Category Archives: Windows 7

Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 – Boot to VHD

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 support booting from a VHD directly.  No host OS involved.  Very nice!  It kind of blows my mind a bit to think of the possibilities. 

How Does It Work?

It works like a dual boot machine, where you pick your OS option at startup.  Instead of having physical disk partitions, you can multi-boot onto a VHD instead of a disk partition.  You can boot directly to a VHD running SharePoint 2010 beta for example.   You can have as many of these as you need (and have disk space for).

For people limited to 4GB or RAM on a laptop, this can help SharePoint 2010 run much smoother because it has all the physical memory, no memory sharing with the host.  Your physical disk is available from the booted OS (VHD becomes C:, and physical disks looks like a D:, E:, etc.).  All physical hardware is available, just as if you installed the OS directly to a disk partition.

You can even get it to work with Vista as your main OS on your machine if you’re not ready to rebuild your machine with Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.  

What’s the Catch?

There are a few catches that I’m aware of: 

  • It only works if the VHD is stored on an internal disk 
  • The OS on the VHD must be Windows 7 or 2008 Server R2
  • Hibernation and bit-locker don’t work when booted from VHD’s.  Suspend does work on my Dell D830 after I installed the NVIDEA drivers for my video card. 
  • It works best with a fixed-size VHD, dynamic VHD disks will run slower
  • There is a slight performance hit, around 3%, when compared to a boot from a physical disk.  It’s negligilbe, I haven’t noticed a difference at all.
  • The vhd is not portable to other boxes due to hardware differences between machines.  You can sysprep and image and move it that way.

Great! Now How Do I Set It Up?

I won’t recreate a detailed walkthrough here, but the basic gist of it is this:

  1. Insert Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 media
  2. Boot from the CD like you’re installing the OS normally
  3. At the first screen, hit Shift-F10 to open a command window
  4. Use the DiskPart utility to create and mount the vhd.  Type DiskPart at the command prompt cnd enter the following commands:
    1. create vdisk file=C:\VHD-Windows7.vhd maximum=40960
    2. select vdisk file=C:\VHD-Windows7.vhd
    3. attach vdisk
    4. exit
  5. Close the command prompt and continue setup
  6. Select the Custom (Advanced) Install option
  7. Select the VHD disk you created for the install
  8. That’s it!  The Windows installer takes care of the rest.
  9. If you want more control, you can use BCDEdit or EasyBCD to edit the boot menu

References

If you need a more detailed walkthrough, the best one I’ve seen is here:

If you’re interested in booting a Windows 7 VHD from a system running Vista (I’m not!), you might find these helpful:

Enjoy!

SharePoint 2010 Beta – ConfigurationErrorsException

If you’ve installed the SharePoint 2010 public beta, you’ve likely run into the WCF bug. This following errors occur when provisioning Service Applications or when accessing pages that make service calls.

System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: Unrecognized attribute ‘allowInsecureTransport’. Note that attribute names are case-sensitive. (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\WebClients\<Service Area>\client.config line <Line Number>).

The service application proxy “User Profile Service Application” could not be provisioned because of the following error: Unrecognized attribute ‘allowInsecureTransport’. Note that attribute names are case-sensitive. (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\WebClients\Profile\client.config line 56).

You may see this error in the ULS logs after installing SharePoint 2010, or displayed on the page as an error message when provisioning service applications or accessing SharePoint pages that make WCF service calls.

How To Fix It

This is a known WCF issue when installing SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2.  It’s, lovingly called the WCF Sharepoint Shared Services Roll-up issue. To fix it, install a WCF OS patch:

KB971831: WCF fix for Windows Server 2008 and Vista only
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971831

KB976462: WCF fix for Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976462 
Note:  This link is not activated yet, but you can download the WCF fix at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=166231

If you have already installed Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 on a server running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 does not need to be reinstalled. You can install the WCF fix afterward. However, Service Applications that have been provisioned without the update installed may need to be removed and re-provisioned once the update has been successfully applied.

References

SharePoint Team Blog: Installation Notice for the SharePoint Server Public Beta on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Windows 7

Jie Lie’s GeekWorld: SharePoint 2010 Pre-Requisites Download Links