Step by step to boot windows 8.1 in vmware using wimboot.(legacy BIOS mode, minimum size partition number)

Microsoft has introduced a cool boot tech since windows 8.1 update, intall an OS without extract files, only need pointer files.

It does save a lot space, and it can use the same file for system recovery, cool!

follow me to explore this new deployment method in vm.

1. Prepare fles we need:

1.1. Download a winpe (I got an copy, it supports legacy bios only, and it’s x86)

1.2. Download the trial windows 8.1 iso.

2. Prepare the wimboot-compatable wim file

2.1 Mount the winpe in windows 8.1(your workstation),suppose it’s mounted at F:, extract the dism.exe from F:\SOURCES\boot.wim, you can use 7z for this. suppose D:\downloads are your workspace folder, save the dism.exe in your workspace folder.

2.2 Mount the windows 8.1 iso in windows 8.1(your workstation),suppose it’s mounted at G: .

Open a command line, navigate to your workspace folder, type like this:

D:\Downloads>dism /export-image /wimboot /sourceimagefile:G:\sources\install.wim /sourceindex:1 /destinationimagefile:d:\downloads\wimboot.wim

so it will use the dism.exe in the workspace folder, it generates a new wim which will be used to boot the new system.

2.3. prepare an ISO file contains the wimboot.wim. we need this iso later.

3. Prepare VM

3.1 Create a vm in vmware, add an extra cd rom for eaiser work.select winpe iso in cd rom 1, select the iso file contains wimboot.wim in cd rom 2.

3.2 Boot the vm, use following command to create partitions

type diskpart

> select disk 0
> create partition primary size=20000
# now you have a 20GB partition

> list partition

# select the new created partition
> select partition 1

> active
# make it active, so the system can boot from this partition

> assign letter C

> exit

type format c: /fs:ntfs /q to format the new partition

3.8. in the command line promit, type nodepad to open an intance of notepad, change to file filter to all files, otherwise it only display *.txt. you can find the second cd rom, maybe its drive letter is E: or F:, copy the winboot.wim to C:. you may need to refresh the list after system has repsonse to make sure the file has been copied correctly.

3.9 use following command to deloy the system from wimboot.wim

dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:”C:\wimboot.wim” /ApplyDir:C: /Index:1 /WIMBoot

after this, you can navigate to C: to check files, either in command line or in a notepad.

4. Create boot record for the OS.

bcdboot c:\windows /s C:

5. Exit command line, the winpe will reboot automaticly, continue your installation as usual.

7. When you boot into the desktop, you can check the disk space, about 800MB is used by system folders, the other space is used by the page file(denpends on your RAM size), the hibration file, winboot.wim file, and swap page file.

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