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Windows 7: Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot

14 Jun 2012   #120
rseiler

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Here and in other places, I note that people say that this method exacts only a tiny performance penalty, but I'm noticing extreme and crippling lagging when in the booted VHD because the disk activity light is solid red--on a fresh install (it's not indexing, either, since I disabled it). Performance Monitor in the VHD shows that the VHD is being written to and read from constantly, which makes sense to me, since everything is in the VHD, and Windows naturally reads and writes a lot. Yet, as I said, others don't seem to be seeing this issue.

You might think that I have the VHD located on some kind of awful drive, but it's a 7200rpm drive that works perfectly well when (at other times) I use large VHDs with a program like Virtualbox. Or maybe that my system is slow, but it's a Core i5-2500K with 8GB RAM. Or that the VHD isn't fixed, but it is, at 25GB.

Device Manager in the VHD looks fine. Is there something basic that I'm overlooking or something else to check?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #121
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10074
 
 

Hello Rseiler,

Is the HDD encrypted or compressed? If so, that will slow things down.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #122
rseiler

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi. Neither. It's just a straight 500GB NTFS partition that I use all the time in my "main" Windows, for media files, documents, storing data files for Virtualbox, etc. It performs normally there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #123
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10074
 
 

I must admit that I'm not sure why it's running so slow for you. As a test, you might create a fixed VHD to see if it may run better with that setup instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Jun 2012   #124
rseiler

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I perhaps wrote it unclearly above, but it is fixed, at least in my second install. The first time I did this, I decided to try it with a dynamic VHD, and performance was so horrible that I immediately deleted it and started over with a fixed. Little did I know that it would be just as bad.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #125
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10074
 
 

You might see how it performs with the VHD created on another partition or HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #126
rseiler

Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Finally got it: Updating the disk driver solved the problem! I've never had to do that before for a drive that's supported by Windows in the first place, as a SATA drive is, so this was pretty weird.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #127
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10074
 
 

That's great news. Thank you for posting back with your results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2012   #128
snap

Windows 7 64bit Profesional
 
 

Hello Brink,

I am new to this, but can you bear with me? I noticed at the start of this tutorial, that Windows Pro is not mentioned. Does this mean that I cannot "Create and Start with Boot a Virtual Hard Drive?"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2012   #129
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 build 10074
 
 

Hello snap, and welcome to Seven Forums.

No problem.

You will be able to boot from a VHD with Windows 7 Pro installed on your computer, but you must have Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8 Enterprise installed on the VHD itself to be able to boot from the VHD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot




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