Windows Server 2008 R2 Native Boot

After reading Scott Hanselman’s description of how awesome Boot from VHD is, I had to try it.  Since I already obviously use Windows 7 as my primary OS, I figured I’d try to create a VHD with Windows Server 2008 R2, then boot directly to it.

Unfortunately, the instructions in the Hanselman post didn’t work for me.  I got a Hyper-V VHD of Server 2K8R2, followed the bcdedit instructions, and rebooted.

After rebooting, I got a Boot Configuration Data error saying “The configuration for an element within the object is invalid in the boot configuration data store.”  I’ve seen this error crop up in the comments of every blog post (and on Jim O’Neil’s blog) about Boot to VHD, but no one seems to ever provide a solution. 

The thing that finally helped me find the error of my ways was a post by Michael Flanakin, where he offhandedly says “NOTE: You'll need to be sure you can boot using the necessary device in BIOS settings (obviously).”  He’s talking about the install media, but I realized that I had my VHD on a second spindle (as Scott Hanselman recommends for BitLocker systems), and the second hard drive was not enabled for booting in the BIOS.  A quick trip through the BIOS to add the secondary HDD and I could finally boot to my VHD image!

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