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This Windows 7 video training with James Conrad covers administering the Microsoft operating system including configuring devices, wireless networking, and more....
This Windows 7 video training with James Conrad covers administering the Microsoft operating system including configuring devices, wireless networking, and more.

Recommended skills:
  • One year experience in IT field
  • Strong familiarity with Windows 7
  • Experience implementing and administering any Windows client operating system on networks
  • Familiarity with Windows PowerShell

Recommended equipment:
  • Windows 7
Related certifications:
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows 7, Configuration
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Windows 7, Configuration
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows 7
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7

Related job functions:
  • IT professionals


Wouldn't it be great to administer every aspect of Windows 7, including: installation, daily administration, optimizing configuration, and troubleshooting reliability and performance issues?

After watching this great training course from James Conrad, that's exactly what you'll do. And you'll be thoroughly prepared for Microsoft's 70-680 exam.

Soon you'll be your organization's go-to person for selecting its OS, installing that OS using mass deployment methods, performing advanced troubleshooting and administration.
1. Course Introduction (4 min)
2. Installation Part 1: Clean Install (45 min)
3. Installation Part 2: Upgrade and Migration (37 min)
4. Imaging Part 1: Creating a Reference Image (47 min)
5. Imaging Part 2: Capturing and Deploying a Reference Image (28 min)
6. Imaging Part 3: Preparing System Images (65 min)
7. Imaging Part 4: Configuring a VHD (40 min)
8. Configuring Devices (44 min)
9. Managing Disks (51 min)
10. Managing Applications (36 min)
11. Application Restrictions (43 min)
12. Internet Explorer (38 min)
13. IPv4 Networking (56 min)
14. IPv6 Networking (27 min)
15. Wireless Networking (39 min)
16. Windows Firewall (44 min)
17. Remote Administration (36 min)
18. Accessing Resources Part 1 (42 min)
19. Accessing Resources Part 2 (34 min)
20. Authentication and User Account Control (46 min)
21. Remote Access (50 min)
22. Mobile Computing (59 min)
23. Monitoring Systems (48 min)
24. Configuring Performance (27 min)
25. Windows Updates (26 min)
26. Backup and Recovery (35 min)

Course Introduction

Installation Part 1: Clean Install

Installation Part 2: Upgrade and Migration

Imaging Part 1: Creating a Reference Image

Imaging Part 2: Capturing and Deploying a Reference Image

Imaging Part 3: Preparing System Images

Imaging Part 4: Configuring a VHD

00:00:00

Imaging Part 4. In this Imaging Part 4, which is our final discussion of imaging, we talk about the virtual hard disk and we talk about some of the advantages of working with it. By the way, you're not going to be using VHDs in all instances. It's not the latest

00:00:14

fad and you have to use it, but certainly, it does have some advantages you will want to take a look at. We'll talk about how to create a VHD. It's primarily going to be using a tool called diskpart, although you can also use the Disk Management console. We'll take a look here as well at the VHD and doing

00:00:30

a clean install to a VHD, and then having a native boot to a VHD image. We'll talk about deploying an existing WIM file to a VHD. This could be just a conventional install of WIM or it could be a reference one that you may have created earlier. We'll also talk about how to update and service a VHD and what you can do with those primarily is to use some tools using System Central Virtual Machine Manager, and you can also use just the ability to attach a VHD and mount it and then be able to browse through the file system and make modifications as necessary.

00:01:04

I went to college at a small private college in the Midwest, and I recall that me and all the other students there were just dirt poor. I don't know how it is in other larger colleges. Maybe there are some rich kids there that their first day of their freshman classes, they show up driving a Ferrari or something like that. But we all drove things like Ford Pintos and Festivas,

00:01:23

Ford Festivas. I don't know if you remember that. It's a really old car. And what was the other one? A Yugo. A friend of mine had a Yugo and Tercel and cars like that. Well, I remember that one Christmas break, I had gone home to visit my folks, and my Dad noticed that all the tires on my car were bald. So

00:01:40

he graciously bought me brand new set of tires. When I showed back up at school, everybody seemed to notice that I had this brand new set of tires on my car. And it turned out that they started a rumor that I was actually from a very wealthy family and I was actually very wealthy myself, and I was just kind of covering it up by driving this old Ford wrecked car that I always used to drive around. It was a Ford Pinto.

