Win11 Multi Boot Setup / Adventure


RuffHi

Active member
Local time
10:17 PM
Posts
47
OS
Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
Aim
Create an OS disk cycle that keeps my OS disk nice and clean, gives me a chance to 'try' updates in a non-production environment without the need to keep multiple environments and provides a 'fall back' mechanism if (when) things go south.

I wanted to be able to multi-boot the system (bcd menu), tell at a glance which disk I was logging into / onto (different boot background), which disk was active (different wallpaper or similar), have different backup routines for the different OS disks and monitor those different backups to ensure they were still happening / active.

For this, I think I need the following:
  • one small SSD that is the 'boot' disk
  • three nvme SSDs for the OS install cycle
    • one active during even months
    • one active during odd months
    • one trash disk that can be burnt as required / needed
My Win11 OS disk started to exhibit some questionable activity. MS notepad didn't want to work. MS calc didn't want to work. The snipping tool stopped working. Nothing major, just annoying. I postedin the Win11 forum and got some suggestions that a Win patch might be the issue, some other possible solutions or a fresh install.

No one wants to do a fresh install if they can avoid it.

I had previously separated the OS disk from the user disk, the OneDrive disk and some other aspects were also offloaded. The OS disk was for windows, programs and that was about it. As such, I could 'plug and play' with the OS disk to a large degree. I have a fairly good backup routine that protects my data, files, critical information, memories and what not.

Luckily, I had an old clone of my Win11 OS disk from about 6 weeks ago and so I decided to revert to that. However, that wouldn't actually help me avoid the situation of something getting borked in the future. Hence the above aim of implementing a OS disk rotation policy. Two disks, one month on, one month off. So, if a disk gets wonky (technical term), I could revert back to the other disk from the beginning of the month.
I cloned my old OS disk back to the borked OS disk, added the 'new' disk to the bcdedit boot menu, booted to the new OS disk, updated the boot screen, background, etc. All good?

No - not all good. It wouldn't boot, the boot disk was confused about which bcd file to use. Bcdedit and bcdboot were also confused about which bcd file was 'active'. It could find various windows installs, it just couldn't add them to the bcd file / the right bcd file.

I couldn't see why that was so I just let it rest. I could boot to one of my disks but it wasn't where I wanted it to be.

As it turned out, I had a trip away to California so I couldn't spend hours googling, fiddling and trying to work out what was going on. Luckily, I watch a fair few movies and 'Marry Me' had this suggestion ...

If You Sit In The Question, The Answer Will Find You

I think the issue with the 'which bcd file' was caused by my cloning of the disk. I, effectively, created a twin of my OS disk. I expect it created a twin of the uefi location, the restore location and the OS partition itself. No wonder there were multiple versions of the bcd and the system got confused.


Next Attempt
Ok ... where to from here? I am thinking of nuking it from space (the only way to be sure) and (sort of) starting again. I have one small Samsung SSD (2.5") that has a fresh Win 11 install and acts as the boot disk and 'owner' of the BCD file. I will also create three (3) windows 11 install nvme disks as outlined above.

1 Install Win 11 on small SSD
This involved removing the boot disk from an Intel NUC, installing the SSD, reformatting it and then booting from a USB. Then installing Win11 to the Samsung from the USB.

This has been completed. The BCD file is in the eufi partition but there are a number of other BCD files scattered over the install (c:\windows\boot, c:\windows\winSxS has a bunch). There are two bcd files on the eufi parition (\EFI\Microsoft\boot & \EFI\Microsoft\Recovery). The one in the \boot directory is the active version. Not that you can tell by the 'date last modified'. I can tell by looking at the file size - it is the only one that changes when I add different boot options.

Why doesn't the date modified change?

2 Add a nvme SSD to the mix

Pending the delivery of this little puppy.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
This seems to be a very complicated way of doing things.

A much simpler solution used by many here is to install additional OSs in a virtual hard drive, and add a boot entry (Hyper-V - Native Boot VHD)

1) Install release version 23H2 as your main (Host OS) on whichever drive you use as you host boot drive.

