Installation of Windows 8 Developer preview on VHD

It is better to try out window 8 on a VHD as the performance hit will be only on the HDD, rest everything will be on the actual hardware.

Windows 8 Download link

To install windows8 we can either burn a DVD or create a flash drive and install from it, here I’m using a flash drive.

To create a Win8 Flash installer media you can download Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool


You can either burn a dvd or copy the contents in the image using the above tool, like Win7 the flash drive should be above 4GB.

When using DISKPART command we need open cmd prompt with administartive privilages.

To do so, Start > type “cmd” Ctrl+Shift+Enter/ right click and run as administrator.

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.


DISKPART> create vdisk file=d:\VMs\Win8.vhd type=expandable maximum=40000

  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully created the virtual disk file.

DISKPART> select vdisk file=d:\VMs\Win8.vhd

DiskPart successfully selected the virtual disk file.

DISKPART> attach vdisk

  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully attached the virtual disk file.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

We can also do the following step using disk management too.

Boot from the Win8 installation media.

When the installation prompts to select drive to install hit on SHIFT+F10 , on the console use the following diskpart commands to mount the VHD which we have created.

DISKPART> select vdisk file=d:\VMs\Win8.vhd
DISKPART> attach vdisk

Now hit on ALT+TAB and switch to the list of disks and hit on refresh, now the VHD will be listed.

Please note: There will be a warning message saying the VHD can’t be booted to

After a while it will ask you for restart, after restart you may remove the installation media. System will reboot and continue installation from the VHD.

Also note that like windows 7/Vista we don’t need to create BCD entry for VHD, it will create a GUI boot menu automatically.


About Sharun Valsan

Presently working for Geojit BNP Paribas as Systems Engineer. I'm a technology enthusiast, interested in sharing my knowledge and ideas with others.....

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