00:02:03

Well, for a while there, it was actually kind of fun. I mean everybody thought I was rich and I started getting attention from the girls for a change and they started to call me "that rich guy," which was a whole lot better than "that creepy guy," so everything seemed to be pretty good for a while. But then

00:02:16

when people expected me to always pay for pizza when we go out for pizza and stuff like that, I finally had to break those rumors down and let everybody know that my Dad just bought me a new set of tires and that was pretty much it. We weren't rich. I don't think I've gotten a girl to talk to me ever since then, except for my wife, and somehow or another, I conned her into marrying me, so I consider myself to be very fortunate there.

00:02:37

But you see, that was a matter of image management. And certainly, with Windows, we have different kinds of images that we can work with as well. We've already talked about WIM files, but in particular, for this Nugget, we're going to be talking about something different.

00:02:50

It's called a VHD file, and it's used not only for Windows operating systems in booting to a physical machine, but it's also used for booting to virtual machines. And in fact, that's primarily how we think of them. However, with Windows 7, and this is also true of Windows Server 2008 R2, you can now boot to a VHD file as if it were a physical hard drive. So before we get into

00:03:15

something more about the virtual hard disk advantages in Windows 7, I want to identify first of all what they're normally used for in a conventional sense, and that would be for using something like Virtual PC or Hyper-V. Virtual PC and Hyper-V are the desktop

00:03:30

and server versions respectively of using virtualization. For example, here is the console for my Hyper-V manager that appears over on my Windows Server 2008 R2 server. And you can see here that I've got a few virtual machines right there. None of them are started up right now, but I could start these up and pretty much run these as if they were on physical hardware for the most part. Now, if I take a look at what's behind the scenes there,

00:03:54

here are the actual files that are involved in those virtual machines. So for example, for Windows Server 2008 R2 that we saw over there, and let me bring this back over, you see this operating system right here. Well, that's actually this VHD file. And then here, you have certain snapshots, of you want to call them that, point in time snapshots of differences. These are

00:04:16

differencing disks. So anyway, this VHD file here is what is used to boot and run that operating system in a virtualized environment. A very similar if you are accustomed to working with VMware, very similar to a VMDK file, which is what they use in that product.

00:04:36

But as it relates to Microsoft products, we use VHDs for virtual machines. Now, they are useful for virtual machines, but they are also useful now for physical machines starting with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Some of the advantages there might be things such as these: if you run a VHD and boot to it, then you see the entire desktop the same as if you would on a physical machine. It would be exactly the same as if there is a single

00:05:03

physical hard drive with thousands of different Windows files scattered all over the place. Well, instead, you're actually using a single file, just a VHD file. But it's also able to take advantage of all the physical characteristics of that machine. So for example, if you have devices that you need to use, it will fully detect those devices just the same as if it were a normal installation of Windows. Also, for software issues,

00:05:28

for example, maybe you have a scenario where you're testing out software and you're not quite sure if it's maybe compatible with Windows 7 or something like that. Well, you could put the whole thing in a virtual machine if you want on Windows 7, or you could still use it on a physical machine if you wanted to go through various generations of something like a thick image. And if you

00:05:48

find out that various iterations of that software work just fine, then you can package it up into a VHD and then deploy that VHD to various clients, including the software that you might want it to include. On the other hand, if in your testing you find

00:06:03

out that the latest revision of that software causes the system to crash, well, then you can delete the VHD file and replace it with a previous one that you know worked. So one of the key advantages there, and there are several different ones; these are just some of the ones, there is also a uniform file format.

00:06:20

This is something that is not going to be different per vendor or something like that. VHD files are very familiar with a lot of Microsoft products and server operating systems, such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Other Microsoft products work

00:06:35

very well with this uniform file format, so you don't have to be concerned about conversion between different file formats and things like that. VHD is a VHD. Also, we have common tools, tools that you can use to administer Windows VHD files that you would normally use in Hyper-V or in Virtual PC. You can use those

00:06:55

same tools usually with VHD files that you might use to boot from in a physical machine. And by the way, when we talk about a physical machine, then you're going to have let me just draw something out here you're going to have a physical hard drive like this, and then on that, you'll have a VHD file. It's only

00:07:12

a single file. And when you boot from this, in the visuals of this, for example, if you were to open up Windows Explorer after your logged on, you would see all of the Windows files and folders and sub-folders and so forth just the same as if it were a physical machine. But behind the scenes there, it's

00:07:31

actually only a single file. It's just that when you boot it, it exposes the contents of that VHD file into the file and folder substructure. But what I'm trying to get to there is this is called a native boot, so it's a native boot to a VHD, same as it's just a physical boot to a VHD. This is also going to be

00:07:51

useful for a single file restore. Let's say that we have a known good copy of the VHD. Maybe we're using it for our imaging solution, for example. And we have a customer whose VHD got corrupt or went bad or something like that. Well, all we have to do is to

