A while ago I got excited about booting Windows 7 using Virtual Hard Drives as the boot media. I have always thought it would be great if I could use differencing disks so I could:

  • create new instances of OS’s super-fast
  • back up changed environments but only have to copy the differences (as opposed to moving 30+ Gigabyte files around the network.

I found a post from the folks over at lost techies that talked about how easy it is to set up a system that boots from VHD’s that are children of other VHD’s.

  1. Set up a “base” VHD
  2. Open an administrative console session:
    • > diskpart
    • > create vdisk file=”C:\vhd\starcraft.vhd” parent=”C:\vhd\win7base.vhd”
  3. I use some tools from NeoSmart Technologies like EasyBCD to put the diff disks as an option in your bootup sequence in your boot menu and – tada booting from a VHD diff disk
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