2) Clone host OS to a virtual hard drive (.vhdx file), and add a boot entry
You can mess around with this with no risk to main Host OS

3) Option 3 - copy vhdx from 2 above, create a 2nd addition boot entry, join Insider Programme
You can mess around with this with no risk to main Host OS

It is best to put the virtual hard drives on a separate drive to Host OS (nvme drives are great) as the .vhdx files can be quite large.

An alternative is is to install the other OSs in a virtual machine (Hyper-V is best for Windows guest OSs) but you need Pro as Host. However, you need additional licences for this approach.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
Thx cereberus for the post / suggestion. I have Win 11 Pro so I might look into some of your ideas. I do like your idea of a VM based trash option instead of my nvme based trash option.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
2 Add a nvme SSD to the mix

Pending the delivery of this little puppy.

Installing using a nvme enclosure didn't work. The Win11 install didn't like that I was installing to a USB. That puppy going back. I have dug out my bench testing rig and loaded the nvme there. Install is currently happening in the basement :).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
Install complete, bcd updated with both 2.5" and nvme SSDs as Win11 installs. Next step is to install the nvme into my pc and clone current installed partition (not disk!) over. Then put the nvme back in the test rig and see if it will boot with the cloned OS partition.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
Installing using a nvme enclosure didn't work. The Win11 install didn't like that I was installing to a USB. That puppy going back. I have dug out my bench testing rig and loaded the nvme there. Install is currently happening in the basement :).
If you had created a virtual hard drive on nvme, you could have installed to that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
Installing using a nvme enclosure didn't work. The Win11 install didn't like that I was installing to a USB. That puppy going back. I have dug out my bench testing rig and loaded the nvme there. Install is currently happening in the basement :).
who says you should use the win11 installer? Use WinNTSetup instead.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Pro 3
    CPU
    i5
    Memory
    8GB
I use winntsetup quite a bit. I have posted about it several times, no interest from anybody.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450
A much simpler solution used by many here is to install additional OSs in a virtual hard drive, and add a boot entry (Hyper-V - Native Boot VHD)
I use it all the time....
Thx cereberus for the post / suggestion. I have Win 11 Pro so I might look into some of your ideas. I do like your idea of a VM based trash option instead of my nvme based trash option.
It's NOT a VM, it's as physical an install as any other and has direct access to all your hardware. The only thing virtual about it is the drive it's installed on, that's just a .vhdx file you could store anywhere. But beware, it's so easy to create (or dispose of) a native boot vhdx install that it's easy to get just a little a bit carried away..... :wink:

view
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
I use winntsetup quite a bit. I have posted about it several times, no interest from anybody.
Maybe no visible interest lol. I'm happy to meet a fellow user.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Pro 3
    CPU
    i5
    Memory
    8GB
I came across Funjians some years before, and then later JFX based winntsetup on that and added some useful extra functions. The wincopy feature is very handy.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450
I use it all the time....

It's NOT a VM, it's as physical an install as any other and has direct access to all your hardware. The only thing virtual about it is the drive it's installed on, that's just a .vhdx file you could store anywhere. But beware, it's so easy to create (or dispose of) a native boot vhdx install that it's easy to get just a little a bit carried away..... :wink:

view
Hi there

And if you select the choose other options ---- use a device you will also get any Linux partitions whether on the same or other disks too -- even if they don't use sec boot.

Saves messing around with getting into the hardware bios menu when you want to boot a different OS whether Windows or not.

Seems much better than all the other weird ways -- you can always clone a standard windows system to a vhdx file -- simply create a large enough vhdx file, attach it as a disk on a running windows system via diskpart, format a file system and then use Macrium or whatever to clone the running windows to the vhdx file. You *might* have to re-install the bootloader though -- easy enough with bcdboot.exe.

You can also do the whole kybosh in reverse too -- clone the vhdx OS back to a standard windows disk. Same process - select the target disk via disk part and clone bacl, then re-install the bootloader.

Note in all the cases the boot disk i.e the one that gives you the initial boot menu (whether itself is a vhdx or not) must have an efi partition -- assuming you aren't running any weirdly hobbled patches to W11.



Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows XP,7,10,11 Linux Arch Linux
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    2 X Intel i7
Thanks everyone for the chatter - it was interesting to read through, google some terms / aspects that I wasn't aware of (ie winntsetup) and think some more about what I am hoping to do and what is being discussed above.

One aspect re the virtual option ... Jimbo just said ... you can always clone a standard windows system to a vhdx file and that I need to have disk space to hold the vhdx file. I was / am planning on having a physical disk, clone my OS partition to the physical disk and then 'play' on the cloned version.

What are the benefits having a vhdx file over a physical version? As I see it ...
  • I can blow both away (delete the vhdx file, reformat the physical disk)
  • they both require disk space
  • they are both created via partition cloning
  • ???

For me, the physical approach has one major advantage ... I know what I am doing with a physical disk. I don't know what I am doing with a vhdx file.

I also note on Jimbo's picture, he / she has a Macrium boot option. Can I have a boot to Win11 install option? At present, I have a USB with Win11Install on it and I have to plug the USB in and reboot. I would be fine with creating a partition on one of my many SSDs that held Win11 install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
Can I have a boot to Win11 install option?...I would be fine with creating a partition on one of my many SSDs that held Win11 install.
yes it is quite easy.

create a partition e.g. R:

extract the entire contents of the installation iso onto the root of R

add a winpe entry to your current bcd store pointing at R:\sources\boot.wim and R:\boot\boot.sdi

which can be done with this .bat or .cmd file

If your partition is not R just change this

set pedrive=R:

to your partition letter


add-wim-to-bcd.cmd
Code:
@echo off
set pedrive=R:
set pewimpath=\sources\boot.wim
set mydescription="Win11-Install-Media"
set sdipath=\boot\boot.sdi

IF NOT EXIST %pedrive%%pewimpath% (
ECHO %pedrive%%pewimpath% not found &goto :endline
)
IF NOT EXIST %pedrive%%sdipath% (
ECHO %pedrive%%sdipath% not found &goto :endline
)
(set WLOADER=)
for /f "usebackq tokens=1,2" %%G in (`bcdedit.exe -enum {current} ^| find "path"`) do set WLOADER=%%H
if "%WLOADER%"=="" (
 ECHO Windows Loader not found &goto :endline
  )
echo.
 (set LCAL=)
for /f "usebackq tokens=1,2" %%G in (`bcdedit.exe -enum {current} ^| find "locale"`) do set LCAL=%%H
echo.
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%a in ('BCDEDIT -create -device -d %mydescription%') do set newramdiskguid=%%a
echo new ramdisk guid is %newramdiskguid%
bcdedit.exe -set {%newramdiskguid%} ramdisksdidevice partition=%PEDRIVE%
bcdedit.exe -set {%newramdiskguid%} ramdisksdipath "%SDIPATH%"
echo.
for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('BCDEDIT -create -application osloader -d %mydescription%') do set newloaderguid=%%g
echo new loader guid is %newloaderguid%
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} path %WLOADER%
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} locale %LCAL%
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} systemroot \Windows
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} detecthal Yes
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} winpe Yes
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} osdevice ramdisk=[%PEDRIVE%]"%PEWIMPATH%",{%newramdiskguid%}
    bcdedit.exe -set {%newloaderguid%} device ramdisk=[%PEDRIVE%]"%PEWIMPATH%",{%newramdiskguid%}
    bcdedit.exe -displayorder {%newloaderguid%} -addlast
      
:endline
pause
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450
What are the benefits having a vhdx file over a physical version? As I see it ...
  • I can blow both away (delete the vhdx file, reformat the physical disk)
  • they both require disk space
  • they are both created via partition cloning
  • ???
It's easier to 'blow away' a native boot vhdx. You just delete the .vhdx file and delete its boot entry from the Boot tab in System Configuration.

When not booted from a dynamically expanding .vhdx file only requires enough space to store the used space for the files it contains. The .vhdx can be stored anywhere, even on an external usb drive (best to use an SSD rather than HDD for this).