00:08:05

copy a known good VHD back to this computer, and they are back in business. And that's assuming of course that other things are in play, such as roaming user profiles or that their home directory is redirected to a file server somewhere and things of this nature. Also, the performance for a native VHD boot

00:08:23

compared to virtual machines is pretty good because with virtual machines, you do have a lot of advantages. You can take snapshots and differencing disks and so forth. However, there is still a hypervisor level there. There is kind of an intermediate software,

00:08:38

and this is true of all virtualization products. There is an intermediate software that will slow down the system somewhat because everything has to be translated back and forth between the software. So the performance is normally going to be better on a VHD and a native VHD as opposed to using a virtual machine.

00:08:56

The first thing you're going to do if you want to work with VHD is you have to create a VHD. Now how would you do that if you were within the Windows 7 operating system? And also, what would the purpose be? First of all, the purpose would be a couple of ideas. There might be multiple reasons why it would do this,

00:09:12

but here are just a couple that come to mind. One, you might want to set up a dual boot. Maybe sometimes you have to work with Windows 7 and you need to be able to identify physical hardware as opposed to virtualized hardware. And other times, you need to boot to Windows Server 2008. Well, normally, you would have to have two separate partitions in order to do that. We talked

00:09:28

about that early in our series here. Normally, you'd have to have two physically separate partitions. But with a VHD, you could still retain a single partition and then just put a VHD file on that partition, and that would be your other operating system and it would be contained within that VHD file. So it's

00:09:45

very clean and you don't have to worry about the two operating systems getting their files mixed together and all that sort of thing. Also, it might be very useful for preparing a reference image. Some organizations may prefer instead of working strictly

00:09:57

with WIM files is to work with a combination of WIM files and VHDs. And that way, you can take your VHD and you can boot it up to physical hardware and a native boot like we're talking about earlier, or if you're trying to test it out and you see maybe some of your customers are having problems with that VHD file, then you can take that same VHD and boot it up using Hyper-V or Virtual PC or some other method there to be able to use virtualization, and you can test it out on a smaller scale without having to duplicate that exact same physical hardware. There is a couple

00:10:31

of methods for creating VHDs. One of the methods there would be to use the Disk Management console, which I'm going to show you here shortly, and also Diskpart, which I'll show you a little bit later on, and that's going to be primarily how we're going to be working with VHDs for some of the other purposes that I'll tell you about. All right then, here we go. We've got computer

00:10:49

management open, and don't be too concerned about all the various partitions of things you see here. I've got just a lot going on on this particular computer. But let's say that I wanted a VHD here on my Images folder. And if I explore this and drag a window over here, you'll see that in the Images folder, there is a VHD folder, and I've already got something that I've been working with there, which I'll show you a little bit later on.

00:11:10

But I want to create an additional VHD in that folder. How would I go about doing that? What we would do here is we would go over to Disk Management, and this is new with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. You'd right click and you can see it right there, Create VHD. So I'll create this and I'll browse for the

00:11:28

location of the VHD file that I'm about to create. I'm just going to call this one "test" because I'm not going to really use this for anything else other than showing you. And then I could specify the size of this. I'm going to make it small as well because

00:11:39

I don't really need anything right now. I'll show you a larger one when we actually do a native boot, for example. Then I also have to identify whether I want it to be dynamically expanding or a fixed size. If I choose 20 megabytes and I only need 10 megabytes worth of storage space, then it will keep it at that size, but if it needs to get bigger, then it will do so as necessary.

00:12:00

The problem with that though is that it's also going to provide a performance penalty, so you have to be aware of that. Microsoft does not recommend dynamically expanding virtual disks for native boot environments. It's more useful for test environments or

00:12:17

for real virtualization and things of this nature. But for a native boot especially, they do not recommend dynamically expanding for performance purposes. You can also use a fixed disk size, and that would be the recommended solution especially for situations in which you have a native boot. And it's just going to stay

00:12:35

at whatever size you specify here and it's not going to fluctuate. So I'm going to go ahead and leave it fixed for the time being and that will be fine. And then once this takes place, you'll notice something happen. I don't know if you can hear that, but

00:12:46

the was the "bloop" sound that Windows 7 makes when Plug and Play takes place. You see Plug and Play has determined that, detected another disk that was installed right now. So what I would have to do in order to further use this within the Windows UI is to right click on it and choose initialize disk, and I have to choose master boot record or GPT. Most of the time, we're

