Installing Windows 8 on Bare Metal with VHD-Boot–The Update
OK, lots of you have been visiting my VHD-Boot post. I will like to update you on the latest about the technology and the caveat you should be expecting by using the feature. But I still believe the advantages of VHD-boot weighs far more than its disadvantages. So here are the Updates:
1. VHD-Boot now works with the VHDX format:
Microsoft introduced the VHDx format with the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview. This format breaks the 2TB size limit of the VHD format, but most importantly, it brings resiliency to VHD drives. Power failure, disk corruption will no more lead to loss of your VHD file and possibly your Data as well.
The only problem is that you can only create a VHDx file in Windows 8. So you have a chicken and egg situation. If you want to use VHDx as your boot drive, you need either Win8DP or Win8CP from another machine. You can easily create a template file in the Disk Management console of that machine and copy this over to a staging location on your Install media.
2. VHD-Boot = No Hibernation:
I should have actually mentioned this in the original post. This is not a problem of Windows 8, this is just the way VHD-Boot works. So this limitation has been there since Windows 7.
During Hibernation, you HDD drive is spun down and put into Off mode. When you power up again, the disk is spun up. You can logically deduce what influence this will have on the VHD disk that your OS is running in. That means the VHD session is terminated without power-down. Of course this is not desirable, so Hibernation is blocked by default as you can see by the following image:
Both Hibernate, Hybrid Sleep and Hybrid Boot are not available as a consequence of VHD-Boot.
But all hope is not lost! As you can see S3 sleep is available. This means you can put your computer to deep sleep without problem. Sleep is the future in computing. Computers are now resembling our mobile phones in that they are always available. You wake a sleeping PC in 1 second in Win8, who need Hibernation. MS has put Shutdown button intentionally in the Settings screen because shutting down is now considered an anomaly. You only shutdown to maintain or turn off the pc.
3. Managing Install Partitions:
Because it is easy now to have multiple OS on a single-partitioned drive, you need a way to delete OSes that you are not using anymore. You’ve probably deleted its VHD file, but it is still showing in the OS Startup screen.
There are known Partition managers out there, but to my surprise they don’t work in Win8CP. Windows 8 security does not allow writing to the MBR anymore by third party tools. I have however discovered a built-in way to manage partition (BCD) information:
- Go to MSConfig.exe, by typing or searching. (Yes, it is still in Windows 8 CP ). Open as Admin.
- Go to tab “Boot”
Select the OS of choice and press the Delete button. Then press Apply to save your changes. You cannot delete the active OS . Reboot and you are done. No more untrusted MBR/BCD Editors that may drop Trojans on your MBR record.
So. This is my update for now. Come back once in a while to check if I have updated this post. I will keep all my discoveries and updates on VHD-Boot on this post. Thanks for visiting.
–McAkins (Twitter: @McAkins)