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I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard this today on DNR show number 458 (great show by the way).  Scott Hanselman was explaining how he mutli-boots his machine not using partitions but VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) files.  There is a way in Window 7 to point your boot loader to, and run from a VHD file.  The OS DOES NOT run in a VM, it is running on bare metal!  The only down side is a slight reduction in disk I/O, but hell, what a traid-off!

My first question is that VHD transferable to a VM?  Sure all the hardware would change but would it work?  I’d really not like to go the other way, that seems even messier to me.

Ah hell what does it matter, I can boot OS’s from a file!, save them easily and move them around.  What a great/easy way to checkout new software.  Seeing that I am just getting into vs2008 and vs2010 beta 1 is out and I want to check it out.  This way I can with out plowing my machine or messing up my current build.

I know I am going to try this one out on my new Windows 7 RC1 installation.  I will write it up here while I am doing it.

Here is an artical from Keith Combs and another from TechNet Edge

There has been a lot of positive buzz about Windows 7; a lot of stuff that has me excited about it.  As a user of Windows XP, I want to move on.  Vista is ‘nice’ but didn’t really deliver anything extra for me.  Sure some nice eye candy, and perhaps nicer plug and pray, but what a pig.  It’s just a system hog, and I wasn’t ready to update any computers yet.

With the release of Windows 7 on October 22nd. 2009 I will be purchasing a new laptop with windows 7, and will probably get a version for my main desktop machine.  Though it’s only an AMD 4000, I don’t think I will have any trouble running Windows 7.  It’s that machine I am installing on today so I will be able to compare performance from the same system running Windows XP and Windows 7.

I received a product key, downloaded the iso and burned a new DVD.  For the system I grabbed an old 80GB hdd I am not using any longer and put it as the sole drive.

Never really using Vista myself (of course I have seen it and helped others with it) I don’t know it intimately.  This is going to create a bit of a learning curve here.  The installation moved along pretty smoothly; couple reboots, nothing special–then it happened.

Black screen.  I had a black screen with nothing more then version informaion at the lower right hand corner:

Evaluation copy. Build 7100.

I was still able to move the mouse pointer around the screen, but couldn’t do anything else.  I tried restarting, removing unneeded stuff, reloading.  Nothing was fixing it.  Time to hit the web.  It didn’t take too long to find, ten-fifteen minutes, I ran into this website,, and they had a thread on this very issue.  It is definitely a monitor/video issue, though some of the resolutions where slightly different.

For me, it was having two monitors connected while loading.  Once I disconnected the second monitor from my system, Windows 7 was able to finish it’s “first time boot” and setup the environment.         Wow there is a lot of eye candy here!

I am running around setting stuff up, checking things out.  (cool wallpaper schems).  Let’s set up taskmgr to launch on start up.

Hey, why can’t I add a new shortcut on a right-click?  That’s a pain, what am I missing?

I created the shortcut to taskmgr on the desktop and copied it to the startup folder.  When I did that I was prompted for Admin rights to do that.  That is interesting, not sure if like that. I guess I need to take some time to look into security.  Specially since that was the single reason so many people hated Vista, it locked up so many areas breaking shit.  Whatever, as long as they haven’t totally abstracted everything away, there will be a solution.

Since I am trying out a new OS, I might as well load up a beta IDE too.  So I am now in the middle of loading up VS2010.  I have no idea if I will have any time to work with it, but I hope I make the time.

Windows 7 changing the wallpaper automagically is weird.  I dig it though.

Interesting, SQL 2008 (bundled with VS2010 beta) must be at SP1 or higher to work with Winows7.  I am glad it let me know while loading it.

Everytime I reboot and see that long-lived black screen, I get nervous that the system will lock again.

At this point, I will have to say that Winows 7 is running as well as a new installation of winows XP does.  It boots as fast plus launches and runs apps as fast.  Can’t wait until I get more stuff loaded.

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