For my work I'm using a laptop that has several operating systems installed. Depending on the customer related work, e.g. office work, giving presentations and developing software, I'm booting one of these environments.
My multi-boot installation consists of several environments including:
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2008 R2 with SharePoint 2007
- Windows Server 2008 R2 with SharePoint 2010
- Windows Server 2008 R2 with SharePoint 2007 and Dynamics CRM 4.0.
All the operating systems boot from a virtual hard disk instead of using virtualization by booting an operating system that hosts an other operating system.
I prefer using VHD files and booting from them because of several reason, e.g.:
- The whole virtual memory is available for use on the work environment, instead of loosing virtual memory to an operating system that hosts a guest operation system using virtualization
- Creating backups of a whole operating system is easily done by just backing up one .vhd file.
- Normal hardware and drivers are used instead of emulated hardware and drivers.
- By creating a clean installed base environment, you can quickly go back to that state or derive environments based on the base environment.
People often ask me:
- How do you install operating systems on a VHD file and setup up a multi-boot environment?
- How can you boot from a virtual hard disk?
- What did you change to your Windows Server 2008 environment so that it looks like Windows 7?
You can get answers to all of these questions by visiting "How can I install Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to a virtual hard disk (VHD) file?" about how to install an operating system on a VHD. Visit Win2008r2workstation.com which explains how to convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 server to a workstation.