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    Default Windows 8/work solution for eGPU

    Hey All
    The Cooperation i work for recently upgraded all IT computers from Windows 7 to Windows 8. After a long struggle with getting my eGPU (PE4H and Nvidia 560) to work with my work laptop (HP Elitebook 8560W) i did not like the idea to upgrade my OS, because the thought of starting from scratch with all the irritation and frustration made my stomach turn.

    As i feared the eGPU would not work with Win8, so for a while i gave up. But i then came across a solution that would solve all my problems.

    What if you could run two OS on the same computer, one you can use at home, and one at work, with both storing files and games completely cut of from each other.
    The solution is called VHD, this is a virtual hard drive, that you can run operating system on and store where ever you want!


    As i dont know if a tutorial on this is already posted, i will go ahead and make one for you guys

    BTW!: i take no responsibility if this does something to your system!
    I strongly recommend you take a backup of your drives before proceeding, especially if your on your work computer.


    Requirements:
    An already installed OS.
    Has to be Windows 7 or newer.
    A Bootable windows image on either a USB or CD.
    Disk space.

    ___________________________________________________________
    Step One: Creating the VHD

    Start and log on to your already installed Operating system (in my case Windows 8) and go to disk management.
    In windows 8 you can easily do this by holding the windows button and pressing X, then clicking disk management.

    You should get this window:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now go to the menu at the top of the window and select the drop down menu called Action, and click create VHD.
    You then get this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Create VHD.JPG 
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    Now you fill in the information as this:

    Location:
    Brows you way to the desired location you want to store your virtual disk and what to name it, as i am going to run Windows 7, i will simply call it Win7. An external drive is a god choice, or you can simply just store it at C:\ as i do.

    Virtual Hard Disk Size:
    Chose what size you want your Virtual hard disk to have. Remember that this will take up hard disk space on your computer if your not using a external hard drive. I chose 100GB, but you can chose whatever you want

    Virtual disk format:
    Here you select what kind of format you want your virtual disk to be. Go for VHD, as VHDX is not supported in earlier versions of windows than windows 8.

    Virtual hard disk type:
    Now this is important! Here you chose if you want a dynamically expanding disk or a Fixed size. Say you give your disk 100GB and chose dynamically expanding disk, what this will do is that the disk will start at 0GB and then grow as you fill it up. I find this the best choice, as a fixed size disk will start with 100GB, and takes a long time to create.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Create VHD complete.JPG 
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    You have now created your virtual disk, but its empty! As im sure you've already figured out, we have to install something on it! Thats right, an OS.

    BTW! do not format or create a partition on the VHD, we will get to that
    ___________________________________________________________
    Step Two: Installing The Operating System

    You may think you can just run the windows 7 setup and select the disk, but you cant.

    What you need to do is put your USB/CD in your computer and turn it off, run the windows setup in boot.
    Computers usually do this by itself if you have a bootable image on a USB/CD when the computer boots, but if its not, go to the boot selection menu (usually by pressing F9 when you turn the computer on) and select boot from USB/Upgrade bay.

    You should then get the Windows 7 installer image.

    There are some tricky things to do here. The first is you are not going to install it right away, but chose repair.
    From the repair window chose CMD (command line prompt).
    ___________________________________________________________
    CMD Commands:

    In the Command prompt, type the name of the drive where the VHD is located, in my case C:\

    Now after selecting C:\ type drivepart, this is a drive management program.

    Now we need the installer to locate the VHD, to do this type Select vdisk file=C:\nameofyourvhd.vhd

    You have now selected your VHD.

    Now siply type Attach vdisk

    It should say something like Successfully attached disk.

    Now type exit and close the command prompt, and maneuver back to the start of the installer.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Proceed with the installer until you get to chose between something like typical installation or custom installation. Chose custom.

    You can now chose witch disk you want to install Windows on, of course our new VHD, witch should be 100GB (if thats what you chose as disk space) and unallocated, select the disk and chose new* and chose how large it should be, then do a format, witch i recommend.

    Now install the OS and let it restart.
    ___________________________________________________________

    If everything was set up right, you should now have your new Windows OS installed and ready to go! You can chose between the operating systems when you boot your computer!

    I myself run the eGPU nicely on my VHD windows 7, and the nice thing is that the VHD OS does not lose more than 3% of the computer performance!

    If you decide you dont want the VHD anymore, go to you main OS an delete the VHD, and its completely removed from your system.
    I personally think this is a great solution for us that uses our work computers, or simply want to test out Windows 8, or want to keep Windows 7 for eGPU purposes.


    Cheers everyone and god luck with your eGPU solutions!

    Send me a mail at kim.andersen@unit4.com or PM if you have questions or concerns, and as i said earlier in this post, i take no responsibility if anything goes wrong, backup Guys!

    I apologize for my english, but hopefully its understandable.

    Please leave a comment even thought your not going to try this out, do you like the idea? Do you think this is a smart solution, or complete BS? I appreciate all kind of feedback!
    Last edited by kimern_8; 30th August 2012 at 07:40 AM.

 

 

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