I’ve discussed this functionality widely over the last few weeks since it was publically disclosed. What we are talking about here is the ability to boot Windows 7 or 2008 R2 from a VHD file.
To ‘deploy’ the Windows 7 RC build that I’m currently using I followed the following – highly complex! – steps:
1) Downloaded from an internal site a single VHD file and stored in on my physical HDD. This was a ~5gb download and gave me effectively a sys-prepped 7100 build on a ‘Hard Disk’
2) I then ran a simple script (part of the scripts available here), to change the boot file (bcdedit from elevated cmd line) to insert another boot option for the VHD
3) Reboot – and choose the new format.
That’s it. Upon first boot Windows 7 installed drivers etc and re-booted but that’s it. The ‘Live’ VHD now looks like this:
There is a number of articles on the web on creating a bootable VHD from a WIM or ISO image. However, I noticed this post on the Virtualisation blog yesterday and thought it well worth the read!