Dell-MarkH is a Senior Support Analyst in the Dell Enterprise Expert Center. Primary focus in Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Virtualization solutions on Dell. He has been with Dell for 5 years and has previous experience in administration and implementation of IT Solutions for Insurance and Security companies, as well as Consulting for Small/Medium businesses.


Boot to VHD is a feature available in Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7

Below are links to my experience with setting up a Boot to VHD (Native Boot) with Windows 2008 R2 on a Dell PowerEdge R710. This is not an endorsement of this process or configuration as a solution for any particular scenario. I thought it was a pretty cool feature and I suspect this is an indication of how things will progress as the technology matures.

Backups of Native Boot systems are not as intuitive nor functional as backups of non-native boot systems.

Consider the implications in the data center to be able to move a 'system' from a Physical to a Virtual environment and back based on demand. Or embed an OS image on a VHD configured for Diagnostics or troubleshooting into a Server image with the proper dual boot settings in the Boot Configuration Database (BCD).


Boot to VHD on uEFI enabled PowerEdge R710


Boot to VHD on BIOS enabled PowerEdge R710







Topic Name Quick Links

Links to Related Documents/Documents of Interest

Microsoft: Native VHD Support in Windows 7

Deploying UEFI‐Aware Operating Systems on Dell™ PowerEdge™ Servers

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>


Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot

Using the System Setup Program and UEFI Boot Manager



Frequently Asked Questions: Virtual Hard Disks in Windows 7 - includes 2008 R2

Add a Native-Boot Virtual Hard Disk to the Boot Menu


Hyper-V and VHD Performance - Dynamic vs. Fixed

Virtual Hard Disk Getting Started Guide




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