How To Boot From VHD with Windows 8 Consumer Preview

[Update: I have verified this procedure to also work with Windows 8 Consumer Preview]

Back in September I wrote a quick guide explaining how to boot from VHD from Windows 8 Developer Preview. This turned out to be a very popular blog that attracted thousands of viewers.

Today we can expect Windows 8 Consumer Preview and although I have not yet been able to test the procedure with this build, I am pretty confident that the following guide will work as well. As soon as I have the ISO I will proof these steps and change my blog if necessary.



The four steps are:

  1. Prepare VHD
  2. Locate install.wim image
  3. Apply Windows *.wim image to VHD
  4. Configure VHD for native boot

From an administrator command prompt in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1):

Create VHD
  • > diskpart
  • > create vdisk file=”[drive]:vhdwin8beta.vhd” maximum=40000 type=FIXED
  • > select vdisk file=”[drive]:vhdwin8beta.vhd”
  • > attach vdisk
  • > create partition primary
  • > assign letter=W #can be any free drive letter; cancel popup to format this disk
  • > format quick fs=ntfs label=WIN8BETA
  • > exit
  • Check that install.wim and the PowerShell script are in the [drive]:vhd directory
  • > cd [drive]:vhd
  • > Powershell
  • PS> set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
  • PS> .Install-WindowsImage.ps1 –WIM [drive]:vhdinstall.wim
  • PS> [R}un once

You know see there is one or more images:



  • PS> .Install-WindowsImage.ps1 –WIM [drive]:vhdinstall.wim –Apply –Index 1 –Destination W:
  • PS> [R}un once

This may take up to 15 minutes. image


  • > bcdboot w:windows

You can now check the boot entries with

  • > bcdedit /v

If you want this installation of Windows 8 to also support Hyper-V, add the following entry to your boot configuration

  • Find the GUID of the Windows 8 boot part which is between { }
  • Make a copy of your boot file with
  • > bcdedit /export “tempbcdbackup”
  • Add hypervisor entry
  • > bcdedit /set {ee73a92b-c385-11e0-a663-be9bd6f43bf9} hypervisorlaunchtype auto

(Use the identifier that bcdboot has created on your computer)

After you reboot, the sysprepped Windows 8 Consumer Preview will start and you can configure your Windows 8 server or client.

With the new Windows 8 graphical bootloader you can change the boot order (amongst other things).


Well, good luck and let me know if it has been successful. If you find any mistakes, also let me know!

A few retweets might help Glimlach


  1. March 1, 2012    

    Thanks for taking the time for putting together this article. I managed to install the .wim file to a vhd with this.

    I had some trouble though with the copying part of the install.wim as I was using deamon tools and could not copy the .wim file because of symbolic links.

    I burned the .iso file to a dvd and managed to copy the .wim file without any problem

    • adminHans adminHans
      March 2, 2012    

      I copied the install.wim to the location of the VHD and PS script and used another ISO tool to open the ISO.
      Thanks, for your feedback

  2. March 1, 2012    

    Just to clarify – using this procedure will give you a boot menu that lets you choose from booting to your normal Windows 7 install, or the Windows 8 VHD, correct?

  3. March 1, 2012    

    You are a legend man. Sharing now!

  4. March 2, 2012    

    Quick question: are there some limitations for Windows 7 Home Basic/Premium to to this?

  5. March 4, 2012    

    I published an article and video screencast of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Boot to VHD/Native Boot install at

  6. March 5, 2012    

    Does this also work with BitLocker enabled?

  7. March 5, 2012    

    Just to let the world know, I used the method above to Create and Boot from Windows 8 VHD on Windows 7 Home Basic (64 bit) without any problem.

    Thanks a Lot!

  8. Zak Zak
    March 5, 2012    

    @ Gaurav

    Were you able to boot the VHD using Win7 Home Basic? Ive read that this only works with Ultimate. I really like this idea but I only have Professional.

  9. Ram Ram
    March 6, 2012    

    Thanks a bunch. Easy to follow procedure. A couple of observations.

    1. In order for the powershell script to run, I had to do the following:
    To run an unsigned script:

    1. Save the script file on your computer.
    2. Click Start, click My Computer, and locate the saved script file.
    3. Right-click the script file, and then click Properties.
    4. Click Unblock.

    2. In order to run the command bcdedit /set {GUID} hypervisorlaunchtype auto , I had to outside powershell prompt.

No Pings Yet

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  2. Inside Windows 8: Installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview | Eye on Windows - News about Microsoft Windows OS on July 27, 2013 at 14:13

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