Tag: Boot

Surface Pro Storage Spaces Boot

Boot from Storage Spaces Virtual Disk in Windows 10

A couple of weeks ago I got my new Microsoft Surface Pro, I decided to go with the 1TB version to have enough space.

Surface Pro Storage

After the first minutes of setup I quickly wanted to run disk optimization, which for SSDs usually does quick trim operations. In my case this was running way longer then on my Surface Book, so I checked what was going on, and I realized that it was running Optimization on a Storage Spaces Virtual Disk, which is kind of strange.

Surface Pro PowerShell Storage Spaces Boot

I checked the disk configuration and really, my Surface Pro (2017) does have a Storage Spaces Virtual Disk which it boots from. The Storage Spaces Pool does include two physical 512GB NVMe drives with one Virtual Disk on top configured as simple (striped) volume. Right now I don’t know how they did it, but it seems now possible to boot Windows from a Storage Spaces Virtual Disk with the Windows 10 Creators Update or some Surface team magic. Then when Storage Spaces was introduced with Windows 8, boot from Storage Spaces was not possible.

 



diskpart-usb-drive

Create a USB Stick for Windows Server 2016 Installation

If you have download the latest version of Windows Server 2016 you can create a USB stick to install it on a physical server. This blog goes through how you create a USB Stick for Windows Server 2016.

For UEFI Systems:

  • The at least a 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be GPT and not MBR
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

diskpart-usb-drive

This is it, and here is how you do it:

First plugin your USB drive to your computer. The USB drive should be bigger than 6GB.

Open a CMD prompt or PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option and open diskpart. Now you can do list all this by using

Select the USB disk, in my case this was disk 1

Clean the disk. Be careful this will remove all files and partitions on the USB media.

Now convert it to GPT

Create a new primary partition. But make sure the partition is not greater than 16GB otherwise it can be formatted with FAT32.

Format the partition with FAT32

Assign a drive letter to the volume

now you can exit the diskpart and copy all files from the Windows or Windows Server to the USB drive and boot it. This works with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 or even Hyper-V Server in the same editions.

For MBR systems:

  • The at least a 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be MBR
  • Partition need so be set active
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

diskpart-usb-drive-mbr

 

This is it, and here is how you do it:

First plugin your USB drive to your computer. The USB drive should be bigger than 6GB.

Open a CMD prompt or PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option and open diskpart. Now you can do list all this by using

Select the USB disk, in my case this was disk 1

Clean the disk. Be careful this will remove all files and partitions on the USB media.

Create a new primary partition. But make sure the partition is not greater than 16GB otherwise it can be formatted with FAT32.

Format the partition with FAT32

Set Active

Assign a drive letter to the volume

now you can exit the diskpart and copy all files from the Windows or Windows Server to the USB drive and boot it. This works with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 or even Hyper-V Server in the same editions.

 

Important:

If Install.wim is larger than 4GB, you cannot copy the file to the drive, because of theFAT32 based partition limitation. The solutions for this is to split the wim file into smaller files.

split wim file using dism (you may have to change the drive letters):

 



diskpart fat32 and gpt

How to create Windows Server bootable USB media for deployment on UEFI based systems

When you were create a USB media for PCs, notebooks and servers which were using BIOS you could use several tools to do this. Now most of the tools do not really create a USB media drive which can be used to boot and install Windows or Windows Server on a UEFI based system such a new servers and for example the Surface Pro line. But it is very simple to do this now, just follow this steps:

  • The USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be GPT and not MBR
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

diskpart fat32 and gpt

PowerShell to create a Windows Server USB drive

This is it, and here is how you do it:

First plugin your USB drive to your computer. The USB drive should be bigger than 4GB.

Open a CMD prompt or PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option and open diskpart. Now you can do list all this by using

Select the USB disk, in my case this was disk 1

Clean the disk. Be careful this will remove all files and partitions on the USB media.

Now convert it to GPT

Create a new primary partition. But make sure the partition is not greater than 16GB otherwise it can be formatted with FAT32.

Format the partition with FAT32

Assign a drive letter to the volume

now you can exit the diskpart and copy all files from the Windows or Windows Server to the USB drive and boot it. This works with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 or even Hyper-V Server in the same editions.

 



Native Boot To VHD (Boot2VHD) – Everything You Need To Know…

VHD Boot

Some time ago I made a post about how you can boot from a VHD. Now some days ago I found a very cool series of blog post from Dan Stolts (Microsoft Sr. IT Pro Evangelist) about booting from VHD. He has also created some video tutorials which are great if you are just getting started with VHD boot.

 



Boot from VHD

If you need to run multiple instances of Windows on your computer, you have different options. First you could use software like Microsoft Virtual PC or VMware Workstation to run a virtual instance. But if you need more performance, or you have to run for example Microsoft Hyper-V you need a native installed Operating System. Until Microsoft added the feature “boot from VHD”, you had to create different partitions for each installation. Since Microsoft allowed you to use VHD to boot you won a lot of flexibility.

This guide should show you how you can install a new operation system in a VHD, which you can boot from.

  1. First boot from a Windows Setup DVD or USB Stick
  2. On the screen where you could click “Install now” you have also a “Repair your computer” option in the bottom left corner. Click on this option or use the short cut “Shift + F10” to boot in to the command line mode.
  3. Enter diskpart
    Capture1
  4. Create a new VHD file
    create vdisk file=”filepathandfilename” type=”expandable” maximum=maxsiize
    Capture2
  5. Now you have to attach this VHD
    select vidsk file=”filepathandfilename”
    attach vdisk
    Capture3
  6. Now you can switch back to the “Install now” screenby pressing “ALT+TAB” and now do the setup on the new create vdisk.
  7. If you start Windows the next time you will see the new and the old Windows in the boot menu.

If you want to add a already existing VHD to the boot menu you can use bdcedit to edit the boot menu.

You can get more information here.



How to create a Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Install USB Stick

Its very simple to create a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 bootable USB Stick. Microsoft provides a tool called Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool. This tool also works for Windows Server 2008 R2.

  1. Download Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool and install it
  2. Start the programm and choose the .iso Image (Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2)
    Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool
  3. Choose which media you want to create (USB)
    Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool
  4. Choose USB device
    Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool
  5. Begin Copying and after some minutes your USB Stick is ready to use


How to create an HP Firmware Maintenance CD and SmartStart USB Stick

HP has some Maintenance CD’s for the ProLiant Server Serie, but a lot of Servers used in a datacenter don’t have a CD-ROM, so how can you use the HP Support CD’s USB Stick? Its pretty easy if you know how to do it.

What do I need for this:

  • Windows XP Client
  • HP Firmware Maintenance ISO Image or HP SmartStart ISO Image
  • HP USB Key Utility (link)
  • USB Sticks (1GB or more)
  • CD-ROM Drive or Virtual CD-ROM

There are a lot of benefits by using USB-Sticks:

  • faster boot
  • no more space for CD ROMs needed
  • you can update it

And the best thing, you can easy upgrade Firmware Files on the USB Stick by adding them to:

USBSTICK:\compaq\swpackages\