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Moving your boot from VHD to a bigger drive June 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fmuntean @ 4:46 pm

The most important thing when using boot to VHD is that all your system files are located into a single VHD file on your physical HDD. This will let us easily upgrade the HDD by copying the VHD file from one to another then fix the boot for the new HDD.

Following are the detailed steps to accomplish this:

Attach the new HDD as an external one or as a second one if your computer permits.

Server Manager -> Storage -> Disk Management

New Simple Volume (format NFTS, quick) mount as f:

Mark Partition as Active

Command prompt

Bcdboot c:\windows /s f:

Bcdedit /export f:\backup.bcd


Boot from Win7 or Windows 2008R2 DVD

After "windows loading files…" message when the initial setup screen is displayed press SHIFT+F10 for command prompt

Copy vhd file from old disk to new one (you need to find the drive letters again as they might not match)


C: is the internal HDD

D: is the DVD

E: is the external HDD

Xcopy /J c:\win2k8R2.vhd e:\ (wait… it will take a while)

NOTE: Or you can copy now the entire hard drive including the hidden folders using xcopy /H

I am only copy the vhd so I can get my computer up and running faster then I will copy the rest of the file later in background.

Close command prompt -> cancel installation (ALT+F4) -> shutdown the machine

Remove old hard drive and replace with the new one.

Start computer.

Boot from install DVD again and start the command prompt

Bcdedit /import c:\backup.bcd

Fix the entry

Bcdedit /set {default} device vhd=[LOCATE]\win2k8R2.vhd

Bcdedit /set {default} osdevice vhd=[LOCATE]\win2k8R2.vhd

Reboot and



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