I am running windows 7 as my main environment, however i have a need to run Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit as well. In addition my Windows 7 environment needs to run Bitlocker. Virtual PC does not support 64-bit operating systems.
The approach I took was to use the Boot to VHD feature of Windows 7 and run VHDs from a new partition on my main HD, (so bitlocker can still be enabled on my Windows 7 partition). I could have run traditional due boot from a partition, but in doing so would loose the benefits of easily being able to backup.
Steps to do this were:
- Launch “Computer Management”
- Select storage->disk management
- Shrink the relevant drive to create space for the new partition
- Right click unallocated space (from shrink) and create a “New Simple Volume”. Make sure the file system for this is set to NTFS (note that Bitlocker must not be applied to this volume).
- Shut down windows and boot into Windows Server 2008 R2 DVD.
- At “install now” click the “repair your computer” option, don’t select a installation and select the command prompt (alternatively press shift + F10).
- At the command prompt run Diskpart
- Run create vdisk file=”V:\server2008.vhd” type=”fixed” maximum=30000 (where V is the name of your partition).
- Run select vdisk file=”V:\server2008.vhd”
- Run attach vdisk
- Exit the console window and click x to close the dialog.
- Run through the Server 2008 installed and install to the newly created vhd (which will show as a partition).
- Once installed, you will now see the boot menu with both operating systems.
Note that when you want to delete / reattach VHDs use bcdedit as per http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thelazyadmin/archive/2009/01/12/windows-7-boot-from-vhd.aspx