00:13:08

going to be using a master boot record. And then once that's been done, this is now available to format and partition and otherwise manipulate it as I like. This is also now an attached virtual disk. If I want to get rid of it, I don't really need it anymore or something like that, then I can right click on this and I can choose detach VHD. And when I do that, it also

00:13:29

gives me the opportunity to delete the virtual hard disk after I've removed it and I can click OK now. And then for clarity's sake, again, one of the reasons why I might even create this VHD in the first place, like I just showed you the one I created, would be again to set up something like a dual boot scenario. So I might create a big VHD there

00:13:49

and then I could install Windows Server 2008 into that VHD. Then I could dual boot between Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Now, let's also take a look here at how we can work with VHD in a clean install. This is kind of a 30,000-foot view. This does not have all the steps, but I'm going to show them to you here in a moment. If I wanted to do a clean install to a virtual

00:14:13

hard disk, maybe it's on a clean hard drive, well, I would use a couple of tools to do this. One of the tools I would use would be WinPE. And I'm just going to use the WinPE that we created a few Nuggets ago when we first started talking about imaging. And my purpose in doing that is so that I can use some of the tools, including ImageX and Diskpart. Once I've booted up WinPE,

00:14:33

I want to press Shift+F10, or alternatively, you could choose a repair of Windows, and that will provide a command prompt option for you. But my whole point there is with Shift+F10 is I get a command prompt, which I can then use to start typing in these commands. And the first one

00:14:48

I'm going to be really working with is Diskpart. When I work with Diskpart, I'll be creating one or more partitions and there has to be a partition there and it has to be formatted so that I can then create a VHD. The VHD is a file and so it has to exist

00:15:05

in a file system. So that's why I have to have a partition so that it has some place to live. Once I have created that VHD, then I can perform the installation into that VHD. And of course, using Diskpart, I'll also have to attach it. And once you attach

00:15:19

it, then it appears visible and you can work with it as if it were a physical hard drive. Let's go ahead and take a look at how all that works. This whole process can be a little bit time-consuming and quite frankly, since there is a lot of typing, it is full of potential for human error, which I seem to be very, very good at. So I wanted to go ahead and do all of this in advance and

00:15:40

then show you what I did. So for example, what I did here was I just booted WinPE. This is the WinPE that we used earlier in our series here. And this is the first screen that appears, and it's going to ask me what language and things I want to do in installation. Normally, I would click on Next, except I'm not

00:15:55

interested in doing an installation right here because this would install it on to a physical hard drive in a normal file structure. I want to create a VHD. So what I did was I pressed Shift+F10, and that then brought me to this screen right here, where I typed in "diskpart." With Diskpart, I wanted to identify what disks

00:16:14

I had. Now I have got two disks. I really only needed one, but I just happened to have two. So I typed "list disk" and it shows me the both of them. Then I have to know which disk I want to select. I want to select the first one and I want to install the operating system and the VHD on it. So I select disk 0 and it's now the selected disk. If there is something that is already

00:16:33

there and I'm trying to wipe it out, I'll choose clean. Otherwise, that's not necessary. Once it's been cleaned, then I need to create a partition and it needs to be primary partition. Once that's been done, I want to format that, and I use the quick option because there is no need for it to take a long time. If

00:16:51

you don't use the quick option, it takes an extremely long time and it is a thorough check of the hard drive, and that's normally not necessary. Once that's been completed and formatted, then I list the volume. And the reason for doing that is because I

00:17:03

want to identify or just confirm that I have a volume that's now been created and it is the partition right here that we see. Notice that when I formatted this, I did not specify NTFS. That's because NTFS is the default anyway. The next thing I need to do though is I've got to give it a drive letter so that I can continue to work with it. So I assign letter=c. Once

00:17:25

that's been done, then I list the volumes here again just to confirm that it did take drive C, and it looks like I'm OK with that. Now here is where we get into the virtual disk items. I want to create vdisk. Create vdisk. And the name of the file is going to be it's going to be on the C drive, which I just lettered right here. And I'm going to name it and this is arbitrary.

