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Windows 7: Rebuild an environment with Win7 native VHD boot file

07 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise
Rebuild an environment with Win7 native VHD boot file


I have installed Windows 7 on my laptop with native VHD boot technology.
When I open windows explorer I have :

c: which hosts windows system files
d: whic contains VHD file

If I save this VHD file and BCD store, is it possible to rebuild rapidly and simply my Windows environment with those two files in case of crash.

If yes, how to do this please ?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Good question
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

My native VHD failed. I've recreated, re-installed, and am trying to work on a backup strategy.

Maybe because I RoboCopied the VHD it fails.
Maybe it's 'cause I'd tried to shrink the (native) virtual volume first... seems like native virtual hard drive files aren't as easy to manage as I'd hoped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Feb 2014   #4
Microsoft MVP


You'd need to be able to mount a VHD file from within the OS using something like Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD .

An easier method is to Install OS from Hard Drive using a customized .wim if desired to Update 7 installation media - Windows 7 Help Forums. For further help on that I would ask in the latter thread since SIW2 knows this stuff best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I just robocopied my native VHD (from diskpart outside the native VM) and tried vhd attach (mentioned above), and it asks about disk initialisation. The copy is 99gig of unallocated space.

Can you desribe (definitively) how to copy (and therefore backup) a native vhd?

The (robo)copy was attemted (and completed successfully) outside the (native) VM



ROBOCOPY :: Robust File Copy for Windows


Started : Sun Feb 09 17:40:34 2014

Source : C:\VHD\
Dest : C:\VHD2\

Files : *.*

Options : *.* /COPYAT /R:1000000 /W:30


1 C:\VHD\
100% New File 22.2 g win7.vhd


Total Copied Skipped Mismatch FAILED Extras
Dirs : 1 0 1 0 0 0
Files : 1 1 0 0 0 0
Bytes : 22.261 g 22.261 g 0 0 0 0
Times : 0:11:26 0:11:26 0:00:00 0:00:00

Speed : 34807159 Bytes/sec.
Speed : 1991.681 MegaBytes/min.

Ended : Sun Feb 09 17:52:01 2014

Can't attach (even readonly)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

(nVM = native Virtual Machine)
OK, good news (I think).

I deleted the robocopy, cause it said the volume was unallocated when attached (via diskmgmt), but maybe it was ok.

I thought it MIGHT be a signature collision thing (you can't mount your nVM copy while the nVM is in use).

I started a new install, again booting from windows media, to cmd via shift+f10, to diskpart, create and attach a new vdisk, exit diskpart and cmd, proceed with install (in new VHD, unallocated space). The new install is added as the first bootmenu entry.

I was then able to
  • boot into native VHD and copy another (new 7gig) VHD
  • boot into (new 7gig) VHD and copy native VHD
  • update bcd to add (copy of native) vhd, copy and set this new BCD to point to the copy of the native VHD
  • boot into the copy!

I'm now going to resize the VHD and ensure this works without a hitch. Then I have a VHD that was native and bootable, that died. the vhd has been recovered but, when attached, does not say 'boot' (active primary partition..) I'd love to recover this
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Rebuild an environment with Win7 native VHD boot file

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