Install Windows 10 Tech Preview in a Bootable VHD

In the following examples, I will show you how to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD, VHDX) on a unformatted hard disk and how to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in a VHD with Windows 8.1 as a dual boot.

Method 1 – Installing Windows 10 TP in a Bootable VHD Using a Unformatted Hard Drive

I am assuming there is only 1 Hard Drive in your system for this example. If you have more than one hard drive then drive numbers may be different than my example. In this example, I am using an Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

  1. Boot your computer using your Bootable Media (DVD or USB media).
  2. At the Install screen, press SHIFT+F10 to access the Command Window.

    Windows 10 Install

  3. Type diskpart.

    Windows 10 Diskpart

     

  4. Type list disk.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - List Disk

     

  5. Select the disk you want to use, type select disk 0 where 0 is the disk number.

    CAUTION

    Selecting the wrong disk will cause data to be lost.

     

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Select Disk

  6. Type clean.

    CAUTION

    This will remove all partitions on the selected disk causing data lost.

     

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Clean

  7. Type convert gpt.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Convert GPT

  8. Type create partition primary offset=420479
    or
    create partition primary size=60000 offset=420479.

    NOTE

    Where 60000 represents 60GB. You can enter your preferred partition size here to hold the VHD file.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Create Partition

  9. Type format fs=NTFS quick.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Format

     

  10. Type assign letter=W.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Assign

     

  11. Type exit.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Exit

     

  12. Type mkdir w:\vdisk.

    Windows 10. - Create Directory

     

  13. Type diskpart.

    Windows 10 Diskpart

     

  14. Type create vdisk file=”w:\vdisk\windows10.vhdx” maximum=80000 type=expandable.

    NOTE

    Where 80000 represents 80GB. You can enter your preferred partition size here to hold Windows as long as it does not exceed the partition size you created earlier.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Create Virtual Disk

  15. Type attach vdisk.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Attach Viryual Disk

     

  16. Type exit.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Exit

     

  17. Close the Command Window.
  18. Click Install Now.
  19. Select Custom: Install Windows only.

    Windows 10 - Setup - Clean Install

     

  20. Select Drive 1.

    NOTE

    Drive 1 is the Virtual Hard Disk.

    Windows 10 - Setup- Select Drive

  21. Click Next to install Windows and confirm the new partitions.

    Windows 10 - Setup - Confirm

     

  22. Windows is now installing the operating system.

    Windows 10- Setup - Installing

Method 2 – Installing Windows 10 TP in a Bootable VHD with Windows 8.1 (Dual Boot)

I am assuming there is only 1 Hard Drive in your system for this example. If you have more than one hard drive then drive numbers may be different than my example. In this example, I am using an Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) based computer.

  1. While running Windows 8.1, right click the Windows Logo to select Computer Management.

    Windows 8.1 - Open Computer Management

  2. Select Disk Management with the Computer Management snap-in.
     

    Windows 8.1 - Select Disk Management

     

  3. In the Actions Menu, click More Actions to select Create VHD.
     

    Windows 8.1 - Disk Management - Create VHD

     

  4. Enter the location for the newly created VHD, the size of the virtual hard disk, the type of the VHD, and dynamically expanding.

    Windows 8.1 - Disk Management - Create VHD

     

  5. Exit Computer Management.
  6. Insert your Windows 10 Bootable Media (DVD or USB media) and do not run the Setup.
  7. Open the Settings Charm, refer to "Opening the Settings Charm – Windows 8.1", to select Change PC Settings.

    Windows 8.1 - Setting Charms - PC Settings

  8. Select Update and Recovery in PC Settings.

    Windows 8.1 - PC Settings - Update and Recovery

     

  9. Select Recovery in the Update and Recovery section.

    Windows 8.1 - PC Settings - Recovery

     

  10. Select Restart Now under the Advanced startup in the Recovery section.

    Windows 8.1 - PC Settings - Advance Startup

     

  11. Select Use a device in the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).

    Windows 8.1 - Windows RE - Use Device

     

  12. Select your Windows 10 Bootable Media to boot from the media.
  13. At the Install screen, press SHIFT+F10 to access the Command Window.

    Windows 10 Install

  14. Type diskpart.

    Windows 10 Diskpart

     

  15. Type list volume to find the drive letter where Windows 8.1 is installed since I created the VHD in the Windows 8.1 partition.

    NOTE

    In my example,  the Windows 8.1 partition is Volume 1 which is Drive C.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - List Volume

  16. Type select vdisk file="c:\vdisks\windows10.vhdx".

    NOTE

    Your file path may be different depending on the your VHD location and name.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Select vDisk

  17. Type attach vdisk.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Attach Virtual Disk

     

  18. Type exit.

    Windows 10 - Diskpart - Exit

     

  19. Close the Command Window.
  20. Click Install Now.
  21. Select Custom: Install Windows only.

    Windows 10 - Setup - Clean Install

     

  22. Select Drive 1.

    NOTE

    Drive 1 is the Virtual Hard Disk.

    Windows 10 - Setup - Select Drive

  23. Windows is now installing the operating system.

    Windows 10 - Setup - Installing

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft Windows 10
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Version 1.1
Edited: Oct 7, 2014

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