If you are thinking of upgrading your Windows 7 operating system to Windows 8, you might then consider installing Windows 8 on a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD). Those users who want to dual boot Windows 8 with Windows 7 without installing Windows 8 on a separate partition, installing on a VHD is the best option.
The following instructions will help you perform Windows 8 Installation on a Virtual Hard Disk in dual boot with Windows 7.
- As the first step, download Windows 8 ISO file from Microsoft website and then create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 8 from USB flash drive.
- After you have this bootable USB drive, connect the bootable USB drive to the computer. Now restart the system, and make necessary changes in the BIOS to boot from the bootable media. Once done, restart the PC and boot using the bootable media.
- Press Shift + F10 keys to open the Command Prompt window. In the Command Prompt, execute the following commands one-by-one.
Select disk 0
(select disk number on which your Windows 7/Vista is running and make sure you don’t select your USB drive)
Create vdisk file=E:\win8.vhd maximum=30000 type=expandable
(In the above command replace “E” with the drive letter where you would like to save the VHD file. We recommend a minimum of 30,000 MB for VHD.)
Select vdisk file=E:\win8.vhd
- Exit the Command Prompt. Select your language, currency format, input method and click the Next button.
- Click the Install Now button. You will be asked to enter the product key. Enter Windows 8 Product key and click Next.
- Accept the license agreement and click Next button. Click Custom: Install Windows only.
- In the following screen, select the newly created VHD. Windows setup may show “Windows cannot be installed to this disk” warning. Ignore the warning and click Next button to begin the installation. Follow the normal on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
After the installation is complete, your system will be rebooted a few times. After these reboots, you will get the boot menu with the option to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8. Now you have successfully completed Windows 8 Installation in your system with dual boot on a Virtual Hard Disk. For further assistance, contact Microsoft Help and Support Center.