Deploy Windows 8 to a virtual hard disk

Windows 7 introduced Native VHD boot which allows user to install Windows 7/Windows server 2008 R2 on a physical box to a virtual hard disk (VHD). You can do same process in Windows 8

  1. Boot from the Windows 8 media (USB, CD, etc.).
  2. At the Install screen, press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt.
  3. Start diskpart and create the VHD file you want to install to:

    create vdisk file=c:win8.vhd maximum=80000 type=expandable
    select vdisk file=c:win8.vhd
    attach vdisk
    create partition primary
    format fs=ntfs label=”Win8″ quick

  4. Exit diskpart, and when you install Windows 8 you’ll be able to select your VHD volume (ignore the warning that you won’t be able to install).

If this is an existing machine, and you want to dual boot rather than wipe the disk, then don’t perform the first three blocks of commands.