00:17:46

You just name this whatever you want. I just called mine WIN7VHD.VHD. I gave it a maximum size of 40 oops, that's too many, that's right, and it gave me an error. I'll put a size there of 400 gigabytes. I meant to say 40 gigabytes so it made an error. So I did it again and I chose 40 gigabytes. Too many zeroes there. So once that had been done, I then had Diskpart create that virtual disk for me. And then it will continue on

00:18:15

here. I think I'll just type the rest of these. I haven't done the rest of these yet. So once that vdisk has been created, next thing I need to do is to select that vdisk. So I'll select vdisk file=c:\, and then it would be WIN7VHD.VHD. So I have selected that item. And in order to make it useful

00:18:36

so that it can be installed to or be used in a native way, I'm going to attach vdisk and press Enter. Now it's successfully attached that virtual disk file. Once I've got that virtual disk file attached here, I need to treat it as if it were a physical disk. Have I formatted

00:18:58

that physical disk yet? No. I've formatted the disk that holds the VHD, but the VHD itself right now just looks like a raw disk. It needs to be formatted. In fact, let's go ahead and choose list disk here. And you can see that I've got it right here, but if I choose list volume that it doesn't really have any there is nothing there. So I

00:19:20

have to take this disk 2 and I need to go ahead and create a partition on there. So since I'm still focused on that VHD file, I'll choose create partition primary. And then I'll go ahead and format that as well. After that's been formatted then, I'm also going to go ahead and assign it a drive letter. It doesn't matter really what letter

00:19:46

you assign it. Normally, you would think of drive C or something like that. But it doesn't matter. This is only for temporary purposes. On the first boot, it will normally reassign itself to drive C anyway, even if you give it some different drive letter here. So now that we've got that, we are ready to proceed.

00:20:01

I'll just go ahead and type "exit" out of Diskpart. And then from here, we can just type "setup," and it will take us into the setup routine, at which point, I'm going to choose a custom installation here in a little while after I click Next through the introductory parts of this wizard. And then I'm going to

00:20:18

choose a custom installation. Now look, there is my VHD right there. That would not have been exposed if I had not used the select vdisk and attach vdisk and then formatted that partition and so forth. This would otherwise have been unavailable. Now I notice something interesting, and this is something you can ignore. It does say that Windows cannot be installed on disk

00:20:40

2 partition 1 right here. That's not true. You can. Just click on Next and continue on through your installation. And you can see that's it's already copying and expanding the files to that partition, that VHD. All right. Now we have a fully installed system. I paused

00:20:54

recording while the installation completed itself, and then I also wanted to show you a few things here as well. If I just opened up My Computer right here, notice that we have the local disk here and you can tell that it's a 40 gigabyte disk. That's where the operating system is installed. Remember I said earlier

00:21:10

that this is all actually in a VHD, but there is no way to know that. In fact, if I did this on a user's computer, they would probably never know that they were actually running off of a VHD. The only other way that they might know is if on this local disk they look, there is the VHD itself. And what this

00:21:27

is is everything that they see when they double click on drive C. So that's what we've actually got going on here. And then I also wanted point out that in the boot properties, if you used bcdedit /v, this shows you verbose information about the boot environment. We can see that it's booting from a VHD device here

00:21:48

and it names the file there as well. And then finally here also, if we go into Computer Management, you can again see here that there is the VHD file that's mounted right here, and you can tell that by again, there is a visual indicator here that it gives you kind of a blue hard drive there. That's your only

00:22:05

other visual indicator. Otherwise, it looks pretty much the same. And you wouldn't want to detach this right now. I guess I could try it, but you wouldn't want to detach it because then you wouldn't have an operating system anymore. But that's pretty much the

00:22:16

basics of how doing a clean install to a VHD would work. The next thing to consider then would be how to deploy a WIM file to a VHD. Now the WIM file could just be the install.wim that appears on the Windows 7 DVD. And in my case, I'm going to be using a Windows 7 Enterprise install.wim file when I demonstrate this here in a little while. By the

00:22:42

way, this is important to know, you can only do this thing where you boot to a VHD with Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate Edition. That's it. So I can't do it with Professional. I can't do it with Home Edition, anything else. Only Enterprise and Ultimate.

00:23:00

So the overall view of how you would do this though, if you wanted to deploy a WIM file to VHD, was you need to start pretty much the same. You'd still boot to WinPE. You'd still get to a command prompt by using Shift+F10. You'd still go to Diskpart. And then you would create the partitions necessary both on the physical disk to create a partition to hold the VHD, and then you would create a VHD on that physical disk. Once that's been

00:23:28

created, you also need to then format and partition that VHD file as well, and it has to be attached using Diskpart. Then what you would do is you would copy the WIM file to the VHD drive itself. And then you would use the familiar command that we've seen before, ImageX, and you would simply apply that WIM file.

00:23:50

And in the same way that you would do if it were just physical hardware only and not using a VHD. Then you would detach vdisk and then what you would do normally is you would copy your VHD file. That's what you'll be copying. You'll copy that VHD file to a server. And this is

00:24:07

what we're going to primarily be doing if you want to take that VHD and deploy it to other computers in similar fashion to what we've done with WIM files in the past. Now once you've got the VHD up to the server, then you connect some other client, some other computer, and you copy that VHD file to the client.

