So, I have been on the Windows 8 Customer Preview since about February, and I owe that to Eric Boyd who published this kick-ass tutorial with video, to walk you through the process of setting up a Boot to VHD environment for Windows 8. He really “dumbs it down” which I love. And let’s be clear, I am not dumb, but I am effing LAZY, and if I can accomplish the same end result in fewer, simpler steps, SIGN ME UP!
Since I do a lot of client work, I didn’t want to completely scrap my current Windows 7 setup with all of my Visual Studio/MTM/TFS 2010 tools. At the same time, I really want to be using Windows 8 with Visual Studio/MTM/TFS 2012, without giving up access to my 8-core processor and 16GB of RAM. I know, I am a lucky girl So, having a dual boot option with Win 8 running darn near native was the perfect setup for me. I can choose to boot to either Win 7 + VS 2010 or Win 8 + VS 2012. I know, VS 2010 can live side by side with 2012 but I had encountered issues in the past with them fighting each other, and would rather not mess with it. Plus if I ever need to pave Windows 8 again, it’ll take me all of 30 minutes to do it, obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing this post.
Here is where it gets really awesome. There wasn’t much to the update. I literally went to the drive that housed my old Win8.vhd and deleted it. Now, be sure you’ve backed everything up, unless like me you are using some kind of wonderful back-up tool like SkyDrive or DropBox. Just be sure to disconnect the image from your backup software before blowing it away so you don’t accidentally tell it to clear your stored data!
Back to my point. I simply went to my c:\VHD folder, deleted the Win8.vhd file, and then went back through Eric’s tutorial using the latest Windows 8 iso. Easy as pie!
Just to recap, this was literally all I had to do:
- Download the Win 8 iso from MSDN and write down my product key
- Then according to Eric’s instructions perform the following commands (your drive letters may vary):
- create vdisk file=C:\VHD\Boot\Win8\Win8.vhd maximum=60000 type=expandable
- select vdisk file=C:\VHD\Boot\Win8\Win8.vhd
- attach vdisk
- create partition primary
- assign letter=V
- imagex /info G:\sources\install.wim <—only difference is a second options 1 = professional, 2 = core. So most of you will still pick “1”
- imagex /apply G:\sources\install.wim 1 V:\
- bcdboot V:\Windows
- Boot and enjoy!
Like I said, about 35 minutes door-to-door to get the VHD configured and ready. Applying the Win 8 iso was literally the longest running step in the entire process (24 minutes for me), but alas we cannot speed that up. Once you boot into your Win 8 VHD, there will be some more setup, especially if your past experience was with the Preview. Here is a run-down of what to expect here:
- Choose the Win 8 Options from the boot menu
- You’ll see a message about “Getting devices ready”, this may take a few minutes
- “Getting Ready” message appears
- I was then prompted again to select my OS (I left the room so it must have rebooted as part of setup)
- Then enter your product key and accept terms
- Choose some personalization options (colors, wireless router to connect to, express settings, etc.)
- Sign into your account
- Win 8 installs some base apps, gives you a little color rotator show while things happen, applies some final settings and off you go!
- Don’t forget to download SkyDrive to re-sync all your stuff, and turn on the HyperV feature!