internal drive for use with my Windows 7 system. That way I can boot from the VHD of the XP system on the rare occasion I need to bring that system back up.

Thanks!
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
You would create the entry for it on the Add New Entry page using the [thread=642]latest build[/thread]. You can have it point to the file on a different drive if you want. The only problem is I don't think XP is supported as a VHD. You can of course try it though.
 
#4
Thanks, I think you're right. I was just playing some more with the latest Beta build and it says that only a Windows 7 VHD image is supported. Other OS's are not.

So, now my question is, are there any short-term plans to support booting from an XP VHD?
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
Nope, its a MS limitation, nothing in our control.

To what reason would you perfer the VHD over a partition?
 
#6
For two reasons:

1. I could boot into XP off of an external USB drive (I don't think I can do that now can I)
2. I also thought it might save a little space, although I haven't tested whether a VHD file is actually smaller than the actual sytem.

If I can clone the XP partitions which currently hold the XP system on an internal drive to an external USB drive and then boot from that using EasyBCD, that would work!
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
XP isn't meant to function on an external drive (anti-piracy protection for MS). While the whole filesystem is in a single file you are not going to save noticeable amounts of space (if any) from using a VHD image. If you want XP on an external drive you can use it as a virtual machine from your host OS (Windows 7) and store the disk image for the virtual machine on your external drive. VMWare has a tool to convert the physical machine to an image to work with their products. Not sure if VirtualBox does, but thats another option. VirtualBox has an advantage because the disk file expands as space as used, so though the virtual disk is 20GB or w/e, it only gets to that amount of space if you use it, saving you some space like you wanted. One of the major drawbacks might be performance, depending on the specs of your machine or the kind of activities you plan to use XP for.
 
#8
Great suggestions. It's really just to have as a failsafe as there's so much much I've done to that system over the last 6-7 years that every now and then some obscure file or application need comes up that I haven't used for a while and it's easier to have that system available than to try to replicate every single part of it in Windows 7.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
And heres the link to the vmware converter btw. VirtualBox doesn't have a tool yet but it can import vmware images if vmware doesn't allow for expansion of file size as space is used like vbox does.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
I figured it would being vmware (they'd be crazy if they didnt have that feature in their products), just threw vbox in there if it didn't :smile: