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Cannot boot into VHD on Windows 7 PC

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2014-02-07
I have a brand new Windows 7 PC (HP Compaq 6300 Pro - C3A33ET#ABU). I have been asked to convert an existing Windows XP PC to a VHD, make the new Windows 7 PC a dual boot system.

I took a VHD of the existing XP system using Disk2VHD. I chose VHD as opposed to VHDX, and I chose the option to "Prepare for use in VHD".

I have copied the VHD to C:\VHDs\SALES.VHD, and have created a new BCD entry however, when I choose to boot from the VHD, the PC hangs at "Windows is loading files".

I'm not sure how to get past this...
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Question by:Chris Millard
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LVL 17

Author Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39800162
Just to add to this, Windows 7 no longer boots either! Not even the logo....
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39800166
You have made the machine as a virtual machine. So then run it as a virtual machine and that will be better than dual boot anyway.

If you have Windows 7 Pro, you can download XP Mode for free from Microsoft and install it. Then install your software in XP Mode. That is also a good way to go.

..... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39800170
Change your BCD back to original to see if that allows you boot Windows 7.

.... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Sasha Kranjac
ID: 39800261
What is the error you get when trying to boot the system?

If you have access to command line, type bcdedit to identify the VHD boot entry.
Then enter bcdedit /delete {entry} where entry is the identifier of the BCD entry you want to delete.

Have you tried pressing F8 after the system started booting from VHD? Maybe some driver(s) are left in VHD that prevent booting correctly. Although "Prepare for use in VHD" should have prepared the image, you never know.

Try using Windows XP Mode if you have correct Windows 7 version (Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise) or use Oracle Virtualbox to run VHD instead of booting from VHD.
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Author Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39803246
Right, I ended up having to restore the Windows 7 PC back to factory settings because I couldn't get it to start at all since trying to boot the VHD natively.

I've now tried loading my Windows XP VHDs using Oracle Virtual Box. I have 3 VHDs now, all creating from different XP machines (some with Disk2VHD, some that were converted from True Image .tib files).

None of the VHDs boot in Virtual Box - they all give me the following error:-

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
Please reinstall a copy of the above file
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39803303
Can you re-convert the XP machines to new VHD files, making sure they are for virtual use?

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39803385
I've already done so prior to my last post....
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 1500 total points
ID: 39803428
I am not sure why the conversion failed, I can think of two options. One would be to try VMWare Convertor (free) and use VMware. The other (perhaps easier overall) would be to use XP Mode instead.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39841263
None of my VHDs worked, so am going to have to resort to XP Mode even though that was one of the things that I was trying to avoid!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39841644
@Chris Millard - Thanks and I was happy to help you.   ... Thinkpads_User
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