00:24:26

And then what you'll do is you'll run the BCD boot command to make sure that it properly boots. Now, there is a lot of steps in between the lines here, and I want to point out something that I'll show you how all of these works, and then I'll show you a reference so that you can step through it yourself if you want to. All right. Now what we did here was I simply booted

00:24:45

to the imaging WinPE that I created in an earlier point in time. This is where we used OS CD image and everything to create our ISO file. And we've used the same ISO in the past. Anyway, I went ahead and booted to it. Now the reason why I wanted to use this particular one as opposed to just booting from WinPE off of the Windows 7 installation DVD is because this one will also include ImageX, which I'm going to need. So here I've got

00:25:12

this launched. And by the way, I didn't type this in. This is going to automatically launch any time you boot off of that WinPE disk. And what that is part of is that launch part of what's involved in launching and initiating the network. That's why I'm going to be able to map network drives later on. So anyway,

00:25:28

the first thing I typed though was diskpart, and this is very similar to what I did earlier. I see that I've got disks that I listed here. I selected one of them. I cleaned it. Again, you don't have to do that unless there is already something there that you want to get rid of. Then what I did was I created a

00:25:43

primary partition. Again, all the same stuff that we did before. Formatted it quick. Then I listed the volumes just to double check. I've got a volume 1 right here. I wanted to assign a drive letter to that volume. By the way, you know that this is the selected volume when you see an asterisk next to it. So I assigned

00:26:03

it letter C. And then what I did was I created a vdisk file. This again is the same thing I did earlier. I just made this a little bit smaller because it copies up and down to the server faster and it's only for demonstration purposes so it's fine for that. Also, I made it expandable. I could have also typed

00:26:20

type=fixed as opposed to expandable. The expandable one also, for lab purposes and for virtual machine types of purposes and so forth and copying, will copy up and down faster. If it's a physical machine that I actually plan to use, then you would probably want to make that fixed instead because it will perform better in the long term. So anyway, once that's been done,

00:26:43

again, I'll select a vdisk file and it's the vdisk file that I just created. Once that's been done, here is the key. I need to make it look like a hard drive, so I have to attach vdisk. Again, I think all of this stuff is the same stuff we already did in the previous method. But things will get different here

00:27:01

in a little while here. Once I've attached this vdisk, then I want to create a partition primary and assign a drive letter. Again, it doesn't matter what the drive letter is, but I chose V for VHD to make it easier to remember. Then you can format that and give it a label, and that's pretty much it. Then you're

00:27:18

ready to move on to the next set of steps. So then, once I had formatted that and given it a label, then I'm done with diskpart for now so I can type exit to get out of diskpart. Then what I'd do is I go to drive letter D and I type in net use n: And remember earlier in this, we saw the WinPE init or something like that. And that's where part of the network

00:27:41

was being started. If the network is not started, then as I mentioned in an earlier nugget, just type start net and that will launch the network for you. Then I just ran net use n:. I'm using map to drive letter N. Again, you can map whatever drive letter

00:27:55

you want to my computer. And I just used the administrative share there because I never actually shared a folder. And then I fat fingered the credentials so I had to do it again. But anyway, I entered in the credentials here properly, and I was able to get to that drive. Once I had gotten that drive letter mapped

00:28:14

to drive letter N, then what I did was I want to use an existing WIM file that's already over there, and that would be the image, so I used ImageX, and then I wanted to apply a specific image. That's on the map letter N which I just showed you. It's in the

00:28:29

WIM files directory. And this is the name of the WIM file. It is the Windows 7 Enterprise edition. That's a 64-bit image. I'm choosing the first and only image or installation in that WIM file, and I'm going to apply it to drive V. So I let it do its thing, took a little bit of time, eight

00:28:49

minutes or so right here, and that was pretty much it for that part of it. Once that had been applied, I needed to return to diskpart, so I choose diskpart, selected vdisk file right here. Then I wanted to detach the virtual disk. Why is that? Because I need to take this file and I need to transport it or copy it over to a server so that I can use it for other purposes or other deployments to other computers. I cannot do that for

00:29:17

as long as it's attached, so I had to detach it, exited diskpart, and then I copied that WIN7VHD file to my network drive in a VHD folder. And that in fact is the folder that we looked at earlier here on my physical computer that D, my Images, is on drive D. And then you can see here,

00:29:38

if I scroll down a little bit, that there is on my D drive, there is a VHD folder and there is WIN7VHD. That's exactly what I was looking for. So I successfully copied that file over, and that's pretty much all there was to it. There had been a previous one

