I had a wonderful experience installing Windows 8 on VHD today on my machine.
I followed the perfect guide from Scott Hanselman on how to install Windows 8 on Virtual Hard Drive.

The feature of Virtual Hard Drive in windows 7, and the notion that you can create a bootable windows OS from it, is something beyond amazing, and it is astonishing.

It is so amazing, because you can build a whole machine, that contains the OS, and add many other applications, while keeping all that software stored in just one file in the parent operating system.

I know it might look like a virtual machine, but it is better, because the new OS runs without the parent operating system, and actually there is no parent operating system.

It runs "naturally" on the machine accessing all its devices.

It is like dual booting, but better, and it is like a virtual machine but better.

It combines the good part of virtual machine, and the good part of dual booting.

excerpting from Scott Hanselman post

Virtualization vs. Dual booting:


  • Good performance (runs natively on the machine, no extra abstraction layers)
  • Good hardware integration (everything that is built into or attached to the machine is visible to the running OS)
  • Clunky setup (different boot loaders overwriting each other, partitions cannot easily be resized or moved around)


  • Very flexible (only takes up as much hard disk space as the solution requires)
  • Can run virtually any Operating System
  • Non-Optimal performance (running piggyback off another Operating System, consuming resource in both)
  • Marginal hardware integration (all major system components are virtual only; depending on the virtualisation solution, SOME components might be surfaced inside the virtual machine)

So, the boot from VHD will have to pros of both, avoiding the cons of both

And if you don't like the new OS, just delete the file.
Isn't that the magic itself?