You can create a vhdx at boot from an install usb and install Windows to it as if it were a physical disk.

One disadvantage: a native boot vhdx install cannot use hibernation.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Internet Speed
    50 Mbps
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics card(s)
    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, Canary, and Release Preview builds as a native boot .vhdx.
I moved my 2.5" SSD and the nvme SSD to my 'prod' machine this evening. It booted to my boot menu (two options, the 2.5" and the nvme) but neither option would boot. I had to disabled every other drive boot option in bios so that only the 2.5" drive was 'available'.

After that, the boot menu came up and I could boot to the nvme SSD. I then added the other Win11 drives to the boot menu, gave them suitable names so that I can tell them apart.

After that, I borrowed heavily from SIW2's batch file above.
Actually - just listed out the commands one at a time and executed them.
I find that a better way of learning what I am doing.


Anyway, my boot menu now has the following options:
  1. Win11-Trash
  2. Win11-Odd
  3. Win11-Even
  4. Win11-Basic (ie fresh install) <-- this is the 2.5" SSD install
  5. Win11 Install iso

I have tried #1 (actually - I am using it right now) but I haven't tried #2-#5 yet. It is late and I am heading to bed.

No vm listed :D.

More to come.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
Morning All.

Here are the results of my various bootings ...

Win11-Trash - success (and currently the active boot drive I am using)
Win11-Odd - success
Win11-Even - success
Win11-Basic - success
Win11 Install iso - failure, rebooted

Here is what I have in the bcd file for the last one ...

Here is the Ramdisk options
Code:
Setup Ramdisk Options
---------------------
identifier              {ramdiskoptions}
description             RamDisk
ramdisksdidevice        partition=R:
ramdisksdipath          \sources\boot.wim

Here is the boot loader ...
Code:
Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier              {82dc81b6-fdf2-11ee-aa0a-009337a9d8f9}
device                  ramdisk=[R:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.efi
description             Win11 Install iso
locale                  en-US
osdevice                ramdisk=[R:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
systemroot              \Windows
nx                      OptIn
detecthal               Yes
winpe                   Yes

Here is a dir of R:
Code:
C:\Windows\System32>dir r:
 Volume in drive R is Win11 Install iso
 Volume Serial Number is 48EB-6FC0

 Directory of R:\
boot
04/06/2024  09:12 AM               128 autorun.inf
04/18/2024  10:11 PM    <DIR>          boot
04/06/2024  09:12 AM           442,062 bootmgr
04/06/2024  09:12 AM         1,675,736 bootmgr.efi
04/18/2024  10:11 PM    <DIR>          efi
04/06/2024  09:13 AM            95,712 setup.exe
04/18/2024  10:16 PM    <DIR>          sources
04/18/2024  10:11 PM    <DIR>          support
               4 File(s)      2,213,638 bytes
               4 Dir(s)  100,983,439,360 bytes free

The boot menu shows 'RamDisk' and not 'Win11 Install iso'. It seems to be taking the description from the Ramdisk options and not from the boot loader. I changed that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
Reading back over the prior post and SIW2's post about - seems I screwed something up in the ramdisk options.

I had ...
Code:
Setup Ramdisk Options
---------------------
ramdisksdipath          \sources\boot.wim

I should have had ...
Code:
Setup Ramdisk Options
---------------------
ramdisksdipath          \boot\boot.sdi

Fixing ...

Edit: Fixed ... and it boots to the install software. Beautiful!

Thanks All. Here is a virtual cookie - enjoy.

 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 Build 22621.3374
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-12900 2.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
    Motherboard
    MSI MPG Z690 CARBON WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
    Memory
    CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR5 RAM 128GB (4x32GB) 5200MHz CL40
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Video Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 x Samsung 34" Odyssey G5
    PSU
    SeaSonic PRIME PX-1300 1300 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
    Case
    Anidees AI CRYSTAL XL PRO LITE ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Underwater, Heatkiller, EK, Alphacool
    Internet Speed
    Gig
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Yes
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