00:29:53

there. I just overwrote it. But that's all we had. And then we continue on. And by the way, I know that there is a lot of commands here and you're probably looking and just saying, "Boy, I'll never in a million years memorize all of this stuff." Well, I don't think you need to memorize it. You just

00:30:06

kind of need to know the overall flow of how this goes. And if you want to duplicate these steps, then I'm going to take you to a website which has all of these for you, so you don't have to write all these down or anything like that. But this will give you the basic idea of what you need to do. Anyway, once

00:30:22

we've created our partition, let me go back up, and assigned a letter, we exit diskpart. And then what we do is we wanted to copy the VHD file that we had copied out to my server earlier or to my machine earlier, and then I wanted to copy that, so I'm copying that and that's pretty much what we did. And then

00:30:40

we have diskpart here. And now I'm going to select the vdisk file that I just copied. Once that's been selected, I need to attach that vdisk. Once that's been done, I went ahead and listed the volumes just to confirm what we have. I have volume 3 drive letter V and that's the WIN7VHD file, VHD partition.

00:31:02

Then I exited that. And now what I need to do, and this is important for the boot process, as I changed and ran cd, and I also changed the drive as well as the directory; cd /d means to change the drive to the V drive and in this directory. And you can see here

00:31:20

that that this indeed where I wound up. And then what I did when I got there was I wanted to use this command: bcdboot. This is important in order to be able to create the boot configuration data. That's what BCD is. Otherwise, if I were to stop ahead of this, then if I restarted the computer, there would be no way to boot into that image that I just copied down.

00:31:43

So I do bcdboot and then v:\windows. This folder here has all the files necessary to create a boot environment, so it copies those system files out of there to the S drive. And remember earlier that we assigned it drive letter S. Once that was done, I returned to diskpart. You can see

00:32:05

how critical diskpart is to this whole process, and then I selected the vdisk file here again, the VHD. I detached it and then I exit. And once that's been done, we're now pretty well ready to restart this computer, and it should boot right into the VHD. Now I mentioned earlier that I would take you to a website

00:32:24

that will identify all of this stuff for you. If you take note of the URL up here at the top, Microsoft has a TechNet article that takes you through a walk-through of how to deploy a virtual hard disk for a native boot. And that's exactly what we did here.

00:32:39

Only a couple of things I want to point out to you here in this whole process. One of them is an error and one of them is a preference. Let me show them to you. And the first item there is a preference really but it's under step three if you scroll down here. You'll see that it tells us to create a partition

00:32:54

primary size of 300. Remember that's where I created a partition of 100. The fact of the matter is this is just going to be where the system boot files are, and it doesn't really need 300 megabytes. In fact, it doesn't even need 100 megabytes. But a default installation of Windows will automatically create 100-megabyte partition, so I just said, hey, why am I using 200 extra megabytes? Anyway, you don't have to do it that way. You can use 300, you can use 100, whatever you want to do, but you only need 100. And then the other thing is further away on down here, if you take a look, oh there it is. If we take a look here under step

00:33:29

four, then it says copy this file, and they just called theirs Windows7.vhd. I called mine WIN7VHD.vhd. Just whatever names you want for these. But they have you copying it to drive C. That's not what you'll do if you're staying consistent with all of their drive letters here. They should have put drive letter

00:33:47

W there. So just note that because otherwise, you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get it on drive C. So change that to a W. Otherwise, that's pretty much it. And Microsoft really did, really, a very nice job otherwise with this whole document, and I think you'll find that if you practice through this once or twice, then you'll have a pretty good grip on hands-on experience on how to do this yourself. And then here, we actually have the install operating

00:34:10

system. I rebooted it in the background while I was showing you that Web page, and that's pretty much it. We now have a good system up and running. I had run diskpart here as well again that lists the disks for you. Here is disk 2 which contains the VHD, and that's where the VHD would be. Here are the volumes.

