Windows 7 Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta support booting into the OS via a VHD file attached to Virtual PC/Server or Hyper-V.
The first step is to create the virtual hard disk (VHD) of Windows 7 Beta. Right-Click on “Computer” and select “Manage.” From there expand “Storage” and right-click on “Disk Management” and select “Create VHD.” The following dialog box will appear:
You can also use the command prompt to create the VHD file.
create vdisk file=c:\vhd\win7beta.vhd type=fixed maximum=20000
Once you have created the VHD file, boot your machine with the Windows 7 DVD in the dvd drive and choose “Install Now,” then press SHIFT+F10 to get the command prompt. Type the following:
select vdisk file=c:\vhd\win7beta.vhd
When you return to the installation procedure, you will see a 20GB partition, select this. It will warn that you cannot boot from it – disregard this message – you can! Continue the install.
When you boot up, it will make Windows 7 the default boot option. You can change this using bcdedit.
This is great for installing multiple copies of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 on a machine or storage area network without creating multiple partitions. The VHD files are then portable and able to be used on other servers and machines using Hyper-V or Virtual PC/Server.
For those not aware of the MP3 corruption issue in Windows 7 Beta 7000, here is a link.
If you have installed the beta, download either the x86 or x64 patch. It isn’t available through Windows Update yet. Further information is available here (KB 961367).
Here is a quick list of applications that I have installed on Windows 7 Beta 7000 x64 that work:
Visual Studio 2008
SQL Server 2005
Printkey 2000 5.10
Acrobat Reader 9
Adobe Master Collection (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc) CS3
RealVNC Free Edition 4.1.3 x86
Windows Live Messenger
PC Anywhere 12.1 Host and Remote
So far ISO Recorder V3 does not let me install, and Google Chrome 1x and 2x does not work.
Google Chrome 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 do not work in Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 x64.
When installing Chrome you are greeted with this screen:
After installing and trying to view any webpage, Chrome displays the following:
The registration pages for the Windows 7 Beta crashed earlier in the day, but not before the direct links to the ISO files were discovered. Below are the direct links to the Official ISOs of Windows 7 x86 and x64 from Microsoft’s servers. As you can see from below I am getting around 920 KB/sec…not bad!
Windows 7 Beta (x86) : 7000.0.081212-1400_client_en-us_Ultimate-GB1CULXFRE_EN_DVD.ISO
Windows 7 Beta (x64) : 7000.0.081212-1400_client_en-us_Ultimate-GB1CULXFRE_EN_DVD.ISO