I wanted to be able to run Windows Server 2008 R2 on my laptop so that I could do development that requires this OS but I did not want to loose all of the coolness of Windows 7 (Hibernate, sleep, etc...)
I also did not have enough space once I shrunk my primary partition to install the OS in the typical Dual Boot fashion... I was getting ready to wipe my machine and reformat/repartion my machine so that I could Dual Boot in the traditional manner but then I thought... Why not try to use the new feature of Windows 7 and Server 2008 that allows you to boot from a VHD. Once I had gone through it, I realized just how easy this is !!!
Here are a couple of articles that i used to get me started:
The basic steps are to:
Boot from your Server 2008 R2 DVD
Click next on the Language Screen
Once you are in DISKPART, you use the following commands to create the VHD and format it
- LIST VOL
- CREATE VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd MAXIMUM=200000 TYPE=EXPANDABLE
- SELECT VDISK FILE=c:\windows7rc.vhd
- ATTACH VDISK
- CRE PART PRI
- FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
- ASSIGN LETTER=V:
- LIST VOL
- LIST VDISK
- exit DISKPART
- exit WinPE command console
You are now returned to the installer
Complete your installation and then when you boot your machine, you will have the option to boot to Win7 OR server 2008.
You have the benefit of using a VHD for your disk, you can implement disk differencing, etc… but you are still running “On the Metal” rather than running virtually within another host OS. This provides all of the advantages of running straight on your hardware.
For SharePoint Development, this is a HUGE win :-)
Hope someone finds it helpful,
Happy SharePointing !!!