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Archive for September, 2011

Windows 8 Preview Version: Using Boot From VHD to run side by side with Windows 7 (2008 R2)

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 20, 2011

Yes, it works. It is possible to run Windows 8 Preview Version as a boot-from-vhd on your Windows 7 (2008 R2) machine. You do need a version of Windows 7 that supports Boot from VHD (Enterprise/Ultimate) for this to work.

I have played with this in both VM’s and in physical machines and so far no issues at all. To be honest it was bit scary the first time the new version was starting up because it did not show me the OS list, it just started Windows 8 Preview Version. But that is an easy fix, just reboot the Windows 8 Preview Version machine and press F8 and that will give a menu to choose OS from.

The reason for me to do boot from VHD is that a wanted to test Windows 8 Preview Version on my hardware, with drivers and all that stuff. If you just want to see Windows 8 Preview Version you can run it virtualized instead.

So, here are the step-by-step instructions:

First Step – Create the VHD

First we need to create a VHD file from the ISO image you have downloaded and there are more then one way of doing this. Here is the easy method

Download and install WAIK for Windows 7 (We just need Imagex.exe from that so if you have that you can just copy that file from the existing WAIK install)

Download WIM2VHD and store in a folder on your PC (C:\TOOLS\WIM2VHD as an example)

Mount the ISO image using some nice utility (Virtual Clone Drive from is my choice)

Open up an elevated command prompt (If you have installed WAIK, there is a special command prompt for the WAIK toolkit which will update the path to ImageX)

Execute the following: (In this case G: is the drive letter on the virtual CD/DVD)

cscript WIM2VHD.wsf /wim:"g:\sources\install.wim" /VHD:"c:\TOOLS\WIM2VHD\win8.vhd" /size:20000

Done! No you have a VHD file with Windows 8 Preview OS. A tip here is to take a copy of the file, that way you can easily “start” over by booting into Windows 7 and replace the file from the copy.


Second Step – Mount the VHD

In the same command prompt start DISKPART.EXE

Execute the following:

List Vol (it will show you all the volumes you have in your machine, take a note if this)
Select vdisk file="c:\WIM2VHD\win8.vhd"
Attach vdisk
List Vol
(Compare the list with the note you took, you should have a new volume, that is your Windows 8 Preview OS. Take a note of the drive letter for the new volume)


Third Step – Make the volume bootable and reboot

Still in the same command prompt, execute the following:

BCDBOOT E:\Windows (If E: was the new drive letter that is)



Shutdown –r –t 0

And wait until Windows 8 Preview boots up

Fourth Step – Configure Windows 8

Follow the Wizard to finish the installation


Just skip the Product key stuff, not needed now.


Licens stuff, Please read the first lines Smile


Give it a name:


Select express (modify settings later)


Create a local account:


Hey, you are logged on:


Press ctrl-alt-del and select restart.


Press F8 while rebooting to get into the menu



Select what OS you would like to be default:



Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Back to basic: Adding drivers to WinPE (or a normal image) in Offline mode

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 19, 2011

A couple of days ago someone asked me, –“Is this correct syntax for Imagex.exe and peimg.exe to inject drivers in WinPE”?

IMHO, Imagex and Peimg should not be used anymore; they belong to the “Generation-Vista”. Today we use other methods. Here is how you inject drivers in to a wim image, both a WinPE and a normal deployment image. So make sure you use WAIK for Windows 7 and WinPE 3.0

The following commands will mount an existing WinPE wim file first index. This is fine when you create your own WinPE, but if you are to use this Image in WDS you need to mount Index 2 and inject the drivers there. We also run two /Get-Drivers, this is an easy way to see the before and after, not really needed when you do it in a script.

dism /Mount-Wim /Wimfile:"c:\WinPEx64\winpe.wim" /MountDir:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Index:1
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Get-Drivers
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Add-Driver /Driver:"C:\USB3Driver\sp47527\Files\x64\nusb3drv.inf"
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Get-Drivers
dism /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:"C:\WinPEx64\mount” /Commit

If you need to add more then one driver, you can modify the script so it looks like this instead

dism /Mount-Wim /Wimfile:"c:\WinPEx64\winpe.wim" /MountDir:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Index:1
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Get-Drivers
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\Drivers /recurse
dism /Image:"C:\WinPEx64\mount" /Get-Drivers
dism /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:"C:\WinPEx64\mount” /Commit

Just a quick note: It is possible to use WDS to inject drivers. If you have MDT and/or SCCM this “feature” is a part of those solutions.


Posted in Deployment, WinPE | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Windows 8 Developer Server – Preview: Workaround on “Upgrade is blocked”

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 18, 2011

No, you should not upgrade, always wipe & load. There might be scenarios where you would like this to work, but it does not. Upgrade on the Server preview version has been blocked. The way to solve this issue is to extract the ISO image, open the source folder and delete the file “noupgrade.txt” and then run setup.exe from the folder.

I have done this on 4 Hyper-V host machines so far and it worked for me. The reason was that I did not want to export/import all the machines just to test new Hyper-V stuff.

However, It is not supported, not recommended.


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Posted in Deployment, Hyper-V, Windows 8 | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Windows 8 Developer Server – Preview: Switch to classic start menu

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 18, 2011

If you are testing Windows 8 Server just for the fun of it, you will soon realize that the new Metro-Style application interface does not really work great for server administration (right now), so the easy way is to turn it off.

Here is how to use REG.exe to see the setting and to modify it:

Check the setting:

  • reg.exe query HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer /v RPEnabled
    • 1 = Metro style
    • 0 = Classic Desktop and start menu

Modify the setting:

  • reg.exe add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer /v RPEnabled /d 0 /t REG_DWORD /f

Hopefully the new UI will work better for servers in the future.


Posted in Windows 8 | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

How to split a Media based OS Deployment into multiple DVD’s?

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 4, 2011

The Deployment Guys has done it again, that is, they wrote a very nice blog post about the fact that if you do need to use media based deployment and you have to much data to store on the media, well suddenly life is no fun any more. It can be solved in a couple of different ways, one is to switch over to USB keys, but maybe that solution is not for you and in that case they have a nice solution to it. The solution contains of scripts and a HTA.

Read their solution for “Getting more into DVD Media Based Deployment”

(direct download to the ZIP)

Here is how it looks when running it:


Posted in Deployment, Lite Touch, MDT | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Adding Configurations to the Applications Pane using AppDescriptors

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on September 3, 2011

The Deploymentguys has invented some new stuff, just check this out, this is really cool. Smile


Read the complete story:

Download the ZIP:


Posted in Deployment | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »


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