00:34:28

Again, it's the WIN7VHD volume, which is our 24-gigabyte volume that we created. And so now we're pretty well good to go. And this one it's booting from, it's booting from that 100-megabyte partition. And if you want to look at that another way as well,

00:34:42

I've also got the computer management open here. Again, that's going to be our system active primary partition. And again, this is the Microsoft way of describing things. This is the system partition but it has the boot files on it. This is the boot partition

00:34:56

but it actually has the system files on it. Nice and confusing, right? Anyway, that's where our operating system is located, is right through here. Now once you've got your VHDs up and running and you like the way they're operating at all, you're going to periodically need to update them. Maybe you have a new

00:35:10

version of an application that's included in that VHD that you deploy to your clients. Maybe you have a new update that you also want to apply, similar kinds of things to what we looked at when we were talking about updating WIM files. Well, how do you update a VHD? One of the things you can do is to just continue to update your WIM files and then to apply them inside of your VHD files. That's not really on the whiteboard here,

00:35:33

but that would be just one simple way of doing that. So that's a kind of obvious way. Also, if you wanted to directly update the VHDs, guess what? Really, you can't because the only way to really do that directly using default tools is that you would use something called the offline virtual machine servicing tool which you can download. But in order to

00:35:54

use that tool, you also have to have Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager, which is another part of the Systems Center family. So that's really a totally different server, a totally different topic, everything. It's not really directly even related to Windows

00:36:07

7, but that would be the direct way to do that. And what this would do is it would boot your VHD client. Once it boots it, it only keeps it up long enough so that it can apply the updates from your Windows Server Updates Services server or a Systems Center Configuration Manager Update Server, and it applies those updates. And then it immediately will reboot into your normal

00:36:29

operating system. So that's kind of the way that that particular tool works, but again, you have to have system center infrastructure in order to use it, and you need to use the System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Now for offline servicing, another thing you

00:36:43

can do would be to use the attached item that's within disk management, or you could use vdisk. Either one works. But for example, if I wanted to do that right now, maybe for example, our WIN7VHD file didn't have all of the updates it needed or I needed to add some files to it or something like this. Well, I could attach the VHD and

00:37:03

I could just attach my WIN7VHD right here and click Open. Now if I just want to examine it and kind of poke around in there and see what's going on, I could open up as read-only, and that would certainly be recommended in many cases because if you're just curious or something or just exploring, you wouldn't want to accidentally delete files or do something that would damage the functionality of that VHD.

00:37:26

But otherwise, I would leave that cleared then click OK. And then what we will see happen here is we see that it mounts it right here and there it is. Now I can just explore that just as if it were any other hard drive on my computer. It's pretty equivalent to if this VHD were an installed Windows operating system on a physical hard drive and then I just plugged it into one of my serial ATA connections on my motherboard, and there it is, powered it up, and here it is. Now I could add

00:37:57

files to this. I could add driver files to this. I could do whatever I want to, add data files, whatever, and that would pretty much be it. By the way, speaking of data, this is not really an exam issue, but kind of the question that comes up sometimes with folks is, "Should I create a data drive here as well and that's where I keep all of my user files and things like that?" Preferably not. You don't normally want to use this for that.

00:38:20

Normally, you want to put your data files on another partition or on an additional drive instead if you're going to use VHD files. And another way to do that in the corporation would be to not have users save their files locally anyway but to use home directories or redirected documents folders that point to the home directories. So anyway, that's a little bit of data

00:38:43

about that. Once you're done with this, then of course you would then detach oops, where is it? You would then detach the VHD here. I went off-screen. So let me bring it up so you can see it. Right click here. Choose Detach VHD. And then what you could do as well is you could delete the virtual hard disk file after removing the disk. I don't really want to delete that because

00:39:03

I'm using it. So I'll click OK here, and that would pretty much be it, and now you can see that it's all gone away, and that's pretty much the end of that. In this Nugget, we talked about imaging, and this is Part 4, where we talked about VHD advantages, the fact that you can use a common set of tools, that it's a single file that you manage instead of multiple files, and many other things related to VHDs. We also talked about how to create

00:39:26

a VHD. Remember, you can use the Disk Management console or you can use Diskpart utility. The VHD, you can do a clean install to it, and when you do that, it would then be a native VHD boot, and it would look and feel pretty much like a conventional installation.

00:39:43

Also, we talked about how to deploy an existing WIM file, whether it's a default install.wim or a reference.wim that you've created to a VHD, just another way of doing a deployment. Remember, if you want to actually update a VHD file offline, you are going to have to use something from the System Center Virtual Machine Manager product family to do that, or if you want to just service it by adding or removing files, for example, then you can also just mount that in an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7 machine using Disk Management. Otherwise, you'll have to use the Virtual Machine Manager tools. All

Configuring Devices

Managing Disks

Managing Applications

Application Restrictions

Internet Explorer

IPv4 Networking

IPv6 Networking

Wireless Networking

Windows Firewall

Remote Administration

Accessing Resources Part 1

Accessing Resources Part 2

Authentication and User Account Control

Remote Access

Mobile Computing

Monitoring Systems

Configuring Performance

Windows Updates

Backup and Recovery

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James Conrad
Nugget trainer since 2003