Native Boot Windows Server 2008 R2 from VHD

As I developer I am interested to squeeze the most performance out of my development environment. I was so relieved when Windows 7 was introduced supporting booting from VHD files. So instead from running my development environment from a VHD file via Virtual PC 2007 I can boot the VHD directly.

I am using Windows 7 as ‘host’ operating system and followed these steps to install the 2008 R2 on a VHD:

  1. Create a VHD file in disk manager, initialize and format it
  2. Download the Windows AIK from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=C7D4BC6D-15F3-4284-9123-679830D629F2&displaylang=en
  3. Follow the instructions here to install 2008 R2 on the VHD and add it to the Windows 7 boot menu: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/InstallWindowsImage/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=2662

The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. Than you can boot the 2008 R2 and install you applications. Pretty cool.

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