5 excellent uses of Windows 8 Hyper-V

Windows 8's bare-metal virtualization layer is a great way to create an app sandbox, run a test machine, launch a VHD appliance, and more

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Use Windows 8 Hyper-V to boot from a VHD
Booting from a VHD is exactly what it sounds like: You can install a VHD as if it were a boot volume and boot the entire host system directly to it.

Strictly speaking, this isn't a Client Hyper-V feature, but a trick that's been possible in Windows since Windows 7. It's worth mentioning here, since working with VHDs in Client Hyper-V may give you a reason to pull this stunt as well. It comes in especially handy if you want to run the guest with as few performance issues as possible without actually installing the guest OS (although even they have their limitations). It's also handy because the whole thing can be undone just as easily, with no side effects and no dangerous mucking around with partition tables.

Setting up a VHD as a boot volume is a two-stage process. First, you need to attach the VHD through the Disk Management console's menu (Action | Attach VHD) so that it shows up as a drive in the console. Second, you need to add a system boot entry for the VHD via BCDEDIT or a similar tool. Dan Stolts of TechNet has created a handy batch file to automate the process and to make it harder to mess up your boot entries to begin with.

Again, as with an OS migration from a physical machine, any differences in the hardware setup for the VHD's VM and your physical computer will be detected by the VM.

You can use the Disk Management tool in Windows 8 (or Windows 7) to attach a VHD as if it were a native hard drive. This is the first step toward making it a bootable volume.
You can use the Disk Management tool in Windows 8 (or Windows 7) to attach a VHD as if it were a native hard drive. This is the first step toward making it a bootable volume.

This story, "5 excellent uses of Windows 8 Hyper-V," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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