1

Background

I have a new ASUS G752VL-DH71 laptop. I would like to make a backup of the current installation of Windows 10 in the form of a virtual hard disk file (VHDX) and I would like to be able to boot into that VHDX file. This is because I plan to reinstall Windows 10 but I want to keep the old installation around for reference. This topic was discussed recently on Channel 9.

Question

When I try to boot to the VHDX file, I just get a blue screen of death that says INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. Can anyone tell me how to fix this error? If not, could you please tell me how I can debug the error?

Details about what I did

I ran Disk2vhd 2.01 to convert my main partition into a VHDX file. Here is a screenshot of what Disk2vhd looks like when I run it:

Disk2vhd

Notice how there is no SYSTEM partition shown. The video on Channel 9 showed a SYSTEM partition in Disk2vhd, but on my computer Disk2vhd does not show the SYSTEM partition.

I know that I do have a SYSTEM partition because when I run diskpart in a Command Prompt and run the list volume command, the output is:

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     D                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     C   OS           NTFS   Partition    930 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 2         SYSTEM       FAT32  Partition    260 MB  Healthy    System
  Volume 3         RECOVERY     NTFS   Partition    499 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 4     G   SSD          NTFS   Partition    476 GB  Healthy

I can also see the SYSTEM partition in the Disk Management snap-in.

If someone could tell me why Disk2vhd does not see my system partition and what to do about it, then that would probably solve my problem.

In Disk2vhd, I tried selecting the main partition (C:) and the RECOVERY partition, and leaving both checkboxes checked (Use Vhdx and Use Volume Shadow Copy). I also tried not selecting the recovery partition. Both selections had the same effect; giving me the blue screen of death mentioned above.

2

To let Disk2vdh show it (i am afraid it may be an EFI partition since it is FAT32, and not RAW), in such case you must mount it to a letter prior to run Disk2vdh.

To do such mount is really easy (L represent the letter you want to assign, use one not being used):

MOUNTVOL L: /S

That is it. As simple as that.

P.D.: I had no idea of that 'license' limitation... i may read it... i would like to convert my MBR (Vista, 7, 10, Extended with some linux, Grub2, etc) to MBR (BCD stuff to boot all Windows, NTFS with .vdh files, ...) so no need for more than two primary partitions... also would like to test Grub2x64.efi if motherboard really supports EFI boot... but if M$ license does not allow OEM to VDH... arrggg!

  • I had to do this, but then got an error in Disk2vhd that the Volume Shadow Copy failed. After disabling the option to use Volume Shadow Copy, I got a .vdhx which boots happily in Hyper-V (as a Generation 2 VM). – Govert May 26 '17 at 11:39
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What I am trying to do might be impossible due to Microsoft's licensing terms. The bottom of the Disk2vhd web page has this note:

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

This paragraph doesn't specifically mention Windows 10, so I am not sure it applies to me. My laptop has an OEM version of Windows 10. That means that Microsoft's licensing terms might prevent me from copying it. Perhaps the Disk2vhd is helping to enforce Microsoft's licensing by not showing me the SYSTEM partition.

  • I'm fairly certain Disk2VHD is just a disk imaging program and doesn't know anything about licensing, but you never know. – Ben N May 30 '16 at 22:14
  • Disk2vhd is a closed-source program made by Microsoft, and it has a note about licensing on its web page. So I think this answer is plausible. If you have another plausible explanation of why Disk2vhd does not show my SYSTEM partition, I would be interested. – David Grayson May 31 '16 at 21:45

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